ATM 98
Practical Skills for a Career in (Physical) Science

(1 credit, P/NP)
CRN: 42930

Page Last modified: 7 May 1999

COURSE CANCELLED due to low enrollment. Perhaps it will be tried again in the future.

Comments? Questions? email Dr. Grotjahn at

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    Course Summary:

    An undergraduate course in which students learn some general skills to succeed in a scientific career. Those skills that are not normally taught in typical science courses are emphasized. The course uses examples from Physics, Atmospheric Science, and other fields as appropriate; the material is intended to have broad applicability to geophysical sciences.

    Course Goals:

    1. To gain practical experience in approaching problems as a (physical) scientist does
    2. To identify situations where scientific thought impacts daily life.
    3. To learn how to find and secure a job in the (geophysical) sciences


    Richard Grotjahn, Professor of Atmospheric Science
    rm 173 Hoagland Hall, Phone: 752-2246, E-mail:


    Joe Stasulat, Program Manager, Internship and Career Center
    rm 0213 South Hall, Phone: 752-2682, E-mail:


    Course meeting times & location:

    The initial meeting was: April 7, 3:30 pm, in rm 124 Hoagland.

    Course Topical Outline:

    1. course administration & overview. (Atmospheric) science in the year 2025.

    2. scientific methods: what is & is not science? formulating & evaluating hypotheses, thought experiments, etc.

    3. scientific methods & tools: experimental design & using tools such as: data analysis (spreadsheets), modelling

    4. scientific tools: on using statistics, the importance of writing & presenting information

    5. scientific responsibility & credibility issues -- when science goes wrong

    6. scientific responsibility & credibility issues -- advocacy

    7. careers in science, future directions of science, what employers want

    8. hunting for a job: how to search the web, etc.

    9. hunting for a job: preparing & critiquing the resume

    10. hunting for a job: the interview

    Useful links (under construction)


    1. (7 April) Attend one of the ICC workshops on resume writing. Then prepare a resume of the type that you think best fits your employment goals. (Due: at the start of the June 2 class.) Note: see the ICC website for workshop details.

    Grading Policies

    grading: P/NP. A passing grade is based on completion of the tasks. These tasks include reasonable participation in the discussions. Also required is completion of the assignments. Failure to meet a responsibility may lead to a No Pass grade.