Welcome to EV431: The Class Where We Launch A Weather Balloon
Today was day two of EV431 Air: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The classroom for me is a familiar one for me, and I am sure for most of the other students taking this course, since most of us are Environmental Science majors and have wandered the same rooms in Tutt Science for a few years now. This class is, however, one of the pinnacle Environmental Science courses, signified by the 400 status, and will be one of the last courses I take before I graduate this spring. Which reminds me I should probably introduce myself and not remain the mysterious blogger of EV431. My name is Nicole Gillett, and I am a senior Environmental Science major here at Colorado College. I have taken a multitude of wonderful EV classes and dabbled in a variety of other subjects here and there, but I must admit I am excited for Air (and not just because the course title sounds like we are taking some mystic elements class). I bet Professor Barbara Whitten (one of our esteemed professors for this course along with Professor Mari Lee) doesn’t remember a specific day three years ago when I was in Introduction to Climate Change, my first EV course of my CC career, and she came in to give a guest lecture on clouds. She spoke of all the different types of clouds, where they form in the atmosphere, and what their properties where. I found it all rather magical (serious nerd status alert here), especially stratospheric cloud which form higher than most clouds in the stratosphere at extremely cold temperatures and so are made of ice crystals. They form wave like, rainbow colored ice clouds, very lovely. While I didn’t know much about atmospheric physics at the time (and admittedly still do not), the idea of clouds has fascinated me ever since (even though I learned later that certain kinds of stratospheric clouds contribute to the ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect).