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    Climates over different surfaces, micro and local climates; urban climates; laboratories as required.

    The focus of GEOG 286 is boundary layer climatology - i.e. how the land surface influences the weather and climate we experience. In this paper you will learn the basic fundamentals of climatology, and then apply them to understand how the presence of vegetation, mountains, water and urban environments influences weather and climate.

    About this paper

    Paper title Climatology
    Subject Geography
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    GEOG 101
    GEOG 392
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science
    Teaching staff
    Co-ordinator: Dr Daniel Kingston
    Paper Structure

    The paper is structured hierarchically so that basic principles are introduced from the ground up, with lectures split into three main sections:

    • The first group of lectures is concerned with fundamental climatic principles, including surface radiation and energy balances, convection and advection
    • The second section explores how the basic processes introduced in Section 1 are modified by "natural"spatial heterogeneity in the land surface (i.e. land-sea contrasts, vegetation and topography)
    • Section 3 covers anthropogenic influences on micro- and meso-scale climate (including air pollution), primarily through urban development

    The paper also covers how micro- and meso-scale processes combine to influence climate at the global-scale. The paper concludes with some case studies of real-world applications of the theoretical concepts introduced in this paper.

    In addition to the theoretical content delivered via lectures, practical sessions will introduce skills to enable you to apply your theoretical knowledge to the outside world. The practical sessions will include both lab-based & computer based exercises and field trips in the local Dunedin area.

    Assessment is 40% internal (on-going during the semester) and 60% external (final examination).

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two lectures per week and six 3-hour practical sessions scheduled over the 13 weeks of semester.


    No single textbook is required, but two are highly recommended. (Both are available on close reserve in the Science Library):

    Oke, T. R. (1987) Boundary Layer Climates (2nd edition).

    Sturman, A. & Tapper, N. (2006) The Weather and Climate of Australia and New Zealand (2nd edition).

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Research, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this paper you should have a clear understanding of the fundamentals of micro- and meso-scale climatology. Specifically, you will:

    • Understand how variation in "natural" land surface types influences climate at scales from metres to hundreds of kilometres
    • Understand how human modification of the land surface influences climate at scales from metres to hundreds of kilometres
    • Understand how human modification of the land surface influences air quality and human health
    • Be able to integrate field and laboratory data to understand climate processes at scales from metres to hundreds of kilometres


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Thursday 10:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42
    Friday 10:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    P1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 30-32, 38-40
    P2 Thursday 14:00-16:50 30-32, 38-40
    P3 Friday 14:00-16:50 30-32, 38-40
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