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    Climatic forcing of seasonal snow, glaciers and avalanches; evaporation; climate change.

    The objective of this course is to give students an opportunity to advance their knowledge of field research methods in climatology and to establish a better understanding of the multi-scale atmospheric processes that control our atmosphere, weather and climate. Emphasis in this course is placed on the methods and techniques used to investigate atmospheric processes in mountainous terrain. In particular, students will develop an understanding of how to deploy atmospheric instruments, as well as being given the opportunity to develop their quantitative skills to analyse both observational and modelled climate data. These advanced quantitative methods will be used to better understand how climate change is impacting the variability of seasonal snow, glaciers and avalanches.

    About this paper

    Paper title Climatology
    Subject Geography
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,448.79
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

    The content of this paper assumes that students will have completed one or both of the following climatology-based Geography undergraduate papers: GEOG 286/392 Climatology, GEOG 282/388 Climate Change: Present and Future.
    If you have not taken these papers but are still interested in GEOG 460, please contact the course co-ordinator, Professor Nicolas Cullen.

    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Professor Nicolas Cullen

    Paper Structure

    The paper structure comprises a combination of lectures, hands-on workshops, field work and student presentations.

    Teaching Arrangements

    One 3-hour class per week.


    There is no set textbook - readings will be set as required during the paper.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Environmental literacy, Information literacy.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will have:

    • an advanced understanding of the theory, processes and current knowledge associated with obtaining meteorological observations in the atmospheric boundary layer,
    • the ability to set up and deploy instrumentation on automatic weather stations, including knowing how to programme data-loggers used to obtain and store meteorological data,
    • developed new quantitative skills to analyse observational and model derived climatological data to assess the impacts of climate change on seasonal snow, glaciers and/or avalanches in alpine terrain, and
    • developed new written, oral and time management skills to ensure a large data intensive research project is completed.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Wednesday 10:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
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