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GEOG299 Freshwater Resources: Monitoring and Management

Semester One, 18 points

Lectures: Thursday & Friday: 10am – 10.50am
Labs: either Thursday or Friday: 2pm - 4.50pm

Course Coordinator: Dr Sarah Mager –  

Fresh water is a globally finite resource that is increasingly under pressure due to water degradation and allocation. GEOG299 will introduce you to the physical and chemical characteristics of water, and develop practical field, laboratory and analytical skills for the interpretation of water quality data. The programme is comprised of two core elements, first understanding and quantifying water quality of freshwater bodies, and the second is developing an understanding of the issues around water scarcity, allocation and management strategies of this finite resource. This course will focus on physical indicators of water degradation, field sampling techniques, and the analysis of water quality data.

The course is comprised of two lectures a week that will provide you with an overview of the core elements of the discipline of hydrology, as well as perspectives on global and national and water issues.

The second core component of this course is a strong emphasis on laboratory sessions. Each week you will have a practical exercise, and will be allocated to small group (8 students) and undertake an exercise within a round-robin programme.

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Physical and human processes affecting water quality of rivers, groundwater and wetlands.

This paper will develop basic mathematical skills as related to hydrology, and competence dealing with hydrological datasets. There is a focus on global and national issues on freshwater resources, as well as the key environmental issues surrounding water allocation.

Paper title Freshwater Resources: Monitoring and Management
Paper code GEOG299
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,059.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,627.65

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GEOG 101
GEOG 399
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
No prior experience is required, however, a 100-level background introductory paper to earth science is beneficial.
Teaching staff
Course Coordinator: Dr Sarah Mager
Paper Structure

This paper is comprised of two modules: the first module is an introduction to the core concepts of physical hydrology; and the second module covers contemporary issues in freshwater resources including the impacts of land use change and over allocation on river systems.

Laboratories: Students will work each week in a small group as part of the laboratory programme, and develop communication and time management skills in the preparation of written work.

Assessment is 55% internal (on-going during the semester) and 45% external (final examination)

Teaching Arrangements

Two 50-minute lectures per week

One 2:50-minute laboratory per week

No set textbook is required but there will be a recommended reading list, and readings identified for each lecture
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Communication, Environmental literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Familiarisation with the global environmental issues surrounding freshwater resources; develop practical skills collecting hydrological data and its analysis.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Friday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Thursday 14:00-16:50 10-14, 18-20
P2 Friday 14:00-16:50 10-14, 18-20