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This introductory course explores the evolution of the Antarctic continent, the dynamics of polar ice, the drivers of weather and climate in Antarctica, the circulation of the Southern Ocean, astronomy and human interaction with the polar region including the history of exploration and intriguing legal issues.
Summary of Course Content• Geological evolution of the Antarctic• Dynamics of Antarctic ice• Antarctic weather and climate• Atmospheric physics, the ozone hole and climate change• Astronomy and the role of the polar regions• History of Antarctic exploration• Energy service systems in extreme environments
The goal of this course is to give students a broad understanding of the physical characteristics of and the human interactions with Antarctica. This is achieved by introducing students to topics within the disciplines of geology, geography, history, physics and glaciology of the South Polar region, with a theme of global climate change running through the course.By course completion students will be able to:Describe and understand the physical characteristics of Antarctica;Begin to question how the Antarctic is a driver of and responder to climate change;Begin to develop personal ideas on the value of maintaining Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science;Understand the role of energy service systems in supporting the activities in Antarctica, the proportionate energy demand for different services and the issues for sustainability.
INCO103, ANTA101, ANTA112
Students must attend one activity from each section.
, Wolfgang Rack
, Ursula Rack
, Laura Revell
, Jenni Adams
and Kari Bassett
A two hour exam worth 50% and 4 internal assesments worth 12.5% each. Details of the actual internal assesment will be provided in the course outline but topics are likley to include:• Glaciology• Weather and Climate• Geology• Astronomy
Berkman, Paul Arthur;
Science into policy : global lessons from Antarctica;
Academic Press, 2002.
The polar regions : a political geography;
Published in association with the Scott Polar Research Institute by J. Wiley, 1996.
Crossley, Louise , Australian Antarctic Foundation., Australian Surveying and Land Information Group;
Cambridge University Press, 1995.
McGonigal, David , Woodworth, Lynn;
Antarctica : the blue continent;
Random House New Zealand, 2002.
Encyclopedia of the Antarctic;
Waterhouse, E. J. , Antarctica New Zealand;
Ross Sea region 2001 : a state of the environment report for the Ross Sea region of Antarctica;
New Zealand Antarctic Institute (Antarctica New Zealand), 2001.
No Textbook Required.
Domestic fee $883.00
International fee $4,000.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
School of Earth and Environment on the department and colleges page.