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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
Upon completion of the course students will broadly understand the physical characteristics of Antarctica, will be able to relate global climate change issues to Antarctic climate, and will understand the basic concepts and techniques used to explore Antarctica and the universe today. Students will understand the significance and challenges of gaining knowledge in Antarctica.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
2-3 lectures per week (a total of 30 lectures), with a practical session (a total of 6) during weeks with 2 lectures.
, Ursula Rack
, Laura Revell
, Jenni Adams
and Kari Bassett
A two hour exam worth 50% and 4 internal assesments worth 12.5% each. DAssessment name Weighting Due date (if known)Glaciology and Remote Sensing 9% Atmospheric Science 9% History of Science and Exploration 9% Oceanography 9% Geology 9% Astronomy 5% End of course exam 50%
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.
Liggett, D., B. Storey, Y. Cook, and V. Meduna (eds.);
Exploring the last continent – an introduction to Antarctica. Springer International, 2015. Electronic book available in Library;
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 $910.00
International fee $4,438.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, 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.