ANTA103-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Antarctica: Life in the Cold

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


This introductory course focuses on biology and explores how plants, microbes, animals and humans adapt to living in the extreme environments of the Antarctic, the sub-Antarctic and the Southern Ocean. Low temperatures and periods of total darkness are just some of the extremes to be endured. Discussion includes human psychology, and our interaction with the polar region lying at New Zealand's back door.

2021 Covid-19 Update:
Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials, field trips and assessments.

Learning Outcomes

The goal of this course is to give students a broad understanding of Antarctic and Southern Ocean marine ecosystems and of human interactions with the Antarctic continent. This is achieved by introducing students to topics within the disciplines of biology, psychology, arts, humanities, social science, and environmental governance, with a theme of global change running through the course.

After successful completion of ANTA103, students should:
o understand the biodiversity and functioning of Antarctic ecosystems;
o be able to discuss how Antarctic biodiversity is responding to change;
o have gained insight into human interactions with and reactions to Antarctica;
o be aware of the foundations of Antarctic governance and the processes shaping Antarctic environmental management; and
o be able to develop personal ideas on the value of maintaining Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.

Timetable 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 15:00 - 16:00 Rehua 101 Lectorial
19 Jul - 29 Aug
13 Sep - 24 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 16:00 - 17:00 Rehua 003 Music
19 Jul - 29 Aug
13 Sep - 24 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 13:00 - 14:00 E14 Lecture Theatre
19 Jul - 29 Aug
13 Sep - 24 Oct

Timetable Note

This course has three contact hours per week and expects the students to spend roughly another seven hours per week on reviewing lecture materials, preparing for the tutorials and studying assigned readings.

Every other week, a tutorial will be held, which will include an internal assessment, for a total of six internal assessments.

Course Coordinator

Daniela Liggett


Patrick Shepherd , Dr Gary Steel (Lincoln University) and Michelle LaRue


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Antarctic governance tutorial 5%
Marine biology tutorial 10%
Terrestrial biology tutorial 10%
Antarctic tourism tutorial 10%
Antarctic psychology tutorial 5%
Environmental governance tutorial 10%
Final exam 50%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Liggett, Daniela et al; Exploring the last continent :an introduction to Antarctica ; Springer, 2015 (Course Textbook).

Recommended Reading

McGonigal, David,1950- , McGonigal, David; Antarctica :secrets of the southern continent ; Firefly Books, 2008.

Riffenburgh, Beau; Encyclopedia of the Antarctic ; Routledge, 2007.

Course links

Library portal


Restrictions: INCO103, ANTA113, ANTA101

Indicative Fees

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 .

All ANTA103 Occurrences

  • ANTA103-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021