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This course provides a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how Antarctica will be affected by global change. It takes a Science System approach and investigates the linkages between the Antarctic atmosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere.
The Antarctic atmosphere, biosphere and cryosphere are dynamic and interconnected: when one system is disturbed, the others will be affected in some way. In “Antarctica and Global Change” we will consider the roles Antarctica and the Southern Ocean play within the global Earth System, for the purpose of observing and measuring change. Thus, the theme of this course is “connections”. We begin the first half of the course by considering physical oceanography of the Southern Ocean, followed by marine ecology, the cryosphere, and atmospheric sciences to provide a baseline knowledge for comprehending changes to these systems. In the second half of the course, we break down those various changes in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic systems, including climate change and resource extraction, and we finish the course by tying these connections together: detailing how, for example, atmospheric changes influence marine species, and what the future looks like for Antarctica and the world.
At the end of the course, you will be able to answer questions such as: How does Antarctica fit into the global system and why is it important? How might change in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean influence the rest of the world in the next 25-500 years? And, how can we effectively communicate Antarctic change to various audiences?
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
30 points from 100-level Antarctic Studies, Biology, Geography orGeology courses
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Three lectures per week with an assessment (quiz or test) every other week
Assessments include quizzes, tests, and essays, and we focus on critical thinking, science communication, and writing as skills we wish to enhance.
Knox, G. A;
Biology of the Southern Ocean;
CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2007.
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.