GEOG312-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Snow, Ice and Climate

15 points

Details:
Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020

Description

This course examines the physical processes involved with the formation and evolution of mountain glaciers and seasonal snow, including processes such as surface mass balance, dynamics and hydrology. The course develops knowledge by drawing on key research, and encourages students to critically evaluate published work. The supporting lab programme will enable students to develop a range of transferable skills by working with real data and equipment, for example, ground penetrating radar (GPR), snowpit analysis, and simple glacier models.

This course examines the physical processes involved with the formation and evolution of mountain glaciers and seasonal snow, including processes such as surface mass balance, dynamics and hydrology. The course develops knowledge by drawing on key research, and encourages students to critically evaluate published work. The supporting lab programme will enable students to develop a range of transferable skills by working with real data and equipment, for example, ground penetrating radar (GPR), snowpit analysis, and simple glacier models.

Learning Outcomes

Why are glaciers touted as being excellent indicators of climate change? How do glaciers respond to climate? What will be the impact of current rapid glacial retreat on world water resources, sea level rise, and tourism? What about ski-fields – will they survive a warming climate?  

The lecture programme begins by exploring glacier mass balance and considering the challenges of measuring snow accumulation and ice ablation in mountainous regions.  The intricacies of glacier motion are considered in-depth, and the unit on glacier hydrology highlights how knowledge of water systems are highly transferable. Material presented in lectures is reinforced by a lab programme utilises real field data, and students have the opportunity to learn practical snow measurement skills in a one-day field trip to a local ski field.

After completing this course students should be able to:
Explain the processes involved in determining glacier mass balance, ice motion and glacier hydrology, and be able to discuss interactions between these processes;
Describe key research and development in the discipline pertaining to these central themes by referral to academic literature;
Be able to provide specific examples of glacier-related research conducted in New Zealand, as well as at other significant research glaciers around the world.
Develop a range of analytical, practical and academic skills including; the use of spreadsheet software and GIS to facilitate research-orientated data analysis, interpret and understand a range of graphical data, use relevant formulae to calculate and predict physical parameters, write clearly and concisely and in an accessible scientific style, and, communicate science to an audience.
Discuss the importance of  understanding the cultural and social implications of undertaking research on public conservation land

University Graduate Attributes

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.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Pre-requisites

30 points of 200-level Geography, including GEOG201, or
in special cases with approval of the Head of Department.

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 11:00 - 13:00 Ernest Rutherford 164 Geog/Geol Lab 13 Jul - 23 Aug
7 Sep - 18 Oct
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 001 Computer Lab 3 Aug - 9 Aug
14 Sep - 20 Sep
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 15:00 Ernest Rutherford 164 Geog/Geol Lab 20 Jul - 26 Jul
28 Sep - 11 Oct

Timetable Note

X1 two hour lecture per week
X4 2hour labs

Course Coordinator

Heather Purdie

Assessment

Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Online Quizzes x 3 15%
Lab attendance and completion 5%
Report 30%
Group Presentation 10%
Final Examination 40%

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended textbook(s):
Benn, Douglas I. , Evans, David J. A; Glaciers & glaciation; 2nd ed; Hodder Arnold, 2008.
Cuffey, Kurt. , Paterson, W. S. B; The physics of glaciers; 4th ed; Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier, 2010.

Course links

Library portal

Notes

Prerequisites: 45 points of 200-level Geography, including GEOG201, or in special cases with approval of the Head of Department.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $867.00

International fee $4,250.00

* 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.

All GEOG312 Occurrences

  • GEOG312-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020