MT4XH-Atmospheric Science Field Course

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Ellie Highwood

Email: e.j.highwood@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
A 6.5 day residential field course on the Isle of Arran, run jointly by the University of Reading and the University of Leeds. Students participate in a wide range of atmospheric measurements and exercises.

Aims:
On completion of this module, students will be familiar with measurement techniques used in atmospheric physics, chemistry and meteorology. Measurement techniques will have been practised extensively in the field and the laboratory. A wide variety of remote sensing and in-situ instruments will have been used to gather chemical and physical data. Data collected in the field will have been recorded in notebooks and analysed using a variety of computer-based and other methods. Data will have been interpreted in order to draw conclusions concerning the natural structure of the atmosphere and aerosol and chemical pollution.
(Maximum number of students: 16, including students from MT37H)

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student should be able to:
Produce, present and assess the validity of a local weather forecast using synoptic charts and other data
Devise measurement strategies, and make observations during intensive periods, recording and analyzing these subsequently.
Form hypotheses from knowledge of the general synoptic situation and test these using the data collected. Consider wider context of measurement strategies in weather and climate science.

Additional outcomes:
Students will enhance their problem solving skills, general IT skills, oral presentation skills and team work / leadership skills.

Outline content:
This module involves a 6.5 day residential field course (with a further 1 day travelling). Students will study a selection of atmospheric science topics taken from:
1.Investigation of atmospheric trace gases, with emphasis on profile measurements of carbon monoxide and/or ozone
2.Investigation of atmospheric stability , flow profiles and turbulence in the surface layer
3.Practical weather forecasting using synoptic charts and other data
4.Profiling of the atmosphere using radiosondes, tracking of pilot balloons and surface measurements on a mountain.
5.Investigation of the surface energy balance and radiation characteristics of the local area.

Upon return to Reading, students will complete an extended essay discussing the accuracy of forecasts made in Arran, and how forecasts affected decisions and measurements taken on the field course.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Theory will be presented in a series of short lectures on day 1. The majority of measurements and analyses will take place during the 6.5 day course.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5
Tutorials 3
Practicals classes and workshops 50
Guided independent study 42
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Practical skills assessment 70

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    N/A.

    Requirements for a pass:
    50% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmitted laboratory notebook

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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