MT12CNU-Skills for Environmental Science

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Keith Morrison


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces instruments and techniques used to measure meteorological parameters, basic skills in observation, data collection, analyses and management, as well as developing skills in computer programming useful in environmental science.

The Module lead at NUIST is Yanwei Li (


• To introduce the instruments and techniques used to measure meteorological parameters, and to appreciate their limitations;

• To observe meteorological parameters in the observing field.

• To develop skills in computer programming useful in environmental science, for data processing and analysis.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge of meteorological instruments and their application;

  • Ability to undertake basic experiments in a physical laboratory, including an appreciation of experimental errors;

  • Ability to communicate experimental results in a concise, accurate and comprehensible manner;

  • Ability to understand basic computer programming principles;

  • Ability to construct a simple computer program to perform logical and numerical operati ons;

  • Ability to perform simple science data processing tasks using a computer program and spreadsheet tools.

Additional outcomes:

The student will develop enhanced team-working and basic experimental skills.

Outline content:

  • First half: Generic characteristics of instruments for environmental measurement, as determined by response, sensitivity, lag, sampling and error analysis. The design, operation and calibration of instruments used to measure temperature, humidity, wind, pressure, broadband solar and   terrestrial radiation, rainfall and upper air properties;

  • Second half: Basic understanding of programming for environmental data analysis including: code readability and co mmenting, variables mathematical and logical operators, conditional branching, conditional loops, functions, reading data from files, plotting, module structure.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The instrumentation and laboratory components are taught in term 2 and involve 56 lectures (32 on instrumentation and 24 on computing), together with 40 practical classes (covering 16 on instrumentation and 24 on computing) 50-minute lectures plus approximately 15 hours of laboratory work. The IT component is taught in the first   four weeks in term 3 and involves practical classes with a strong self-learning element supported by notes and demonstrations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 56
Practicals classes and workshops 40
Guided independent study: 104
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 66
Set exercise 34

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Formative assessment methods:

One report for the laboratory component.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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:
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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

August/September examination only.

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: 15 April 2020


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