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This module is discontinued in the selected year. The information shown below is for the academic year that the module was last running in, prior to the year selected.

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3291 Atmospheric Science Field Skills

10 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: Dr Jim McQuaid

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

SOEE5690MResearch Frontiers and Environmental Fieldwork

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students will be familiar with measurement techniques used in meteorology, atmospheric physics, and chemistry. Measurement techniques will have been practiced extensively in the field and in the laboratory. A wide variety of in situ and remote sensing techniques will have been used to gather physical and chemical 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 both chemically and physically.

Skills outcomes
The module places considerable emphasis on:
- analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research;
- planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, including the use of secondary data;
- collecting, recording and analysing data using appropriate techniques in the field and laboratory;
- undertaking field and laboratory investigations in a responsible and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, rights of access, relevant health and safety regulations, and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders;
- appreciating issues of sample selection, accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collecting, recording and analysis of data in the field and laboratory;
- preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages.

The module places moderate emphasis on:
- collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses;
- communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical form;
- using the Internet critically as a source of information and access point for online atmospheric models;
- identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles;
- Managing a series of tasks as a team and working within a prescribed timeframe;
- recognising and respecting the views and opinions of other team members.

The module places some emphasis on:
- recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles;
- recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct;
- receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual numerical, verbal, graphical);
- solving numerical problems using computer and non-computer based techniques;
- developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.


This module involves a 6 day residential fieldcourse (with a further 2 days travelling). Students will study a selection of atmospheric science topics taken from :

1. Practical weather forecasting using synoptic charts and other data.
2. Investigation of atmospheric stability, flow profiles, energy profiles, energy balance and turbulence in the surface layer.
3. Profiling of the atmosphere using radiosondes, tracking of pilot balloons and surface measurements on a mountain.
4. Reviewing the vertical structure of the atmosphere across the UK using routine radiosonde launches and back trajectory analysis.

Interpretation and inter-connection of the above activities will be achieved through collection of synoptic meteorological data from the internet and associated meteorological forecasting activities.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours44.00
Total Contact hours56.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

44 hours of self-directed study, background reading and revision.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

From working with tutor in the field.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
FieldworkField notebooks submitted at the end of the fieldcourse67.00
FieldworkPerformance in the field and lab33.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/09/2020 17:33:47


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