AG-325 Glaciology (10 ECTS)

AG-325/825 students on fieldwork to Tunabreen in February 2017. Photo: Thorben Dunse/UNIS

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ID:
AG-325
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
6 February 2017
END DATE:
13 March 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (February–March), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS overlap with AG-825. 5 ECTS overlap with AG-347/847
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Benn and Evans (2010): "Glaciers and Glaciation, Part 1" (256 pages). Selected journal articles (ca. 300 pages).
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
10/20 students (AG-325/825 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 October 2016

INSTRUCTORS:

Thorben Dunse
Thorben Dunse
Adjunct Associate Professor, Glaciology

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a master programme. Background in glaciology, physical geography and/or geology. Preference will be given to students working on a Masters thesis in glaciology.

Academic content:

The course provides a systematic survey of modern research into glacial processes, and the response of glaciers and ice sheets to climate change. Lectures will cover recent changes to arctic glaciers, the principles of mass balance measurement and modelling, glacier hydrology, glacier motion and dynamics, surges, calving and remote sensing. Students will also have the opportunity to present summaries of their own research projects. Discussions will concentrate on how key questions for glaciological research are isolated, and how these are typically tackled.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:
Have a broad-based understanding of glaciological processes, illustrated with examples from Svalbard and other glaciated regions. Have insight in different approaches to investigating glaciological systems via field observations, models and remote sensing. Have a fundamental understanding of the response of glaciers to climate change, and begin to appreciate how to predict future directions in glacier mass balance and dynamics.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will:
Master (to a certain extent) key skills needed in modern glaciology, including field data collection and analysis, numerical modelling, image processing and interpretation. Have the ability to write and present a scientific report.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:
Hold fundamental competence in critical thinking and evaluation of the published literature. Have a good awareness of how glaciological knowledge is created, drawing from other natural science disciplines and based on strong theoretical, methodological and observation principles.

Learning activities:

The course extends over 4,5 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AG-825.

The course will have a theoretical part with lectures and seminars, and a practical part with computer-based exercises, excursions and fieldwork. The practical part will allow students to see and study glacial phenomena discussed in the lectures, and will introduce them to glaciological field methods. There will be field excursions to englacial caves (meltwater conduits), calving glaciers and surging glaciers, and the students will be introduced to on-going research projects. The fieldwork and excursions may be subject to changes, depending upon the weather conditions.

Total lecture hours: 30 hours.
Exercise hours: 20 hours.
Fieldwork or field excursions: 4 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Exercises, fieldwork and field excursions.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Written exam  4 hours 100%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.

Application deadline: 15 October 2016

AG-325/825 students on fieldwork to Tunabreen in February 2017. Photo: Sebastian Sikora/UNIS

AG-325/825 students on fieldwork to Tunabreen in February 2017. Photo: Sebastian Sikora/UNIS.

AG-325/825 students on fieldwork to Tunabreen in February 2017. Photo: Thorben Dunse/UNIS

AG-325/825 students on fieldwork to Tunabreen in February 2017. Photo: Thorben Dunse/UNIS.

CONTACT INFO

The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

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