Arctic Geophysics (AGF)

Svalbard (78°N) is the northernmost location on Earth that can easily be visited at any time of the year. The students at UNIS have the opportunity to sit ring-side to observe phenomena that are specific to polar regions and study the physical processes that lead up to them. UNIS seeks to introduce students to the entire vertical column, from the deep of the oceans up to the outermost boundary of the atmosphere, as a dynamic system with a large variety of processes going on inside each layer as well as interactions between them.

NOTE: This department offers courses that are also relevant for UNIS students within e.g. geoscience.

Specific fields of study

Oceanography: In Svalbard, you are in an excellent position to study the complicated air-ice-sea interaction processes in nature’s own laboratory.

Meteorology: Study the processes related to very stable boundary layers and the contrast between cold ice/snow surfaces and relatively warm sea that leads to atmospheric phenomena that can only be observed in polar regions.

Cryosphere: A distinct feature of the Arctic is the cryosphere. The high Arctic setting in combination with frequent occurrence of warm spells coming from south makes Svalbard a unique place for studying the dynamics of snow and ice in a changing climate.

The Middle Polar Atmosphere: The middle atmosphere is an interface between the neutral atmosphere (meteorology) and partly ionised layers of the upper atmosphere. It includes unique phenomena from meteor ablation to airglow and atmospheric waves. In the polar regions it plays an important role in chemical and dynamical processes related to atmospheric ozone content.

Upper Polar Atmosphere: Svalbard is at daytime located underneath the polar cusp opening towards the interplanetary space. The polar cusp region is where the solar-terrestrial coupling is most direct and strongest. The two months of darkness mid-winter makes Svalbard one of the most ideal places for ground-based observations of daytime Aurora Borealis.

Recommended Bachelor course combinations

Autumn semester

Spring semester

AGF-210 and AGF-223

AGF-211 and AGF-212

AGF-213 and AGF-214

It is also possible to combine AGF-213 with AGF-210 or AGF-223.

Recommended workload is 30 ECTS per semester.

Bachelor Courses overview

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
AGF-210 AGF-210 The Middle Polar Atmosphere (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–December), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-211 AGF-211 Air–Ice–Sea Interaction I (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–May), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-212 AGF-212 Snow and Ice Processes (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–May), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-213 AGF-213 Polar Meteorology and Climate (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–December), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-214 AGF-214 Polar Ocean Climate (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–November/December), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-216 AGF-216 The Stormy Sun and the Northern Lights (5 ECTS) Spring semester (February– March, evening course), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-223 AGF-223 Remote Sensing and Space Instrumentation (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–December), annually. January 1, 1970

Master Courses overview

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
AGF-301 AGF-301 The Upper Polar Atmosphere (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–May), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-304 AGF-304 Radar Diagnostics of Space Plasma (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–May), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-311 AGF-311 Air-Ice-Sea Interaction II (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (November–December), every second year. Next course: 2020 (cancelled in 2018)
AGF-312 AGF-312 Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere (10 ECTS) Spring semester (March–April), annually. Cancelled in 2019.
AGF-319 AGF-319 Shipping in the Arctic (5 ECTS) Autumn semester (September), annually January 1, 1970
AGF-345 AGF-345 Polar Magnetospheric Substorms (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (November–December), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-350 AGF-350 The Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer and Local Climate Processes (10 ECTS) Spring semester (February–March), every second year. Next course: 2020
AGF-352 AGF-352 Chemical Oceanography in the Arctic (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April–June), every second year. Next course: Spring 2019 January 1, 1970
AGF-353 AGF-353 Sustainable Arctic Energy Exploration and Development (5 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), every second year. Next course: 2019 January 1, 1970

PhD Courses

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
AGF-801 AGF-801 The Upper Polar Atmosphere (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–May), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-804 AGF-804 Radar Diagnostics of Space Plasma (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–May), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-811 AGF-811 Air-Ice-Sea Interaction II (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (November–December), every second year. Next course: 2020 (cancelled in 2018)
AGF-819 AGF-819 Shipping in the Arctic (5 ECTS) Autumn semester (September), annually January 1, 1970
AGF-845 AGF-845 Polar Magnetospheric Substorms (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (November–December), annually. January 1, 1970
AGF-850 AGF-850 The Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer and Local Climate Processes (10 ECTS) Spring semester (February–March), every second year. Next course: 2020
AGF-852 AGF-852 Chemical Oceanography in the Arctic (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April–June), every second year. Next course: Spring 2019 January 1, 1970
AGF-853 AGF-853 Sustainable Arctic Energy Exploration and Development (5 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), every second year. Next course: 2019 January 1, 1970

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