AGF-352 Chemical Oceanography in the Arctic (10 ECTS)






October 15, 2022


April 19, 2023


June 08, 2023


Spring semester (April–June), annually.

AGF-352/852 students being lifted from the ship on to the sea ice during the course cruise. Photo: Agneta Fransson/UNIS.

Grade:Letter grade (A through F)
Course Cost:Fieldwork, NOK 1000–1400 (5–7 days x NOK 200 per day)
Course Capacity Min/Max:10/20 students (AGF-352/852 in total)
Language of instruction:English
Examination support material:Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue

Course requirements

Enrollment in a master programme in chemical oceanography or a relevant master programme where knowledge of chemical oceanography would be beneficial for the student. Preference will be given to students working on a master thesis in chemical oceanography.

Academic content

The course describes the distribution of chemical constituents in the Arctic and the processes that control their variability. Main focus will be on the cycling of inorganic carbon, methane, oxygen, and nutrients. The role of sea ice in influencing fluxes of climate relevant gases and the effect of ice freezing and melting on chemical constituents in the ice and in the water column below is an essential part of the course.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, the students will:


  • be able to recognise the major marine chemical processes and their coupling with physical and biological processes in an Arctic environment
  • have the ability to explain chemical processes in sea ice and the role sea ice may play in gas exchange
  • demonstrate excellent knowledge of the marine carbon cycle in the Arctic Ocean


  • know how to handle scientific instruments and apply field techniques used in chemical oceanography
  • be able to collect, analyse and interpret marine chemical data and to produce a scientific report.

General competences

  • be able to present, discuss, and defend scientific results.

Learning activities

The course extends over 7 weeks including compulsory safety training and is run in combination with AGF-852.

Lab- and field work experiments are an integrated part of the course and methodology, experimental design, lab, and chemical safety issues will be covered. During field work the students will learn how to sample and use different scientific equipment, both on board a research vessel and on sea ice.

Each student will carry out an independent research project based on scientific data collected in the field or in the lab. This will give the students practical experience in analysing chemical data, how to interpret the findings and discuss them based on the theory presented during lecture hours. The results must be presented orally to an audience and in a written scientific report.


  • Total lecture hours: 30 hours.
  • Total seminar hours: 15 hours.
  • Fieldwork: 5–7 days.

Compulsory learning activities

All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

  • Fieldwork
  • Field report
  • Presentation of report


Percentage of final grade
Oral exam100 %

Student life

ice sampling
AGF-352/852 students taking ice samples on the sea ice during the course cruise. Photo: Agneta Fransson/UNIS.
water filtration on ship
Water filtration on the ship. AGF-352/852 course cruise. Photo: Christiane Uhling/UNIS.