Atmospheric Processes and Composition

Subject ATOC30008 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated Total Time Commitment - 170 hours


VCE Unit 3/4 Mathematical Methods (which can be established by entry to the BBiomed, BCom or BSc), or equivalent

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

At least one of

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1
Non Allowed Subjects:

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Robyn Schofield


Subject Overview:

This subject presents a comprehensive view of the processes that are responsible for the structure, composition and properties of the atmosphere. It will focus on local and regional scales, covering aerosol and cloud processes such as formation, precipitation and lightning. It will address how these atmospheric processes interact with the climate system - discussing major weather systems, land use, air quality and greenhouse gas fluxes. This subject will involve a weekend field trip to the Creswick campus to observe the atmospheric boundary layer state and chemical composition using state of the art monitoring equipment.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • describe the thermal structure of the atmosphere using the fundamental principles of thermodynamics, surface energy fluxes and cloud microphysics
  • use these principles to explain regional scale meteorological processes such as clouds, precipitation, stability and boundary layer behaviour including air pollution
  • assess the dependence and influence of these processes on external factors such as larger scale weather systems, local land use, coastlines and topography
  • describe and implement observational techniques for measuring the atmospheric state and composition
  • present implications of observed atmospheric conditions and composition as written technical reports
  • Three short practical assignments/problem sets at approximately equal intervals throughout the semester not exceeding 1000 words in total (30%)
  • Field-trip report, 1000 words due week 9 (20%)
  • 2-hour examination (50%)
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Atmospheric Science, An Introductory Survey by J.M.Wallace and P.V.Hobbs (students are not required to purchase this text)

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have developed the following skills:

  • demonstrate a high level of achievement in writing and problem-solving
  • apply outstanding analytical, quantitative and technical skills to problem solving
  • reflect and critique information as life-long learners
  • demonstrate excellent organisational, planning and time management skills
  • apply knowledge, skills and attitude to adapt to scientific, technological and social changes
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Climate and Weather
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.

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