Courses - Faculty of Science


Environmental Physics

Stage I

ENVPHYS 100
15 Points

ENVPHYS 100G
15 Points

Sun, Sand, Surf: Science of Aotearoa

The atmosphere, oceans and land make up the dynamic environment of Aotearoa New Zealand. A range of phenomena with natural beauty can be described elegantly with simple scientific laws. This course establishes the physical principles underlying nature, empowering students to explain everyday environmental phenomena. These principles provide the foundation to unravel the science of Earth, climate and environmental change, and energy systems.

Stage II

ENVPHYS 200
15 Points

Earth Observations and Models

An experiential study of climate and environmental physics. The analysis and modelling of laboratory, field and remote sensing observations to explain the state and behaviour of the atmosphere, oceans and the solid earth. Topics include radiation, cloud and aerosol processes, energy balance, circulations and seismic waves. It develops transferable skills in acquiring measurements, data analytical methods and laboratory techniques.

Prerequisite: 15 points from ENVPHYS 100, PHYSICS 100, 102, 120, 121, 160, EARTHSCI 120 and 15 points from MATHS 108, 110, 120, 130, 199, STATS 101-120

Restriction: GEOPHYS 213

Stage III

ENVPHYS 300
15 Points

Atmosphere, Ocean and Earth Physics

The physics basis for dynamical behaviours of the atmosphere, ocean and solid earth. Topics include the planetary general circulation, development of storms and convection, emergence of climate states, gravity, magnetism and seismology. An emphasis is placed on the fundamental conservation laws and processes that control geophysical systems.

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 201, and ENVPHYS 200 or GEOPHYS 213, and 15 points from ENGSCI 211, MATHS 253, 260

Restriction: GEOPHYS 310, 311

ENVPHYS 301
15 Points

Special Topic

ENVPHYS 370
15 Points

Directed Study

Prerequisite: Departmental approval

ENVPHYS 399
15 Points

Capstone: Environmental Physics

Students will employ core methodologies (experimental, observational, numerical) to investigate some aspect of climate and environmental systems such as key atmospheric, ocean or solid earth geophysical phenomenon. They will relate their findings to contemporary research in the field, considering wider societal aspects and issues. Students will develop their skills in communication, critical thinking, teaching and creative problem solving.

Prerequisite: ENVPHYS 300

Restriction: EARTHSCI 399, GEOG 399, PHYSICS 399

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

ENVPHYS 700
15 Points

Frontiers in Climate Science

An up-to-date assessment of the state of the climate system that highlights changes in climate pertinent to future change. Evaluates climate using the latest scientific discoveries, evaluates information from observations and models of past, present and future climate. Leverages findings from scientific synthesis efforts and emphasises understanding Earth's climate as a basis for evaluating impacts of climate on wider environment and society.

Prerequisite: ENVPHYS 300

ENVPHYS 701
15 Points

Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics

Explores physical processes underlying Earth's climate using observations, modelling and predictions. Spans geophysical fluid dynamics, Earth's energy budget, the meridional and vertical heat imbalances, and processes linked to seasonal and long-term climate variations and changes. Explores quasi-geostrophic and wave theory to describe general circulation, Hadley and midlatitude circulations in the atmosphere, Sverdrup balance and western boundary currents in the ocean.

Prerequisite: ENVPHYS 300 or 30 points from PHYSICS 201-203, 231, 240, 244, 251, 261

Restrictions: GEOPHYS 711

ENVPHYS 702
15 Points

Subsurface Characterisation with Geophysical Methods

Pertains to subsurface characterisation through the inversion of geophysical observations. The course covers a combination of rock physics, seismic methods, ground-penetrating radar, as well as gravity, magnetic and electrical methods.

Prerequisite: 15 points from EARTHSCI 361, ENVPHYS 300, GEOPHYS 310

Restriction: GEOPHYS 761

ENVPHYS 703
15 Points

Special Topic

ENVPHYS 770
15 Points

Directed Study

Prerequisite: Departmental approval

ENVPHYS 780
30 Points

Research Project - Level 9

ENVPHYS 796A
60 Points

ENVPHYS 796B
60 Points

Thesis - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in ENVPHYS 796 A and B

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