EARTH231-20A (HAM)

Water Resources, Weather and Climate

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science

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Convenor(s)

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: cheryl.ward@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5 or 9 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
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Paper Description

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This paper describes the key physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time from an Aotearoa/New Zealand perspective. Topics covered include atmospheric processes at a range of space and time scales that ultimately affect the availability of water across Aotearoa’s diverse landscapes, including anticipated climate changes this century; a description of Aotearoa’s water resources and key hydrological processes acting on water and affecting its availability; and utilisation and modification of hydrological systems and processes by human activities.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is supported by learning resources accessed via Moodle.

The practicals are designed to promote an understanding of concepts introduced in lectures and to develop an ability to interpret atmospheric and hydrological patterns. The Weather Analysis assignment allows students the opportunity to develop skills in obtaining and interpreting publicly available weather information and combining it with their own observations and measurements made by the university's automatic weather station.

No assessment items are compulsory. However, completion of all practical assignments is essential towards achieving the paper's learning outcomes.


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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Describe the major atmospheric processes, from global-scale to local, that determine Aotearoa/New Zealand weather.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Collect, and report on observations and measurements of weather variables and state, and explain their variation in time.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe the atmospheric portion of the hydrological cycle and how it interacts with the Aotearoa landscape to affect water availability in both time and space.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Explain how climate change, both natural and anthropogenic, has affected and may affect into the future, the availability of water resources in Aotearoa.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe some of the major water resource elements within Aotearoa and the hydrological processes affecting water storage and movement of water between them.
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  • Describe how a range of human activities affect water resources in Aotearoa.
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  • Analyse and report on rainfall and river discharge data in order to characterise differences in hydrological regimes from place-to-place.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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The Weather Analysis assignment is an individual project to be completed during one week of the semester (starting from 25 March) nominated by each student. A report must be presented using the Microsoft Word template document available on Moodle, then submitted via Moodle.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 50% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 50% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Online quiz 1
13 Mar 2020
8:00 PM
2.5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Online quiz 2
3 Apr 2020
8:00 PM
2.5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Lab 1 - Interpreting weather information
20 Mar 2020
1:00 PM
2
  • Other: Assessed in lab upon completion
4. Lab 2 - Atmospheric humidity
3 Apr 2020
5:00 PM
2
  • Other: Hand in lab or FG link ground floor
5. Lab 3 - Adiabatic processes
1 May 2020
5:00 PM
3
  • Other: Hand in lab or FG link ground floor
6. Lab 4 - NZ precipitation patterns
15 May 2020
5:00 PM
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
7. Lab 5 - River discharge regimes
29 May 2020
5:00 PM
6
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
8. Report - Weather analysis
12
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
9. Test
13 May 2020
11:00 AM
15
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
10. Exam
50
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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A study guide will be available on Moodle and should be read in conjunction with lectures.


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Recommended Readings

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More in-depth understanding of topics will be gained by reading suggested sections from the books:

Sturman, A.P. and Tapper, N.J., 2005. The Weather and Climate of Australia and NZ. Second edition. Available in the library.

Jellyman P.G. et al., 2016. Advances in Freshwater Science. Available in the library.

Other reading from selected sources will be provided via Moodle.

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Other Resources

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Copies of lecture PowerPoint slides and pdfs of practical worksheets will be available on Moodle. Worksheets for labs 2 and 3 should be printed by students prior to lab classes.

PDFs of lecture notes will be available on Moodle.

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Online Support

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Online support will be provided via Moodle, which is accessible to all students who are enrolled in the paper.

Panopto recordings of lectures will be available on Moodle.


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Workload

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There will be 23 50-minute lectures, five two-hour practical sessions, one 50-minute test, and 2-3 tutorials. Most students should be able to complete practical worksheets during lab class time. Each student will complete an individual project report that combines published weather information and forecasts with individual observations of local weather and measurements obtained from the university climate station.


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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: EARTH101 or ENVSC101 or ERTH103 or ERTH104 or ENVS101 or GEOG103

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: ERTH245

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