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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Land-Atmosphere Interactions (ECSC10014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryAn honours level course in which we seek to address the following questions: (a) What are the important biophysical processes that determine land-atmosphere exchange and how might they influence the wider questions concerning 'Global Change'. (b) How has the present atmosphere evolved through geologic time and what has been the role of the biosphere in this process? (c) How do the atmospheric water, energy and trace gas cycles interact with the land surface?
Course description Importance of the land surface in global change: Introduction to SVAT models
The Global Carbon Balance; SVAT modelling with SimSphere
Remote sensing of Land-Atmosphere Exchange Processes
Visit to Research Aircraft; Introduction to Intermittent Assessment
SVAT model applications
Trace gas exchange between soils and the atmosphere. I - Theory
Trace gas exchange between soils and the atmosphere. II - Measurements
Case Study: Arctic Processes
Large scale experiments in land-atmosphere exchange.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Soil, Water and Atmospheric Processes (ECSC08003)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10, Fieldwork Hours 3, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 49 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One written essay (50%) and one written exam (50%).

Exam in December diet, will cover theory and practical aspects of the course. One assessed practical exercise, will comprise the coursework for this course. Please note that there are no assessed attendance requirements on this course.

Feedback Class discussion and feedback on a written piece of summative assessment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain a critical appreciation of land-atmosphere interactions at a range of scales from cell to biome
  2. Discover how changes made to Earth's surface can have an effect on the atmosphere and vice versa.
  3. Use a range of planetary-boundary layer models in practical sessions to simulate land-atmosphere exchange processes and will be expected to offer professional level insights into the results of these models.
  4. Produce a research report which will involve analysing a complex problem: testing the sensitivity of a soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer model.
  5. Identify the relevant outcomes of this and make judgements where data is limited or comes from a range of sources.
Reading List
Before starting the course, you should re-read the relevant chapters on energy balance and surface properties in
OKE, T.R. (1990). Boundary-layer Climates. Routledge, London.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 three-hour lecture per week
KeywordsECSC10014 LAI
Course organiserProf John Moncrieff
Tel: (0131 6)50 5402
Course secretaryMiss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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