Practical Meteorology and Oceanography

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course provides a practical introduction to measuring physical properties of the atmosphere and ocean, such as winds, currents, temperatures, precipitation, density and salinity. The purpose is to become familiar with the current standard instrumentation, error sources, data handling, quality control, interpretation, and with ongoing developments in observation methods and operational observing systems. The students work in small groups, which focus on a specific set of instrumentation or data. All students focus on data acquisition during a common observation period. Data are obtained from deploying instrumentation in the field, during a cruise, or from existing networks or remote-sensing instrumentation, depending on the interest of the students. In a final meeting the student groups present their work to each other and discuss the interrelation of processes in the ocean-atmosphere system, and place the measurements in context.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student
- knows the measurement principles of standard atmospheric instrumentation for pressure, air temperature, humidity, wind and precipitation
- knows the measurement principles of standard oceanographic instrumentation for temperature, salinity and ocean currents
- knows the relevance of choosing a representative measurement location
- knows the main error sources and typical accuracies of atmospheric and oceanographic instrumentation
- knows the development and limitations of present operational observing systems

The student
- can evaluate the representativeness of a weather station site for different atmospheric variables
- can work with the acquisition, processing and interpretation of own measurement data
- can display measurement data correctly and informatively for scientific interpretation
- can synthesize data from various sensors and locations
- can document measurement procedures and results in a jointly written report

General competence
The student
- is able to develop hypotheses and measurement strategies for field work in meteorology and oceanography
- is able to work individually and collaboratively in a group on a self-defined problem
- is able to present and discuss own measurement results in relation to processes in the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, both written and orally

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring, the course will only be taught if enough students enrol.

This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. For application deadline, please see this page for more information:

The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on the Mitt UiB learning platform. It is mandatory to attend the first lecture.

Please notice that it is not possible to follow both courses GEOF232 and GEOF337 in parallel.

Required Previous Knowledge
GEOF105 or equivalent, that is basic background in Meteorology, Oceanography and Dynamics.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
GEOF210 or equivalent
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Teaching and learning methods
Introductory lectures (4 hours per week for 2 weeks)
Planning and group meetings (2 hours per week)
Meteorology fieldwork (setup, maintenance, dismounting) and/or cruise
Visits to companies and government institutions involved in operational observations or instrument development
Independent group work with one group meeting per week
Final mini-conference with individual presentations
Completion of report for evaluation
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • Participation in preparation for field work/cruise
  • Participation in field work/cruise
  • Attendance to group meetings
  • Presentation in mini-conference
  • Contribution to written report feom field work/cruise
  • Compulsory assignments are valid only for the semester they have been approved.

    Forms of Assessment
    Evaluation of writtenfinal report, including oral presentation.
    Grading Scale
    Pass/ fail
    Assessment Semester
    Spring, only in semesters when the course is taugth.
    Reading List
    The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.
    Course Evaluation
    The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.
    Examination Support Material
    Programme Committee
    The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.