Field Course in Meteorology

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The course aims to provide practical and quantitative understanding of small scale processes relevant for the atmospheric boundary layer using experimental methods, with focus on the local scale and the related basic modern meteorological instrumentation, measurement methods,quality control and data management and archiving.



The course consists of lectures on selected topics and a series of different practical tasks. The students will be trained via practical exercises in all skills required for planning and realization of experimental field work, including sensor calibration and handling and storage of data. In the theory part the effects of surface characteristics and vegetation on the energy and momentum transfer into the boundary layer are discussed. Particular focus will be on the characteristics of ground heat flux and evaporation processes. Various methods for the determination of the turbulent fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum are introduced and will be later applied by the students on a data set gained from a field campaign as part of the course.

In the practical part the students will learn about calibration of different meteorological instruments, quality control of experimental data, data formats and data management and the practical issues related to the planning, preparation and realization of a field experiment. They will be trained in the set-up and operation of a state-of-the-art automatic weather station and an energy balance station based on the eddy-covariance technique, conduct a short field campaign, measuring different meteorological parameters in the boundary layer. During that part of the course, the students are responsible for documenting the activities, producing a quality controlled dataset with metadata for archiving, analyzing the results and writing a final report.

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

  • has a good understanding of the processes and parameters determining the surface energy balance on the local scale and their importance as forcing for the atmospheric boundary layer
  • has an overview over state-of-the-art measurement methods and instrumentation used in atmospheric boundary layer research and for surface energy balance studies
  • can differentiate between the topics instrument calibration, quality control, metadata, data management and data archiving of experimental measurement data


The student

  • can apply different methods for the calculation of boundary layer fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum
  • can apply the relevant concepts related to evaporation and heat transport in the soil¬†
  • can define, plan, carry out, and document experimental field work in meteorology
  • can produce a quality-controlled dataset ready for archiving in a database, including handkling and storage of measured data
  • can perform laboratory calibrations of meteorological instrumentations
  • can evaluate instrument accuracy of field measurements from calibration results

General competence

The student

  • is able to assess the importance of local scale processes for meteorology and climate
  • is able to assess the quality and uncertainty of datasets based in information about instrument calibration, quality control, procedures, data description, data management and archiving of measured data

- is able to assess the importance of field measurements in modern boundary layer meteorology and understands the need of appropriate calibration and data quality control, handling and storage of measured data

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring. The course only runs if enough students enrol.
Required Previous Knowledge
Turbulence in ocean and atmosphere (GEOF311/GEOF310), Physical meteorology and climatology 8GEOF212), Practical meteorology and oceanograohy (GEOF232).
Recommended Previous Knowledge
GEOF220 in addition to GEOF311 or GEOF310, GEOF232 or equivalent courses.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a master's programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Teaching and learning methods

Lectures on selected topics, covering the components of the surface energy balance, in particular ground heat flux and evaporation, data management, data formats, measurements techniques, and instrument calibration.

Planning of a field campaign, including a data management plan and strategy for data analysis.

Implementation of a field campaign, documentation, dataset creation, data analysis, discussions of the results and writing of a joint report.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Activate participation in lectures, laboratory calibration tasks, field experiment, data handling and approved exercises. (Only valid for the semester with teaching).
Forms of Assessment
Passed report, dataset, and presentation of main results.
Grading Scale
Pass/ fail
Assessment Semester
Examination only in semesters when the course is taught.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and December 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.
Geophysical Institute