EOSC 571 · Seminar in Physical Oceanography and Atmospheric Science

Oral presentations by students of current research of their own or from the literature. Topics chosen in consultation with faculty.


2019 Classes FRIDAYS 9:30-11.


Learning Goals

1) Examine the nature and particularity of research in the Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography.
2) Learn about the ethics of research.
3) Read widely in Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography.
4) Engage in CRITICAL analysis of written work.
5) Learn about and practice methods of presenting and defending ideas to a sympathetic audience.
6) Learn about and practice methods of criticizing work in a dispassionate and non personal way.


Rich Pawlowicz 2019W
Susan Allen 2012W-2018W
Douw Steyn previously

Course Content

Course Description

Course Timetable

Lecture Topics

How we study the atmosphere and ocean: (Climatology and meteorology, the impossibility of doing experiments in Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography, observation networks, remote sensing, numerical modelling)

Ethics of Research: Right and wrong!

Spatio-temporal variability: (Data structures, data handling, 4D fields, visualization, styles of analysis, (Spectral analyses, Wavelet analysis, Empirical Orthogonal Functions)).

Observations: How we know what we know

Scales and phenomena: (Scale definitions (phenomenologic, spectral, mechanistic), Scale (order-of-magnitude) analysis of the atmosphere and ocean, Dimensional Analysis ).

Models and other analytical tools: (Introduction to Models in Science):

Computational models: (GCMs, NWP, mesoscale, turbulence, LES, DNS)

Hardware scale models: (wind tunnels, tank flow models, rotating tanks, Fujita's tornado model, explicit manipulation of the surface)

Analytical models: (linearizations and other games physicists play)

Model Evaluation: (approaches, statistical techniques, models vs data & models vs models)

Prediction, Predictability, Chaos and Fractals: (skill scores, stochastic behaviour, non-linear dynamics)