Environmental Physics

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Environmental Physics

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    One of PHSI 131, PHSI 132, PHSI 191, PHSI 110

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Basic physical processes of the Sun, the atmosphere, the oceans and the Earth. The green-house effect and the role of energy processes. Opportunities for mitigation including new energy technologies.

    The aim of this paper is to understand environmental processes by the application of quantitative methods and basic physical ideas. A key focus is on the atmosphere and global warming. Lectures, practical laboratory sessions, assignments and a research essay have been designed to develop analytical and critical-thinking skills through an examination of the peer-reviewed science about climate change.

    Learning Outcomes
    After completing this paper students will be able to:

    • Use basic physical principles to understand environmental processes with emphasis on the atmosphere and climate change
    • Sketch graphs and diagrams that illustrate fundamental physical phenomena
    • Perform calculations of fundamental physical phenomena
    • Communicate technical information clearly, both in written form and verbally
    • Work cooperatively and productively in a team situation in a laboratory and tutorial setting
    • Develop analytical and critical-thinking skills through an examination of the peer-reviewed science about climate change

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.