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Observing the Ocean from Micro to Macro Scale



Course format On-site
Fecha 2020-11-03 - 2021-01-17
Nivel de entrada Bachelor
Costo 29 750 SEK

The course will provide an understanding of the ocean processes that impact its motion (e.g. circulation and property exchange) and the scales that they occur, that are relevant for 21st century science. The course will attempt to have a overall view of the ocean, in the sense that a number of oceanic domains will be incorporated and taught on. The course will cover the importance of the different scales that processes occur in space and time, such as from micro-scale mixing processes to the larger mesoscale flows. The course will include a field work element, where students are expected to take the knowledge from the course to design a small field experiment using a research ship and scientific equipment/sensors. The students will then use the collected field observations to complete simple tasks in analyzing and interpreting the data.

Grant opportunities

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Learning outcomes

The course consists of two parts: 1. Theory and 2. Practical field experiments.

On successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the different scales of physical processes in the ocean that govern circulation. Perceive relevance of these processes to climate, ecosystems and/or societal impacts
  • Understand the basic physical force balance in large-scale flows
  • Understand the basic small-scale processes that govern vertical exchanges in the upper ocean mixed layer
  • Knowledge of the various available methods for observing ocean processes, and their advantages and disadvantages in particular with regard to the scales on which processes occur

Competence and skills

  • Relate taught theory to real ocean dynamics and applications
  • Independently plan a field experiment with purpose to observe one particular oceanographic process
  • Practical skills using ocean observing tools (ship, instruments, available platforms)
  • Competence in using the various tools for data analysis available (using forms of programming language)
  • Present the results of the field experiment in written and oral form

Judgement and approach

  • Evaluate the scales of different ocean processes, their uncertainty and how important they are to large scale ocean circulation/processes and climate
  • Formulate and solve simple oceanographic process equations using observed data
  • Assess how theoretical and observed ocean processes can be observed in the 21st Century.
  • Critically evaluate scientific articles and contribute to research discussions
  • Evaluate observations results, apply critical thinking to results and explain their limitations


120 credits in the field of Science where at least 60 credits must be in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Physical Oceanography, Meteorology or equivalent knowledge. Alternatively; Bachelor's Degree (180 credits) in Marine Sciences, including 15 credits within Physical Oceanography or equivalent knowledge. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.

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