• Class Number 4072
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kial Stewart
    • Callum Shakespeare
    • Dr Nicola Maher
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
    • Jemma Jeffree
SELT Survey Results

Understanding the weather and climate - and how it is now changing - is of vital importance to the Australian industry and society. The goal of this course is to provide students with a quantitative understanding of the ocean and atmosphere processes that underpin weather and climate. The course content begins with the fundamentals of fluid flow and how air/ocean flows are modelled (e.g., weather and climate prediction) using equations solved by computers; and as part of the course, students will learn to run and analyse their own climate system model. We will then investigate key dynamical processes in the ocean and atmosphere including planetary waves, weather fronts, convection, ocean boundary currents, swell, and ocean eddies, with student learning supported by hands-on fluid dynamics experiments in the world-class Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the Research School of Earth Sciences. In the final part of the course, we will develop quantitative understanding of the coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics that regulate Australian weather and rainfall, including the El Nino Southern Oscillation, Southern Annular Mode, Tropical Cyclones and the Monsoon.

Key components of the course will be informed using insights from ongoing research within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Climate Extremes (CLEx) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Weather of the 21st Century (W21C).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Articulate the fundamental dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere with the aid of mathematical models
  2. Evaluate and mathematically model the coupled climate dynamics that underpin Australian weather
  3. Construct, analyse and critique numerical climate system models
  4. Collect and interrogate climate data to evaluate hypotheses
  5. Effectively communicate scientific results and uncertainty

Research-Led Teaching

Teaching in this course builds on research in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes and the ARC Centre of Excellence for 21st Century Weather.

Field Trips

There will be an optional field trip to the South Coast of NSW (between Bateman's Bay and Moruya) on Saturday March 23.

Additional Course Costs

The optional field trip will cost approximately $30.

Examination Material or equipment

In-person examination during the end of semester exam period. Allowed materials: non-programmable scientific calculator, stationary.

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction (Nicola/Kial) No assessment
2 The Fluid Dynamics of Climate (Kial) Problem set 1
3 The Rotating Fluid Dynamics of Climate (Kial) Problem set 2, Fluids Lab 1 (not assessed)
4 Ekman and Vorticity (Kial) Problem set 3, Fluids Lab 2, Field trip to South Coast
5 Waves and weather (Kial) Problem set 4, Fluids Lab 3
6 Ocean weather (Kial) Fluids Lab 4
7 The air-sea interface (Callum) Problem set 5, Computer Lab quiz 1
8 Convection (Callum) Problem set 6
9 Modelling the climate (Nicola) Problem set 7, Computer Lab quiz 2
10 Overturning circulation of the atmosphere and ocean (Nicola) Problem set 8, Computer Lab quiz 3
11 Coupled climate dynamics and Australian weather (Jemma) Problem set 9, Computer Lab quiz 4
12 Coupled climate dynamics and Australian weather, continued (Nicola) No assessment

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Weekly problem sets 15 % * * 1,2
Fluids laboratory - Field trip reports 25 % * * 1,4,5
Scientific report 25 % 24/05/2024 31/05/2024 2,3,4,5
Final exam 35 % * * 1,2,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are required to complete 4 Wattle quizzes based on the computer labs to demonstrate their completion of the labs. Completion is required, but unlimited attempts are allowed and a grade is not recorded.


The final exam will be held during the end-of-semester exam period

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Weekly problem sets

The weekly problem sets are used as learning exercises to reinforce key concepts from lectures and teach the students to solve mathematical problems. Solutions will be released one week after submission; late submission is not allowed beyond this time.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Fluids laboratory - Field trip reports

Fluids laboratories and the field trip are hands-on learning exercises where the students will run experiments to demonstrate key climate dynamics. Students will collect and analyse data, and produce 3 laboratory reports over the semester.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Scientific report

In the computational laboratories, the students will learn how to access and analyse climate data. They will use these skills to investigate a particular aspect of climate dynamics (of their choice) using available climate data, and write a scientific report on their investigation. This activity will occur throughout the semester, with a research plan due in week 9, and the final report due at the end of the semester.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

Final exam

Final exam

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Kial Stewart

Research Interests

Dr Kial Stewart

By Appointment
Callum Shakespeare

Research Interests

Callum Shakespeare

Dr Nicola Maher

Research Interests

Dr Nicola Maher

Jemma Jeffree

Research Interests

Jemma Jeffree


Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions