Course Title: The Atmosphere

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Atmosphere

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities. 

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT. 

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: Coming to campus - COVID protocols for students.

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Samantha Grover

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1982

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 003.02.009

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The air we breathe; understanding the atmosphere. The atmosphere is all around us, all the time. Our lives and the lives of all living things depend on it, yet few of us understand how the atmosphere functions. In this course, you will develop a solid scientific understanding of how the earth’s atmosphere works and its interactions with the earth and oceans. Learning about the atmosphere during the Anthropocene, global warming takes centre stage. Local weather and Indigenous knowledge of seasons, climate extremes and air pollution provide real-world examples of atmospheric science theory that will position you ideally to apply a scientific understanding of the atmosphere to diverse careers.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course also contributes to the following AQF 9 Program Learning Outcomes:

PLO 1.2 Knowledge: Knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to studying the chemical, biological and physical processes occurring in the environment

PLO 2.1 Skills: Cognitive skills which demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge about environmental processes enabling critical reflection on environmental theory and professional practice or scholarship

PLO 2.4 Skills: Communication and technical research skills to enable you to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences

PLO 3.1 Application of knowledge and skills: Apply knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in your role as a professional environmental practitioner and also in your further studies

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

After successfully completing this course you will be able to:

CLO 1 Understand and explain how the atmosphere functions
CLO 2 Recognise local weather patterns and Indigenous seasons in their bioregion
CLO 3 Critically evaluate sources of information about atmospheric processes and phenomena
CLO 4 Work with others to solve problems associated with mitigating and adapting to climate change
CLO 5 Communicate a scientifically-grounded analysis of atmospheric science issues to a range of audiences in a written and oral format

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is an online course combining interactive online workshops and discussion forums, independent study and group activities. As part of this course, you will:

  • regularly access online learning resources via Canvas
  • explore your local bioregion and local sources of scientific and indigenous knowledge about meteorology
  • undertake independent research and private study, working through the course material each week and developing independent learning skills
  • actively participate with your classmates in online workshops, discussion forums and small group activities
  • develop critical academic research skills by exploring library resources to create an Annotated Bibliography on a topic of your choice
  • hone your oral and written science communication skills by completing Authentic Assessment tasks

Overview of Learning Resources

This course is delivered via online learning resources that you will access through Canvas and weekly teacher-guided tutorials via Microsoft Teams. Your learning resources include essential concept videos, and the open-source online textbook “The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science” podcasts and authoritative written materials.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment for this course are:

Assessment Task 1: Local weather and Indigenous Seasons Authentic Assessment
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 5

Assessment Task 2: Atmospheric function weekly quizzes
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3

Assessment Task 3: Annotated Bibliography Authentic Assessment
Weighting 35%
This assessment task supports CLOs 3, 5

Assessment Task 4: Case study Authentic Group Assignment
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, 4, 5