Course Outline: ENSC 312-3 Biometeorology
Instructor: Peter L. Jackson
Office: 8-434
Phone: 250.960.5985
Office hours: R 11:30-12:20 in 8-434
Lecture: R 12:30-14:20 in room 5-122
Lab: T 11:30-14:20 in room 8-129


To introduce the principles of weather and climate at the micro-, local-, and meso- scales. To learn of the processes associated with the transfer of heat, mass and momentum and the resulting climates near the earth's surface. To become familiar with plotting and analysis of meteorological data using computers. To learn to program and connect a variety of meteorological instruments to data loggers and set up an electronic weather station. To be introduced to the essentials of air pollution meteorology and dispersion modelling.

If you, because of a disability, may have a need for special academic accommodations, please come and discuss this with us, or contact Disability Services Centre located in room 1048 in the Teaching and Learning Centre. Students are responsible for informing themselves of the risks associated with field and laboratory studies. By participating in such studies they shall be deemed to have accepted personal responsibility for all such risks, to have agreed to abide by the safety rules and procedures established by the instructors, and to have waived the liability of UNBC and its instructors in respect of such activities.


Oke, T. R., 1987: Boundary Layer Climates, 2nd ed., Methuen, London. [REQUIRED]

Garratt, J. R., 1992: The Atmospheric Boundary Layer, Cambridge University Press. [optional]

Stull, R. B., 1988: An Introduction to Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Kluwer Academic Press. [optional]

Resources related to ENSC 312 can also be found in the course homepage located at


There will be a mid-term exam, a final exam, and eight marked labs. The mid-term exam is scheduled for the second class the week of October 8 during the lecture period. The final exam will occur sometime during the December exam period, so no travel or employment plans should be made during this time. The lab marks will not all be weighted equally - the weighting is indicated next to the lab name in the topic list. Lab assignments handed in late will have marks deducted at a rate of 20% per day, except for medical or other extraordinary circumstances. In any case, the instructor must be notified of late assignments prior to the due date. Missed exams cannot be made up except on documented grounds and notification prior to exam date. Plagiarism and other forms of cheating will not be tolerated and will be strictly dealt with according to university policy (see the ``Academic Offenses'' section of the UNBC Calendar).

Laboratory Assignments 45%
Mid term Exam 20%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%


Week Date Topic Reading
1 Sep 3 Introduction: atmospheric scales, layers: soil, laminar boundary layer (LBL), roughness layer (RL), turbulent surface layer (TSL), planetary boundary layer (PBL), Oke Ch 1
2 Sep 10 Meteorological Conventions, Energy and mass exchanges: 1st law of thermodynamics, forms of energy, modes of energy exchange, conduction of heat in soil, temperature flux - gradient relationships, thermal properties of materials (conductivity, diffusivity, thermal admittance, heat capacity, specific heat).
LAB 1: Internet data sources / Use of `R' (/5)
Oke 33-39, 42-48, 357-361
3 Sep 17 Conduction in the laminar boundary layer, Radiation and radiation laws, albedo of surface, radiation balance, surface energy balance.
LAB 2: Soil temperature profiles (/6)
Oke 8-28, 40-42
4 Sep 24 Convection: mass and momentum exchanges in RL, TSL, eddy diffusion,stability effects, momentum flux ($ \tau$) and wind, mixing length theory, Reynolds decomposition, friction velocity, logarithmic wind profile.
LAB 3: Introduction to data loggers (/4)
Oke 54-59, 375-378

5 Oct 1 Logarithmic wind profile, roughness length, eddy correlation, profile methods, aerodynamic approach, Bowen ratio method, stability corrections.
LAB 4: Thermocouples, response time (/6)
Oke 379-380 64-69 380-384
6 Oct 8 Ohm's Law analogy, water balance models for evapotranspiration, Penman-Monteith. MID TERM EXAM Oct 11
LAB 5: Wind profile and turbulent transport (/5)
Oke 70-76 384-388
7 Oct 15 Air pollution in the Boundary Layer: emissions, stability and wind effects on dispersion.
LAB 6: Field Measurement of Wind and Temperature (/5)
Oke Ch 9
8 Oct 22 Pollutant plume types, Gaussian plume model.
LAB 6 - cont'd (deploy wx stations)
Oke Ch 8
9 Oct 29 Prince George air quality. Climates of simple non-vegetated surfaces: soil, desert
LAB 7: Modelling of atmospheric dispersion (/6)
Oke Ch 3
10 Nov 5 Climates of snow, ice, water. Climates of vegetated surfaces: energy, radiation, mass balances of leaves, crops and forests.
LAB 6 - concludes and LAB 8 starts
Oke Ch 4
11 Nov 12 Climates of non-uniform terrain: advective effects, oasis, clothesline, thermal circulations, sea breezes, mountain / valley circulations, topographic flows.
LAB 8: Analysis and QA/QC of field measurements (/8)
Oke Ch 5
12 Nov 19 Inadvertent climate modification: winds, urban effects, energy balances Oke Ch 6
13 Nov 26 Urban heat Island. Animal Bioenergetics. Catch-up. Review.  

Copyright © 2018 by Peter Jackson & Stephen Dery