About - Centre for Atmospheric Research - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Centre for Atmospheric Research


  • To co-ordinate University of Canterbury departmental research and seminars concerned with atmospheric science
  • To enhance teaching in atmospheric processes at the University of Canterbury
  • To promote and undertake high quality atmospheric research
  • To develop and continue to foster national and international collaborative links, including the exchange of data and expertise
  • To increase public awareness and education about atmospheric processes

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The atmosphere is a major component of the New Zealand environment. It has a significant impact on human activity, as well as other sections of the physical environment. The benefits of improved knowledge of atmospheric processes are significant for a country like New Zealand. For example, improvements in weather prediction and climate forecasting have profound impacts on primary (e.g. agriculture and forestry) and secondary (e.g. aviation and tourism) industries, as well as public safety. There are many ways in which this knowledge can be applied to local problem solving, including the improvement of air quality, and reduction of the impacts of such hazards as floods, frost, drought, snow storms and high wind (which causes soil erosion and damage to buildings and structures). It also has significance for understanding global and regional environmental issues, such as global warming and the enhanced greenhouse effect, the ‘ozone hole’ and long range pollution transport (e.g. products of biomass burning and volcanic eruptions).

The University of Canterbury has numerous staff and students involved in atmospheric research, spread across several departments.  These include Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering and Physics and Astronomy. The Centre for Atmospheric Research allows recognition of the established skill base and brings this expertise together more formally for the overall benefit of the individuals, the University and the wider community. While the individuals involved remain located in their own departments, the Centre provides a co-ordination point.  The Centre is not only for the benefit of staff and students involved on site, but also for visitors and people wanting information about atmospheric research at the Univesity of Canterbury.

Please feel free to contact the Centre's director for any information you require about current or future plans or to offer suggestions.