Learning and Teaching Philosophy

The only way to learn (and retain) knew things is by being enthusiastic and having an enthusiastic teacher. Also, knowledge and meaning are best constructed from previous experiences. Thus, I try to engage my students by rousing their curiosity based on their own previous knowledge and, hopefully, interest. Connecting the dots between what they have learned in previous courses and are learning in parallel courses is an important part, as it is much simpler to see the relevance of what you are taught if various subjects come together to form one "big picture". I found that one good way of doing this in my teaching subjects is to work with real-time data from websites most of my students already use, or at least know. One simple example is the discussion of the latest (less than twelve hours ago) measurements of the vertical temperature profiles ("soundings") and how this relates to today's weather forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology.

I strive to provide a clear structure for my course: What is expected from the students and when it's due, what they are allowed to do or not, and how they are going to be marked for the course. Even though I will eventually mark the students' exams, student-teacher interaction should be on equal footing. As far as personal interaction is concerned, I am simply Martin, not "Dr. Jucker", nor "Professor Jucker". We are all there for the course, and we are all necessary ingredients for learning something interesting and useful. In fact, it's interesting how much I learn myself both during the course preparation or when trying to answer those tough questions from my students. The best part of the lectures are always the questions. They show learning progress, interest, engagement and desire to know more. That's what learning is all about.

I was fortunate enough to follow a course called "Foundations of University Learning and Teaching" at the University of New South Wales. A one-page (plus references) statement of my learning and teaching philosophy coming out of that course can be accessed here.

CLIM2001 / PHYS2801

I am currently the course convenor and lecturer of Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science, which is taught as an undergraduate class at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and the School of Physics within the Faculty of Science at the University of New South Wales.

The course has a long history of being taught by members of the Climate Change Research Centre and aims to introduce many of atmospheric science, including radiation and radiative transfer, atmospheric chemistry, dynamics, thermodynamics, cloud and microphysics, as well as vertical stability, general circulation, and climate and weather modelling. As such, it is a very comprehensive course, and I believe students following the course will get a solid insight into the workings of our atmosphere and possible areas where they are particularly interested and would like to follow up in more detail during their future studies.

Supervision

Opportunities

I am available for possible student supervision, be it for short-term summer project or research practica, for Masters projects, PhDs or postdocs.

Although I do not have a specific opening at the moment, there are always possibilities if a student is motivated and has a project in mind. If this is you, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Current students

My graduate student, Rishav Goyal, is working with Prof. Matthew England and Assoc. Prof. Alex Sen Gupta and myself on the dynamics in Southern Hemisphere climate, and in particular the interactions between atmospheric dynamics, ocean dynamics and sea ice.

There are students working on practica or summer projects, with research related to tropical convection or large scale atmospheric dynamics.