GV2FCA-Geography & Environmental Science Field Class 1

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: GV2RTS Research Training for Geography & Environmental Science or GV2LCC Loddon Catchment Consultancy
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Frank Mayle

Email: f.mayle@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Fieldwork is a key component of Environmental Science and Geography degrees. This module explores key concepts of Environmental Science and Geography within a real-world setting and introduces important field research techniques. It is planned that this field class will be based in Almeria, southern Spain. Participants make a contribution towards the financial cost of the field class.

This field class aims to investigate the impact of human activity on a water-limited system in the context of the geology, geomorphology, biogeography and ecology of the area.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module it is expected that a student will be able to:
•collect, organise, analyse and present a range of types of field data
•use a variety of data gathering, recording techniques and instrumentation in the field
•interpret field data it in the context of wider academic literature
•apply research skills to real-world examples
•demonstrate good collaborative team-working skills, including planning work programme and selection of appropriate methods of working.
•evaluate the impact of natural processes on the environment and landscape,
•evaluate the impact of natural processes on human activity in the area.
•evaluate the impacts and importance of human activity on the area
•synthesise information collected in the field and material from the academic literature into a coherently argued report

Additional outcomes:
Fieldwork necessitates teamwork and also requires a high level of ingenuity and tenacity. Students will begin to develop these skills through working in teams directly gathering field data together with the analysis, interpretation and presentation of the results.

Outline content:
It is planned that this field class will be based in Almeria, southern Spain. The location will be chosen in order to help promote curiosity about the relationships between particular localities and the wider world. Typically, it will take the form of visits to key sites/locations, contributions from local experts and interest groups, as well as student-centred work where emphasis is placed upon the assembly of appropriate quantitative and qualitative information and critical assessment of what this reveals.
Small group independent research work will take place throughout the week.
Please note that attendance at all preparation sessions is a pre-requisite for going on the field class. Failure to attend these sessions will result in a mark of zero for the module.
The focus is on group work and student-centred solving of specific research problems. A variety of field research techniques are applied in order to reinforce subject knowledge and develop transferable skills. The highest standards of conduct and responsibility are expected from all participants.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Field class preparation in the form of seminars will take place in the Spring Term. The field class will take place in the Easter Vacation or first week of the Summer Term. The programme will be composed of fieldwork, project work, analysis, lectures and presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 10
Tutorials 2
Fieldwork 70
Guided independent study 35 83
Total hours by term 45.00 155.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 80
Project output other than dissertation 20

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Oral presentations and group discussions.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of all or some of the assignments or the setting and completion of an alternative assignment.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Students will be required to contribute to the costs of travel, accommodation and food on the fieldclass. In 2016 this was less than £350.

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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