GV2FCN-Geography & Environmental Science Field Class 3

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 and Environmental Science or GV2LCC Loddon Catchment Consultancy
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Nick Branch

Email: n.p.branch@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
Field investigations are a fundamental part of human and physical geography. The field class is designed to introduce students to an integrated approach to field research drawing upon a range of methods and equipment for data gathering. It is planned that this field class will be based in Naples, Italy. Students will gain experience of analysing and presenting data and a number of themes will be explored including volcanism and geohazards, historical development of the landscape and economy, viticulture, coastal processes and pollution, and tourism.

The field class is designed to introduce students to the techniques and equipment required by human and physical geographers in the field.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•Collect, organise and analyse a range of types of field data.
•Describe and explain the fundamentals of geology and landscape evolution.
•Select and apply appropriate methods in the study of coastal geomorphology and water pollution, and evaluate the findings in the context of local tourism.
•Outline the key features of the volcanic history of the study area, and evaluate the findings with respect to the Naples evacuation plan.
•Apply appropriate techniques in the study of ecology and biodiversity.
•Select and apply appropriate methods in the study of Naples wine industry with particular emphasis on climate, soil quality and the economy.
•Evaluate the historical and archaeological data for the region with respect to geohazards and the impact upon human populations.
•Competently use maps and other navigation aids in the field.
•Recognise and demonstrate the importance of keeping a field notebook.
•Synthesise findings into a field 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. 

Outline content:

The field class will comprise fieldwork with students divided into small, supervised groups. An overview of the geology and the main geomorphological features of the Naples area will be completed on a familiarisation day. Each subsequent day will be composed of data collection on a specific theme, including volcanism and geohazards, historical development of the landscape and economy, viticulture, coastal processes and pollution, and tourism. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module comprises 6 days of work in the field. Students are required to complete field notebooks, and each evening there will be a short briefing to review the day’s work, and to introduce the following day’s programme. Prior to departure, the students will attend preparatory sessions, and will be asked to undertake research and write a screencast. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 3
Fieldwork 72
Guided independent study 35 90
Total hours by term 38.00 162.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Report 50
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment 1: Screencast (20%); students are permitted to select one topic to research from a choice of three.

Assessment 2: Fieldwork notebook (30%).

Assessment 3: Fieldwork report (50%); a report based upon one theme from the field class (1500 words excluding tables, figures and references).  

Formative assessment methods:

Daily and evening class discussions. 

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment 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) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: : 

    2) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Students will be required to contribute to the costs of travel and accommodation on the field class. In 2018 this was £300.

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


    Things to do now