A group of first year Geography students travelled to Conwy, Wales for a four-day field trip. This was the first chance the students had to show the practical skills they have been learning about, so all were eager.
The students looked at a number of different aspects of the field, ecology, soil sampling and environmental hazards and disasters, with the practical competencies designed to help the students to prepare for the further years of their study. Dr Hannah Neate, a lecturer in human geography at UCLan said: “It is important that the groundwork needed for the student’s dissertation is built up in the first year; ideas, techniques, different methods need to be acquired and identified early on.”
As well as building educational skills, the Conwy trip has enabled the students to build a closer bond with each other and the teaching staff. “Being here in Conwy has helped me to build a better relationship with staff and getting to know them has actually helped me do my work a lot easier and help me progress with my fieldwork,” said Geography student Yu-Joe.
These feelings are also reciprocated by the staff, as Jo Dawson, senior lecturer in physical geography, added: “Students benefit greatly from doing fieldwork and going on field trips, they get to spend a lot of time with each other and they get to know staff better and they get to know their student cohorts really well too. They have group activities so they learn to get along. They also get plenty of time to socialise, so they do benefit significantly from field trips.”
Geography student Robert Webster concluded: “I feel that the trip is very educational for us all, especially as we are out in the field doing the things that we are normally learning about in the classroom. I always enjoy activities such as soil sampling, and I have got to grips with the equipment that you have to use. It’s all well and good having classroom knowledge but being able to take that into the real world, that’s what matters.’’
To see photos from the field trip take a look at our flickr gallery.