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Module

GEO2052 : Physical Geography Field course 2: Iceland

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Cutler
  • Lecturer: Dr Neil Ross, Professor Andrew Russell
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

1. To give the student advanced first-hand experience of active geomorphological and palaeonvironmental processes within an unfamiliar dynamic environment.

2. To build on experience of GEO1020 (Introduction to Physical Geography) and GEO2137 (Key Methods in Physical Geography) by developing advanced skills in research design, observation, recording and interpretation of geomorphological processes and environmental change, and to further extend and enhance understanding of land-forming processes and landform evaluation.

3. To provide a broader context for process-based, palaeoenvironmental and applied physical geography modules available in the wider physical geography curriculum.

4. To allow the student to develop, more fully, the links between literature-based knowledge and field-based research. This will help to develop a realistic and critical perspective on the practicalities and limitations of field research within a challenging environment.

Original Summary:
The module will consist of a field visit to the South of Iceland. Preparatory lectures will introduce the background and physical geography of the chosen area and outline the structure of the field visit. Some field days will be staff-led introducing aspects of current active geomorphological processes. Other days will be devoted to group project activity, designed and enacted by small student groups. Group presentations will be delivered either on the field trip, or soon after in Newcastle. Data collected on the field trip will form the basis of individual project write-ups. A final debriefing session back in Newcastle will outline the project write-up procedures.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Staff-led field days introduce, develop and illustrate the environmental history of South Iceland and the key geomorphological concepts relevant to the field course.
2. Fieldwork provides opportunities for student-led design and planning of physical geography research as teams of 4-5 students, and to collect data.
3. Training in fieldwork techniques and assistance in project design will be available from staff.
4. Coursework provides an opportunity to (i) synthesise, interpret and critically evaluate a wide range of literature and primary and secondary data concerning geomorphological processes and environmental change in the study area and (ii) demonstrate the capacity to communicate concisely and effectively in writing and through graphical presentations, and to report scientific research in an appropriate manner.
5. Field presentations provide an opportunity, within the context of group exercises, to present the initial results of fieldwork, the physical geography context of the projects and to reflect on the development and execution of small scale research projects conducted in unfamiliar surroundings.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Early semester 2 lecture to introduce the fieldtrip
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00pre- and post-fieldtrip GIS practical classes for desk study and post-acquisition data analysis
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00On-fieldtrip (or post-fieldtrip) presentations by students
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork156:0056:00Fieldtrip (may include UK-Iceland travel)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00drop-in sessions to support data analysis and report write-up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1133:00133:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures and staff-led field days introduce, develop and illustrate the environmental history of the study area and the key physical geography concepts relevant to the field course.
2. Fieldwork provides opportunities for student-led design and planning of physical geography research as teams of 4-5 students, and to collect data. Training in fieldwork techniques and assistance in project design will be available from staff.

Timetabling is wholly appropriate for this type of learning experience.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2A80Individual field report - 3000 words
Oral Examination2M20Group seminar presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1. Coursework provides an opportunity to (i) synthesise, interpret and critically evaluate a wide range of literature and primary and secondary data concerning geomorphological processes and environmental change in the study area and (ii) demonstrate the capacity to communicate concisely and effectively in writing and through graphical presentations, and to report scientific research in an appropriate manner.

2. Field presentations provide an opportunity, within the context of the group exercises, to present the initial results of fieldwork, the geomorphological context of the projects and to reflect on the development and executuion of small scale research projects conducted in unfamiliar surroundings.

Reading Lists

Timetable