Undergraduate Course: Research Skills in Physical Geography (GEGR08012)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course provides students with the opportunity to learn a range of field, analytical and other research skills relevant to geomorphology, hydrology and water quality and biogeography. This field and practical-based course will allow students to formulate research questions and hypotheses and then test them with observations and appropriate data analysis. Students will also learn how to plan a small group research project and work in small groups in the field, or with secondary data (including field or remote sensed data). These groups will work together to analyse data and present their results to their peers. A series of practical classes will further develop their analytical and visualisation skills and also be used to create a group ArcGIS Story Map (to a lay audience). Students will also write an individual detailed research paper on their findings. Use will also be made of high quality secondary data sources to provide data where field work is not possible or appropriate.
***This course is only available to, and is compulsory for, Geography BSc***
The overall aim of this course is to build on the first year Physical Geography and Fundamental Methods in Geography courses, further develop knowledge from these courses and introduce BSc students to new skills needed to undertake field-based research. This course is based in Edinburgh (as last year), and will introduce the students to a wide range of field techniques, which will enable you to tackle relevant and topical geomorphological, fluvial and biogeographical related research questions. A number of local field excursions are planned, which will be complimented with virtual field visits and the use of secondary datasets, where necessary. A number of complementary surveying, GIS, remote sensing and statistical techniques will also be introduced. Introductory local field visits are planned to local Edinburgh sites to cover geomorphological mapping, fluvial hydrology and biogeography. These will followed by practical sessions (either in person or online), which will further develop skills in statistics, GIS, remote sensing and visualisation of data. This course complements the Global Change and Geomorphology courses and will result in a high level of methodological awareness, which will be built upon by Environmental Geography in Semester 2.The overall aim of this course is to build on the first year Physical Geography and Fundamental Methods in Geography courses, and introduce further develop knowledge from these courses and introduce the BSc students to a range ofnew skills needed to undertake field-based research. The core of this course is a week-long residential fieldtrip to Snowdonia, where students will be introduced to a range of field techniques to enable then to study geomorphological, fluvial and biogeographical issues. The first two days of the fieldtrip will consist of learning new field techniques, and reacquainting themselves with those covered briefly in the previous year's Fundamental Methods weekend fieldtrip. These will cover geomorphological mapping of mainly erosional glacial landforms and ice stream sediments, learning how to gauge a river and establish its water quality, as well as forestry and moorland biogeographical sampling techniques. This course is based in Edinburgh (this year), but still intends to introduce the students to a wide range of field techniques, which will enable them to research relevant and topical geomorphological, fluvial and biogeographical issues. A number of local field excursions are planned, which will be complimented with virtual field visits and the use of secondary datasets, where necessary. A number of complementary surveying, GIS, remote sensing and statistical techniques will also be introduced. After a day planning their projects and carrying out class based work, the students will undertake a two research project, before presenting their results at an end of trip conferenceIntroductory local field visits are planned to local Edinburgh sites to cover geomorphological mapping, fluvial hydrology and biogeography. On returning to Edinburgh, students will undertake four weeksThese will followed by of practical sessions (either in person or online), which will include further development of their skills in statistics, GIS, remote sensing and visualisation of data. This course will complements the Global Change and Geomorphology courses and will result in a high level of methodological awareness, which will be built upon by Environmental Geography in Semester 2.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
Group ArcGIS StoryMap (30%)
Individual 2500 word research project report (70%)
Group ArcGIS StoryMap: Week 9
Individual Research Report: early December
BOTH components must be passed with 40%.
||1) During the residential field trip there will be cContinuous formative feedback will be given in the field and in any virtual field exercises the lab to individuals, and to groups as they develop their projects by staff and demonstrators. Formative Ffeedback will also be given provided on during the group presentations.
2) Students will receive formative feedback during the post-fieldtrip practical sessions and throughout the progress of their project..
3) Summative feedback will be given with the through the markinged group StoryMaps and on individual project reports.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Developed skills by problem-solving, field and/or primary and secondary data collection, analysis and interpretation.
- Gained an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of any field and analytical techniques employed.
- Developed communication and interactive skills through group work.
- Further developed a range of statistical, mapping and visualisation skills.
- Developed skills in documenting research by the completion of a notebook and writing a research report.
|Students will also be guided to appropriate academic papers guided by their choice of research project.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||1) Gaining an awareness of all steps of project design
2) Experience in GIS and its application to project planning
3) Ability to work independently (practical work, undertaking independent background research)
4) Ability to work as part of a team
5) Presentation skills
6) Critical thinking
|Keywords||Fieldwork,Methodologies,Statistics,GIS and Remote Sensing
|Course organiser||Dr Anthony Newton
Tel: (0131 6)50 2546
|Course secretary||Miss Beatrice Iba
Tel: (0131 6)51 4517