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Field work in a time of political upheaval

First year students in Catalonia

Field work in a time of political upheaval

Early November saw almost 100 first year UCL Geography students visiting Sitges, near Barcelona, to gain the first fieldwork experience of their degree courses.

The course was based around four group projects to illustrate the challenges of collecting field data in both physical and human geography. These examined:

  • Human impacts associated with water abstraction and industrial and agricultural inputs on the River Tordera, by collecting of invertebrate and chemistry data.
  • The effects of hard and soft geoengineering as management strategies on coastal processes around the resort of Sitges.

There were also two projects in Barcelona:

  • Observing the regeneration and rebranding stimulated by the Olympics, held 25 years ago, in the Port, Poblenou and Glories districts.
  • A new and highly topical project, on Catalonian nationalism, based on a guided walk around the city, experiencing people’s different perspectives on space and identity.

As usual, the course gave first year students the opportunity to get to know each other and the staff, including through an excellent pub quiz prepared by postgraduate student Lucy Roberts,

There was also first-hand experience of current events in Catalonia, including the effects of mass demonstrations, with activities in Barcelona curtailed by road closures.

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Image

The group in Sitges


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