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Return to Catalonia

First year students introduced to ‘Geography in the Field’

Return to Catalonia

The annual First Year field class based in Sitges near Barcelona once more occupied the middle, ‘Reading Week’ of the Autumn term for 104 Geography students and a team of staff, linked to a new study module, ‘Geography in the Field’.

Three group projects gave hands-on experience of various approaches to information collection in different branches of geography.

i)    Invertebrate and chemistry data from the River Tordera supported assessment of the effects of human activity through water extraction and industrial and agricultural pollution.

ii)   Around the resort of Sitges, the group examined coastal processes and the effects of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ geoengineering as management strategies.

iii) In Barcelona, projects were carried out on themes of work, identity and movement, applying ethnographic methods, including interviews and observation.

As usual, the trip allowed new UCL students to get to know each other better, as well as staff and postgraduate students. An excellent pub quiz was devised by PhD researcher Cat Gold, and there was also time for a fun evening taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of Barcelona.

Back in London, follow-up workshops, led by Dr Rory Coulter, introduced students to the computer-based creation of study area maps and the analysis of socio-economic data on Barcelona.


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Another day in the field!