As promised, here is the follow up post to my previous post about the second-year geography Almeria field trip I recently went on! Day 4 and 5 of the field trip were based on project work, to be ultimately assessed coursework in the form of a group poster- here’s a bit more about what we did.
In groups of 4 or 5, we designed a research question on the night of Day 3, to start collecting our data on Day 4. Since we could choose to research anything to do with what we had seen/learnt on the field trip so far, it seemed at first that it would be easy to think of a research question. However… it soon became apparent that this was no easy task!
We knew that we wanted to test the relationship between biodiversity and an environmental variable and proposed an initial question relating to biodiversity changes along a catchment. However, after feedback from the lecturers, we had to take into consideration a range of factors such as other environmental variables that may be the true cause of any change in biodiversity, the feasibility of our methods and the contribution of our question to science. We decided our question was too vague and we needed to focus our question more specifically. Since it was deemed to difficult to combine biogeography with catchment system processes, we focused out question on biogeography – the change in species richness over 3 different types of bedrock soils we had already seen on the field trip: calcrete soils, gypsum soils and schist soils. Although perfecting our research project design was a gruelling process, it really opened up my eyes to the things I will need to think about when planning my dissertation!
Over the next two days we went out on our own and collected our data, visiting 3 different sites. It was a lot of fun managing ourselves and using our own iniative to complete the data collection.
Site 1: Calcrete Soils
Site 2: Gypsum Soils
Site 3: Schist Soils
The final day of the field trip was ‘going home’ day. We checked out of the hotel at midday and enjoyed our final few hours in Mojacer, on the beach and visiting local souvenir shops and cafes.
Overall I’d say the field trip was a great experience, a week of intense learning as opposed to a free holiday, but still very interesting and a lot of fun! If you have any questions please feel free to ask away in the comments 🙂