Field Schools | Department of Geography and the Environment

Field Schools

The China Field School

GEOG 4070 or 5075 - China Field School develops skills in field observation, analysis and interpretation for a variety of geographical, geological and environmental problems. Participants experience diverse landscapes and cultures in China. The China Field School will be centered on four sites - Beijing, Kunming, Dali and Lijiang, spending 3-4 days at each site. In Beijing, students will develop a better understanding of the landforms, climate, natural resources and population of China through visits to national research institutes in geography, resource and environment, and geospatial technologies. In Kunming, Dali and Lijiang, students will examine urban planning and study karst topography, neotectonics and active faults, plateau lakes and wetlands, the three parallel rivers and water resources, the Lufend dinosaur valley and changes in glacier size in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

The British Isles Field School (6 hours)

This course is available at the undergraduate or graduate level. For geography majors the course counts as 3 hours of regional science and 3 hours of earth science (Groups A and B, in the geography degree requirements). For non-geography majors this course can count as advanced elective hours. The field school gives students direct experience in applying geographical field techniques in a foreign setting - the UK and Ireland. The field school will be centered on five base sites - Plymouth (England), Cork (Ireland), Galway (Ireland), Bangor (Wales) and Edinburgh (Scotland). At each site, students will conduct human and physical geography exercises, designed to provide training in various field techniques. Each exercise is designed to be completed in one day. Duration of field work will be approximately three weeks and includes a "free day" at each of the five base cities. Students are free to stay on for independent travel in Europe following the field school.

The Ghana Field School

In the Ghana Field School (GEOG 4040), students study how economy impacts health status in Ghana. Structured around on-site visits, readings and in-field instruction, this course focuses on the geography of health services and economic development in Ghana seeking to understand how underdevelopment impacts health services and health care. Challenges of resource exploitation and environmental pollution, the informal economic sector and economic development policies including structural adjustment are examined through visits to rural and urban markets, a gold mine, tourist facilities, and industrial facilities. Visits to indigenous healers, rural clinics, a university teaching hospital and a private clinic help to unravel the link between economy, culture, sanitation and health services. In dealing with economy and health care, our goal is to understand WHO gets WHAT, WHERE and WHY?

The Archaeological Field School

This 6 credit-hour course gives students comprehensive training in site survey, mapping, excavation techniques, laboratory processing, restoration and analysis of archaeological materials through direct participation in an archaeological field project. The department currently does not run its own field school, but students can attend a field school from any accredited institution and transfer the credits. Field schools can be found on the Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Database. To ensure that the credits are transferable, the field school must be meet following criteria: offered by a university or community college, be at least 5 weeks long, and include excavation. We recommend getting the field school pre-approved before applying. Contact Dr. Lisa Nagaoka for more information.

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