Fundamentals of Geology
Health and wellbeing
Look after yourself: 5 nights away from home
Five nights can be a long time to be away from support networks and students are strongly encouraged to think about how they will manage their physical and mental health while on the trip. First aid officers can assist by arranging storage for medical equipment/medicine and arranging transport to medical facilities if needed. Students should be aware that the university's insurance policy does not cover pre-existing conditions.
Field trips typically involve extended periods of work and leisure time spent with other people, resulting in limited time alone or privacy. Students who feel they would benefit from time alone or in quiet locations should discuss the options with the course convener.
If you need to miss part of the trip due to health or other reasons, we can discuss alternative assessment arrangements.
During the trips you will work alongside other students for extended periods of time, including during non-academic time. It is essential that you understand and respect the varying needs of other members of the group during the trip. If this might be an issue for you, please talk to the course convener. We can talk through the issues, suggest strategies to improve the situation and facilitate discussions with other group members.
On a typical day, formal activities will begin around 7am and end at 5pm, with students traveling to 2 or 3 field sites and spending several hours at each. During the evenings, students typically contribute to cooking and washing up, complete homework tasks and attend social events.
There are some options for students to take rest breaks instead of participating in particular activities (students must then submit alternative work later). If you think you may need one of these options, please talk to the convenor at the beginning of semester.
You will need clothes suitable for warm, dry days (average maximum temperature is 20-25°C) and cold nights (-2-5°C minimums) and comfortable and strong shoes, or preferable hiking boots. You should also bring wet weather gear as it could rain. There will be mosquitos, so you should bring your own insect repellent. All clothes taken on the field trip should be casual, cheap or old as fieldwork clothes may get damaged, sun-bleached or filthy. Hats with brims and block-out are essential for sun-protection and students must bring portable water bottles of sufficient volume to last them during several hours in the field. We will supply the drinking water.
Tasks and activities
Interpreting the visual features of the environment
The interpretation of visual features plays a key role in the course activities and assessment, including identifying samples, mapping activities and observing the environment. If you have a severe visual impairment we strongly encourage you to discuss this with the convener prior to enrolling. It may be possible to have these features described to you by another person, however this will need careful planning.
Other visual impairments, including colour blindness, can also impact on students ability to complete assessment tasks. We encourage all students with a visual impairment to talk to the course convenor. We can discuss equipment or technology that may help, explain how to interpret non-colour based features or arrange for certain features to be described to you.
Students will work in small groups to complete field activities. Some of these activities require the group to set up and adjust equipment and manipulate samples. If you think that you may have difficulty doing this, please discuss this with the course convener. We can consider whether there is equipment that may assist you to perform these tasks or whether other people can assist you to complete them.
Students will be listening to content delivered by staff whilst in the field (outside). While collecting field data, students will have to listen, discuss and coordinate with each other as small group. If you think that you may have difficulty doing this, please discuss this with the course convener prior to the trip.
Students typically make field notes and sketches of their observations which they then refer to in their submitted work. Students can take notes in a range of formats (e.g. typing into an electronic device, making a recording of verbal observations). If you require assistance to take notes, please discuss this with the course convener at the beginning of semester.
Students will be required to complete and submit a cross-section and a geological map by the end of the field trip. Time in the evenings will be allocated to these tasks, with demonstrators and academic staff available to help, one-on-one, whenever necessary.
If you may need to rest during the evenings instead of working on homework, please discuss the options with the convenor prior to the trip.