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GEOG380 Field Research Studies

FY: Full Year


Introduction

GEOG380 is the capstone paper for the BA, BSc and BAppSc degrees in Geography and Environmental Management. The paper is a group-based research experience that involves students in the conceptualisation of a research question, design of an appropriate methodology, undertaking data collection, data analysis and reporting the results verbally and in writing.

Two different streams of activity exist within the paper: a stream for BA students that involves a residential field school in the South Island and a stream for BSc and BAppSc students that involves the design of a project that will be undertaken independently. The independent nature of the field activities requires group participants to take responsibility for logistics planning. Field work for the BSc and BAppSc students is usually undertaken in a variety of South Island locations appropriate for the research topic and methodology.


Graduate Attributes

Being a capstone paper for out three undergraduate degrees the graduate attributes built by GEOG380 include all eight of the University of Otago graduate attributes There is some variability in the weighting of each of these attributes between the three undergraduate degree programmes in the Department of Geography.

Communication

Ability to communicate information, arguments and analyses effectively, both orally and in writing

Critical thinking

Ability to analyse issues logically, to challenge conventional assumptions, to consider different options and viewpoints, make informed decisions and act with flexibility, adaptability and creativity

Cultural understanding

Knowledge and appreciation of biculturalism within the framework of the Treaty of Waitangi; knowledge and appreciation of multiculturalism; and an ability to apply such knowledge in a culturally appropriate manner.

Ethics

Knowledge of ethics and ethical standards and an ability to apply these with a sense of responsibility within the workplace and community

Environmental literacy

Basic understanding of the principles that govern natural systems, the effects of human activity on these systems, and the cultures and economies that interact with those systems

Information literacy

Ability to apply specific skills in acquiring, organising, analysing, evaluating and presenting information, in particular recognising the increasing prominence of digital-based activity

Research

Ability to conduct research by recognising when information is needed, and locating, retrieving, evaluating and using it effectively

Self-motivation

Capacity for self-directed activity and the ability to work independently

Teamwork

Ability to work effectively as both a team leader and a team member

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GEOG380 (Arts)

Course Coordinator: Dr Doug Hill

GEOG380 Field Research Studies (Arts) is an 18 point paper, designed to deepen your understanding of the practice of geography field research. You will work in a small group supervised by a staff member as you explore a research topic at University and then in the field. This will involve consulting relevant literature, developing appropriate research questions, designing a research plan, gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data, and report writing.

A key period of data collection will occur during the Field School (Location for 2016 to be confirmed). Following the Field School, you will work with your group to process the data before preparing individual research reports. GEOG380 is intended to give you the opportunity to draw together course material and skills from all your University courses. It is also an excellent opportunity to develop research methods and report writing skills.


How will GEOG380 Arts be organised?

The course is taught by a combination of regular meetings, library work, self-directed reading, group work and staff-supervised field school studies. Each staff member is responsible for designing a research problem that is then developed into a focused project by students working in a small group. Groups will be arranged in the first week of Semester 1.

Once you have joined a group, you will operate as a member of this group throughout the research process until you prepare your individual final report. Your group will meet regularly with your assigned staff member through the first semester. Your group will also meet independently when necessary during that time. Group meetings are decided by the group and attendance at such meetings is compulsory. Grades are awarded for group participation, and attendance is a key aspect of participation along with the quality of engagement with the group during meetings.

In the early part of Semester 1, groups will undertake a literature search, locate resources, and plan their fieldwork and then you will go into the field to collect primary data. Groups will then consolidate and analyse their data. Subsequently, in Semester 2, each student will write up an individual report that will form the major piece of assessment for the course.


What is the Field School?

The Field School is held in a different place each year. The location for the 2018 Field School is to be confirmed. You must attend the Field School - as it is a vital part of the course.

The main aim of the Field School is to develop experience in direct field research. Each group will plan its programme of field work. Once in the field, much of the time will be spent collecting primary data through activities such as observation, interviewing, distributing and collecting questionnaire surveys, and making use of local data sources. The Field School will conclude with each group giving oral presentation of their research project and preliminary findings derived from the field work.


Assessment

Your learning in this paper is assessed by way of both group and individual terms. There are several different components to the assessment:

  • Key readings - group led session - Feedback only
  • Key readings - review 15%
  • Literature Review - 15%
  • Fieldwork Plan - Feedback only
  • Research Presentation - 15%
  • Research Report - 50%
  • Group Participation - 5%

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GEOG380 (Science)

Course Coordinator: Dr Daniel Kingston

GEOG380 (Science) is an 18 point paper that will be the culmination of your BSc in Physical Geography or BAppSc in Environmental Management. Alternatively, for those who plan to undertake a postgraduate degree, GEOG380 will be a significant milestone in preparation for your fourth year of study. The course comprises three main elements.

  1. individual study and research
  2. group-based research
  3. a series of lectures designed to prepare you for these research experiences

The course is designed to prepare you for employment and/or for postgraduate study in Geography. Consequently, we require you to achieve professional standards in all aspects of your work; including collaborating effectively with your group, meeting deadlines, gaining permits and permissions, liaising with agencies and landowners, and communicating the results of your research.

Many students find GEOG380 a challenging experience, because of the imperatives to communicate and collaborate. The exercise of these skills, which are essential in most professional situations, may not be developed in most University papers. Invariably, students also find GEOG380 an exceptional learning experience and lots of fun.


Course content and structure

The course requires you to work in small groups, with advice and support from a staff member. In the first few days of the semester you will have the opportunity to select which topic you would prefer to work on. Once you have joined a group, you will operate as a member of this group throughout the research process until you begin preparation of your final report. You will need to commit yourself to regular meetings for the duration of the project.

Each group will need to develop the topic provided by staff by identifying realistic research objectives, questions and hypotheses. You must then develop a research proposal, plan and complete data collection (e.g. fieldwork, experimental design, sampling). We have prepared a short programme of lectures and workshops to help you achieve the course objectives. You are expected to attend all of these teaching sessions. You will not be permitted to undertake fieldwork if you do not participate in the health and safety workshop.


The individual and group components of GEOG380 Science

The GEOG380 Science experience combines both group and individual work elements. You will prepare and present, as an individual, a literature-based assignment; a final report; and a critique of the research experience. These tasks should not involve collaboration.

During the first semester you will cooperate with your group members and contribute to the interpretation and statement of research questions; the development of a research methodology; fieldwork/data collection; laboratory work and initial data analysis. You will also cooperate in the presentation of two seminars to the GEOG380 class: the first will outline your research proposal; the second will present your final results. Your contribution to the group process will be taken into account when calculating your final grade for GEOG380. You will also have the opportunity to assess formally the contribution of your fellow group members.

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Details

Field research methods, analytical techniques and report writing.

GEOG 380 is the capstone paper for the BA, BSc and BAppSc degrees in Geography and Environmental Management. The paper is a group-based research experience that involves students in the conceptualisation of a research question, design of an appropriate methodology, undertaking data collection, data analysis and reporting the results verbally and in writing.

Paper title Field Research Studies
Paper code GEOG380
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Full Year
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,018.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,320.00

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Prerequisite
GEOG 280 or GEOG 290
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Eligibility
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
GEOG 380 Arts:
The objectives of the paper are to
  1. Examine the process of defining a research problem
  2. Recognise the appropriateness of alternative approaches to research
  3. Develop skills in methods of data collection and analysis appropriate to field research
  4. Employ these methods to examine a specific research problem
  5. Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of different field research methods
  6. Demonstrate critical thinking and knowledge of geography as a disciplinary lens for undertaking research
  7. Develop skills in team problem solving and project management
  8. Organise and communicate research findings via oral presentations and conventional research report formats
  9. Practise ethical research and health and safety procedures in a field context
Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to
  1. Appreciate the complexity in identifying an appropriate research problem
  2. Articulate an appropriate research question, bearing in mind resource constraints
  3. Select, implement and evaluate appropriate methods of data collection and analysis
  4. Successfully collaborate with members of a small group
  5. Recognise and attain professional standards in writing a report and verbal presentation
  6. Adopt high ethical standards in undertaking research
  7. Recognise and implement appropriate health and safety procedures
GEOG 380 Sciences:
The paper is designed to prepare you for employment and for postgraduate study in Geography. Consequently, we require you to achieve professional standards in all aspects of your work, including collaborating effectively with your group members, meeting deadlines, gaining permits and permissions, liaising with agencies and landowners, and communicating the results of your research.

Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to
  • Critically analyse literature
  • Articulate testable hypotheses
  • Design an appropriate research strategy
  • Select appropriate data acquisition and analysis techniques
  • Collect and analyse data
  • Effectively communicate research design and findings both orally and in writing
Teaching Arrangements
Two different streams of activity exist within the paper: a stream for BA students that involves a residential field school in the South Island and a stream for BSc and BAppSc students that involves the design of a project that will be undertaken independently.

The independent nature of the field activities requires group participants to take responsibility for logistics planning. Field work in the BSc and BAppSc is usually undertaken in a variety of South Island locations appropriate for the research topic and methodology.
Teaching staff
GEOG 380 Arts Staff:
Lecturers: Professor JA (Tony) Binns,Dr Sophie Bond, Dr Sean Connelly, Dr Christina Ergler, Dr Doug Hill and Professor Etienne Nel

GEOG 380 Sciences Staff:
All science teaching staff in Geography
GEOG 380 Sciences Co-ordinator: Dr Sarah Mager
Contact
geography@otago.ac.nz
Textbooks
GEOG 380 Arts:
A textbook is not required for the paper, but it is highly recommended to look at:
  • Cooper, P. 2015: A student's intro to geographic thought. Theories, Philosophies, Methodologies. London: Sage
  • Hay, I. (ed.), 2016: Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography. Melbourne: Oxford University Press
GEOG 380 Sciences:
The recommended reading for this paper is:
  • Lee, J.A. (2000). The Scientific Endeavor.
Although useful, it is not essential to purchase a copy as the book is available through the Library.
Paper Structure
GEOG 380 Arts:
The paper is taught through a combination of regular meetings and discussion forums, library work, self-directed reading, group work and a staff-supervised field school. Each staff member is responsible for posing a research problem that is then developed into a focused project by students working in a small group. Groups will be arranged in the second week of the first semester.

Once you have joined a group, you will operate as a member of this group throughout the research process until you prepare your individual final report. Your group will meet regularly with your assigned staff member through the first and second semester. There will be time during the discussion forums to meet up with your group supervisor. However, there might be times when you need additional meetings with your supervisors. Your group will also meet independently during the discussion forums or independently through the week. Group meeting times are decided by the group and attendance at and constructive participation in such meetings are compulsory.

In the early part of the first semester, groups will undertake a literature search, locate resources and plan their fieldwork. In May, we will go into the field to collect primary data. Groups will then consolidate and analyse their data. Subsequently, in the second semester, each student will write up an individual report that will form the major piece of assessment for the paper. Please be aware that the discussion forums will continue in the second semester.

GEOG 380 Sciences:
GEOG 380 is an 18-point paper that will be the culmination of your BSc in Physical Geography or BAppSc in Environmental Management. Alternatively, for those who plan to undertake a postgraduate degree, GEOG 380 will be a significant milestone in preparation for your fourth year of study.

The paper requires students to work in small groups to design, conduct and report on a research project in physical geography. With the support of a staff member, each group will need to develop a research proposal, plan and complete field data collection, perform analysis of the data and write a report based on the research that has been undertaken. There is a short programme of workshops to help achieve the course objectives.

The GEOG 380 (Sciences) experience combines both group and individual work elements. The research design, data collection and analysis are done as a group. Groups will also make oral presentations to rest of the class based on their findings. As individuals you will prepare and present a literature-based assignment, a final report and a critique of the research experience.

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Timetable

Full Year

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Seminar

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
S1 Monday 14:00-14:50 29-32
Monday 15:00-16:50 9-15, 17, 19-20, 22
S2 Wednesday 12:00-13:50 14
Wednesday 16:00-16:50 9-13, 33
Wednesday 16:00-17:50 14
Friday 16:00-16:50 9

Field research methods, analytical techniques and report writing.

GEOG 380 is the capstone paper for the BA, BSc and BAppSc degrees in Geography and Environmental Management. The paper is a group-based research experience that involves students in the conceptualisation of a research question, design of an appropriate methodology, undertaking data collection, data analysis and reporting the results verbally and in writing.

Paper title Field Research Studies
Paper code GEOG380
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Full Year
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,038.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,492.80

^ Top of page

Prerequisite
GEOG 280 or GEOG 290
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Eligibility
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.
Contact
geography@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
GEOG 380 Arts Co-ordinator: Dr Doug Hill
GEOG 380 Sciences Co-ordinator: Dr Daniel Kingston
Paper Structure
GEOG 380 Arts:
The paper is taught through a combination of regular meetings and discussion forums, library work, self-directed reading, group work and a staff-supervised field school. Each staff member is responsible for posing a research problem that is then developed into a focused project by students working in a small group. Groups will be arranged in the second week of the first semester.

Once you have joined a group, you will operate as a member of this group throughout the research process until you prepare your individual final report. Your group will meet regularly with your assigned staff member through the first and second semester. There will be time during the discussion forums to meet up with your group supervisor. However, there might be times when you need additional meetings with your supervisors. Your group will also meet independently during the discussion forums or independently through the week. Group meeting times are decided by the group and attendance at and constructive participation in such meetings are compulsory.

In the early part of the first semester, groups will undertake a literature search, locate resources and plan their fieldwork. In May, we will go into the field to collect primary data. Groups will then consolidate and analyse their data. Subsequently, in the second semester, each student will write up an individual report that will form the major piece of assessment for the paper. Please be aware that the discussion forums will continue in the second semester.

GEOG 380 Sciences:
GEOG 380 is an 18-point paper that will be the culmination of your BSc in Physical Geography or BAppSc in Environmental Management. Alternatively, for those who plan to undertake a postgraduate degree, GEOG 380 will be a significant milestone in preparation for your fourth year of study.

The paper requires students to work in small groups to design, conduct and report on a research project in physical geography. With the support of a staff member, each group will need to develop a research proposal, plan and complete field data collection, perform analysis of the data and write a report based on the research that has been undertaken. There is a short programme of workshops to help achieve the course objectives.

The GEOG 380 (Sciences) experience combines both group and individual work elements. The research design, data collection and analysis are done as a group. Groups will also make oral presentations to rest of the class based on their findings. As individuals you will prepare and present a literature-based assignment, a final report and a critique of the research experience.
Teaching Arrangements
Two different streams of activity exist within the paper: a stream for BA students that involves a residential field school in the South Island and a stream for BSc and BAppSc students that involves the design of a project that will be undertaken independently.

The independent nature of the field activities requires group participants to take responsibility for logistics planning. Field work in the BSc and BAppSc is usually undertaken in a variety of South Island locations appropriate for the research topic and methodology.
Textbooks
GEOG 380 Arts:
A textbook is not required for the paper, but it is highly recommended to look at:
  • Cooper, P. 2015: A student's intro to geographic thought. Theories, Philosophies, Methodologies. London: Sage
  • Hay, I. (ed.), 2016: Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography. Melbourne: Oxford University Press
GEOG 380 Sciences:
The recommended reading for this paper is:
  • Lee, J.A. (2000). The Scientific Endeavor.
Although useful, it is not essential to purchase a copy as the book is available through the Library.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
GEOG 380 Arts:
The objectives of the paper are to
  1. Examine the process of defining a research problem
  2. Recognise the appropriateness of alternative approaches to research
  3. Develop skills in methods of data collection and analysis appropriate to field research
  4. Employ these methods to examine a specific research problem
  5. Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of different field research methods
  6. Demonstrate critical thinking and knowledge of geography as a disciplinary lens for undertaking research
  7. Develop skills in team problem solving and project management
  8. Organise and communicate research findings via oral presentations and conventional research report formats
  9. Practise ethical research and health and safety procedures in a field context
Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to
  1. Appreciate the complexity in identifying an appropriate research problem
  2. Articulate an appropriate research question, bearing in mind resource constraints
  3. Select, implement and evaluate appropriate methods of data collection and analysis
  4. Successfully collaborate with members of a small group
  5. Recognise and attain professional standards in writing a report and verbal presentation
  6. Adopt high ethical standards in undertaking research
  7. Recognise and implement appropriate health and safety procedures
GEOG 380 Sciences:
The paper is designed to prepare you for employment and for postgraduate study in Geography. Consequently, we require you to achieve professional standards in all aspects of your work, including collaborating effectively with your group members, meeting deadlines, gaining permits and permissions, liaising with agencies and landowners, and communicating the results of your research.

Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to
  • Critically analyse literature
  • Articulate testable hypotheses
  • Design an appropriate research strategy
  • Select appropriate data acquisition and analysis techniques
  • Collect and analyse data
  • Effectively communicate research design and findings both orally and in writing

^ Top of page

Timetable

Full Year

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Seminar

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
S1 Monday 14:00-14:50 29-31
Monday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-17, 19-20, 22
S2 Wednesday 12:00-13:50 16
Wednesday 16:00-16:50 9-13
Wednesday 16:00-17:50 16
Friday 15:00-15:50 33
Friday 16:00-16:50 9