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    An introduction to research methods in Physical Geography and Environmental Science.

    Field Research Methods provides students majoring in a BSc - Geography or BSc Environmental Management, the opportunity to learn and practise skills for collecting, analysing and interpreting geographic data. GEOG201 will provide examples of how the specific knowledge, skills, techniques and values are relevant to the geographic discipline. This content will then be supported by your laboratory session, where you will work through a real case study and apply the critical and interpretative skills necessary to interpret geographical data sets.

    An introduction to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a core component of this paper and hands-on experience using GIS software to solve geographic problems features in the second half of the paper.

    A week long residential field school is the highlight of Field Research Methods. All students travel to a South Island location to work on a series of projects offering hands-on experience in designing sampling regimes, collecting field data, using field instruments and techniques and working as a team with fellow class members and departmental staff. The skills, values and knowledge from GEOG201 will contribute significantly to your portfolio of graduate skills and knowledge that you will use in your chosen career.

    About this paper

    Paper title Field Research Methods
    Subject Geography
    EFTS 0.1500
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    GEOG 101 and GEOG 102
    GEOG 290
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science
    Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.
    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Dr Daniel Kingston
    Teaching Fellow: Ben Varkalis

    Paper Structure

    GEOG201 is a team-taught course that is comprised of a weekly lecture, laboratory based exercises and field-based exercises.

    Assessment is 100% internally assessed.

    Teaching Arrangements

    One lecture and one 2-hour practical per week.

    Five-day residential field camp in April.


    Highly Recommended text:
    Rogerson, P.A. (2020) Statistical Methods for Geography - A Student's Guide. 5th Edition. Sage Publications, London.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    By the end of the paper you should:
    • Understand the broad framework of the scientific method and designing sampling regimes
    • Articulate testable hypotheses and apply appropriate analytical techniques
    • Develop proficiency in data interpretation from statistical analysis
    • Develop skills working in a team toward collecting field-based data
    • Competence with a range of field-based geographical techniques and instruments


    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system

    Computer Lab

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Tuesday 11:00-12:50 10-13, 15, 18-22
    A2 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 10-13, 15, 18-22
    A3 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 10-13, 15, 18-22
    A4 Thursday 14:00-15:50 10-13, 15, 18-22
    AND one stream from
    B1 Tuesday 11:00-12:50 29-35, 37-39
    B2 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 29-35, 37-39
    B3 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 29-35, 37-39
    B4 Thursday 14:00-15:50 29-35, 37-39


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 08:00-20:50 16
    Tuesday 08:00-20:50 16
    Wednesday 08:00-20:50 16
    Thursday 08:00-20:50 16
    Friday 08:00-20:50 16


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 13:00-13:50 9-13, 15, 18-22
    L1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 9, 15
    M1 Monday 13:00-13:50 29-35, 37-39
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