The Department of Geography has for many years been actively involved in promoting Geography by delivering research-oriented lectures to A/S and A2 level candidates. This has been mutually beneficial and now the Department has expanded its involvement by offering to schools and sixth-form colleges a selection of specially prepared lectures through its ‘G2U’ programme.
If you have any queries regarding our G2U activities please e-mail Alastair Pearson, our schools liaison contact.
Hampshire Geography Teachers Climatology and GIS Field Day 2010
Rake Bottom, Butser Hill, Hampshire.
Nick Pepin, Alastair Pearson, Brian Baily, Martin Schaefer and Paul Carter ran a one-day climatology field day at Butser Hill in the South Downs for Hampshire A/S and A2-level teachers. The 20 teachers from all parts of Hampshire enjoyed one of the hottest days of the year during a day designed to introduce teachers to the various methods of measuring climatic data and position fixing using the latest technology. The site at Rake Bottom, just to the north of Butser Hill, offered opportunity to measure and subsequently map variations in wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation, ground and air temperature, and relative humidity. Measurements were taken by the teachers using the latest meteorological instrumentation and their positions measured by a mixture of electronic theodolites and global positioning systems (GPS). A digital elevation model of the field area was also surveyed.
A mobile field lab was set up in an annexe at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park Centre where laptops and a data projector were made available for teachers to input their data and then admire the results of their labours (see images below).
The day was very well received as it provided everyone with first-hand experience in calibrating, recording, inputting and analysing climate data. It was very well received in spite of the tremendous heat experienced by all, particularly as we climbed out of the coombe. Feedback from the day included the following comments:
“A big thank you to you and your team for the marvellous day you gave us on Friday. It is so enjoyable (even slogging up steep hill on hottest day of year!) to get back to hands on practical learning.”
“Thank you for last Friday, great fun, please thank your team. I always enjoy the time we have had with you and I hope it will happen again.”
“You made it a very pleasant and productive day.”
“We could not have had more glorious weather for this climatology day!”
“The whole day was very worthwhile.”
Hampshire Geography Teachers Field Day 2009
Excursion to the South Downs 8th June 2009
Alastair Pearson, Mark Riley, Paul Farres, John Chapman and Julia Brown ran a one-day field excursion to the South Downs for Hampshire A/S and A2-level teachers.
The 20 teachers from all parts of Hampshire enjoyed fair weather during a day that included visits to Harting Down, South Harting, Iping Common, Rogate and the tithe barn at Ditcham.
Paul Farres provided an introduction to the geology and soils of the area before moving on to demonstrate that severe soil erosion is an ever-present possibility given the nature of local soils, modern farming methods and changing climate. John Chapman outlined the development of agriculture from prehistory to the ‘agricultural revolution’ followed by Mark Riley who summarised the profound changes that have taken place in rural life during the twentieth century and the growing pressures on twenty-first century farmers. Alastair Pearson presented the results of digitizing the nineteenth century tithe map data of Harting Parish into a GIS whilst within the cavernous tithe barn at Ditcham.
The group were fortunate to have Bruce Middleton from the West Sussex AONB along to describe the complex management issues facing the conservationists at Iping Common. He also summarised the latest news in the establishment of the South Down National Park. Time was taken to have lunch and admire the peace and quiet of this precious remnant of heathland. As a result of the day, several teachers may be using Iping common for the threatened biodiversity angle of the Edexcel specification and the issue of the National park. Rural sustainability is in nearly all A-level specifications and understanding the rural landscape is key to putting this across to students. Feedback from the day is probably best summarised by the following comments from those involved:
“I want to thank you for all the work you and your colleagues put into yesterday's trip to
South Harting and environs. I thoroughly enjoyed the range of topics covered. It is
inspiring to have new fieldwork ideas to develop for our A Level teaching. Please pass on my thanks to everyone involved.”
“We had a lovely day – and what a way to end it in that marvellous tithe barn - with an unexpected and welcome cup of tea!!!”