Geography Fieldwork

We have a variety of field trips and residential courses which provide hands-on experience in Geography.

Geography degrees at Lancaster allow you to gain practical experience of a range of environments through an extensive programme of optional field courses.

Local field courses exploit Lancaster’s ideal location close to two national parks, the Fylde Coast and Manchester and Liverpool. International field courses allow you to visit vibrant cities such as New York, investigate challenging rural environments like northern and southern Spain and Croatia, explore the physical landscape in Iceland, or study development issues in the tropical forests of the Amazon.

Contested Spaces of New York

In this course, you study the links between cultural, economic, political and social processes and the ways they influence urban landscapes and life in New York City. Students get to experience many of New York’s cosmopolitan districts and through independent projects consider the processes that make New York such a contested yet popular city.

Geomorphology of Northern Spain

Here, you visit the Cantabrian Cordillera that is a westerly extension of the Pyrenean Mountains. The course considers the evolution of landforms in the region over the past two million years. Examples of study topics include:

  • reconstruction of past climates and their significance for geomorphology
  • caves and ice age art
  • early human impact on the environment

Water and Environmental Management in a Mediterranean Context

This field course tackles the challenges of managing the environment and especially water resources in the Istrian Peninsula at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. Here, the environment is strongly governed by its position as a transitional zone between humid temperate and desert climates, making it particularly sensitive to global climate changes.

Problem Solving in Physical Geography – Mediterranean Field course

This course visits an area of steep environmental gradients, ranging from semi-arid conditions along the Mediterranean coast up to the tundra of the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, in Spain. Working in groups, you gain practical experience in designing, implementing and critically evaluating research projects that investigate diverse problems such as:

  • sediment transport in highly dynamic river systems
  • the effects of agricultural terrace abandonment on biodiversity
  • spatial and temporal variations in microclimates within vegetation canopies
  • controls on landslide activity
  • altitudinal variations in soils and vegetation
  • the relationships between process and form on alluvial fans

Glacier/Landscape Interactions: Iceland

This week-long course takes place in a dynamic and exciting field environment, southern Iceland. Here, glaciers interact with the volcanic environments and processes of this mid-ocean ridge island. The course promotes your knowledge of the physical sciences and provides firsthand experience of observing glaciers and glacier-landscape interactions in the field.

The Brazilian Amazon

The Amazon is a fascinating place to explore the conservation and development challenges facing tropical forests. You will be based in the Jari region in the north-eastern Brazilian Amazon, and will visit many places of interest. These include beautiful Amazonian forests and their wildlife, as well as rural communities and large-scale sustainable logging operations.

  • This is a unique opportunity for you to work with Amazon experts from LEC and understand the challenges of pursuing biodiversity conservation whilst also reducing poverty.
  • You will learn how to monitor biodiversity and forest carbon stocks and assess rural livelihoods, including farming and Brazil nut collection.
  • Read the trip report at Exploring the Amazon