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Welcome to the blog of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Northampton. This will keep you up to date with both student and staff activities.

The Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences includes staff with interests in biological sciences, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental statistics, geography and waste management. We offer a range of degree programmes and have a number of postgraduate research students. For more information about studying with us please visit http://www.northampton.ac.uk/.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Mojave Desert Field Trip

Nick, Felicity and Kate

In November 2013 the University of Northampton provided the opportunity for us to travel to California to study arid environments in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley.  We departed from Gatwick airport on the 2nd, travelling with us were 14 students from the University of Leicester who we would be working with throughout the trip. The majority of our time was spent at the Desert Studies centre in Zzyzx, located in the Mojave National Preserve; however we also spent 2 days studying in Death Valley National Park.

After a hearty American breakfast at the grand hour of 6am, we would depart each day to different locations around the Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley. There we would study the climate and the formation of desert landforms. Within the two weeks we completed 2 assignments in the field, which comprised of a topographic map and a group presentation. These methods of assessment were useful as they enabled us to enhance our time management, presentation and communication skills. Although these 10 days in the field proved to be challenging work, it was worth the effort in the end, as after the two weeks away we had finished the module. This allowed for more time to concentrate on our remaining modules knowing one was already completed. 

Overall the trip was a fantastic experience; we had the chance to learn about a completely different environment whilst seeing these fantastic landscapes at first hand. At the same time, being under the instruction of enthusiastic lecturers, who made the trip informative and exciting.

There was also the chance after the 10 days were over to spend 3 days on in America independently; we chose to spend 2 days in San Francisco and the last in Las Vegas before returning to the UK.

We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who made the trip possible, but a special thank you to Professor Ian Livingstone for organising and making the experience so enjoyable.