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/.

Monday, 5 May 2014

South-west USA Geography Field Trip 2014 #1

 Dr Faith Tucker

At the start of the Easter break 32 intrepid Geography students travelled to SW USA for a two-week field trip. The trip (available to both Single Honours and Joint Honours Geography students) looks at three themes: tourism, geology and landscape development, and resource management.

After a long flight to Las Vegas, we managed a few hours sleep before heading off across the desert to Flagstaff, Arizona. On the way we drove down Route 66 and stopped off at a couple of small towns to learn about how tourism is key to the economy. We visited Sunset Crater National Monument to find out about the geological history of the area.
The Grand Canyon
Day two was a highlight for many – the Grand Canyon. We walked part-way along the South Kaibab Trail and also learned about resource management at the Canyon. The following day was spent travelling across the Navajo Nation, with stops at Monument Valley and Moenave Dinosaur Tracks. These sites provided opportunities to compare the types of resource management seen at Grand Canyon National Park to those on the Navajo Reservation.

A number of days were spent in Moab, Utah. We visited the spectacular Arches National Park and also spent a day interviewing locals about the impacts of adventure tourism on the local economy and environment.

Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park were visited during the second week of the trip. These very contrasting environments provided great opportunities to learn about landscape development, and to put into practice our developing fieldwork and research skills.

Las Vegas was our base for the final part of the trip. Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, but its location in a desert means it faces tremendous challenges in relation to water management. It is also an interesting location to study tourism and the particular ‘brand’ of Las Vegas.

A great – if extremely tiring! – time was had by all.

The group in Las Vegas