This Easter the second year geographers had the opportunity to choose one of two compulsory field trips. Some of us spent one week on the beautiful island of Tenerife on a study organised by Dr Richard Greyner. It forms part of the “Final Honours School” (the second and third years of Geography at Oxford).
The first day consisted of a tour of the island and national park, including a bus ride into the main caldera on the island which offered a fantastic view of the impressive Mt Teide which, according to local legend, is thought to be home to the devil himself. The volcano last erupted over one hundred years ago and is still monitored today. The stunning landscape of the national park has been host to a number of Hollywood films including “Clash of the Titans”. Another arresting sight on the island was the Sea of Clouds, a localised climate event where a layer of cloud forms during the afternoon on the north slope of the volcano. This is due to a phenomenon known as an inversion layer.
Each student had to undertake two projects over four days. There was a huge range of topics covered on the trip. They ranged from beach morphology, local tourism, geodiversity of the national park and climate systems to name but a few. There was a mix of human, physical and environmental subjects researched offering a range of options for all geographers in their 4,500 word report.
The weather was sunny, warm and perfect for a week of fieldwork. It was great being able to put the practical skills we had learned in lectures and tutorials to use in the field. Whilst the topics for the trip were already chosen for us we had a lot of scope to research what interested us. Whilst it was hard work we did get plenty of time to socialise and it was a perfect opportunity to get to know geographers from other colleges across the year.
Overall this trip was both educational and enjoyable. It was a chance to undertake the practical side of geographical research. As well as Dr Greyner credit needs to be given to Dr Lorraine Wilde, Dr Richard Washington, Gerome and Ian for their guidance and support during the trip