“This has been the highlight of my time at Carleton so far” – GEOG 3000 Student, November 2012
Each year, undergraduate students in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies have the opportunity to participate in a range of field courses. This year, a group of fifteen students spent the last week of August living in Lanark, Ontario, doing hands-on field research that tackles real-world issues facing the community.
Students were trained in a range of human and physical geography field methods, from surveys and interviews to tree coring, stream gauging, and soil testing. They applied these skills to three different projects: a study of the maple syrup industry in Lanark County, an assessment of how to manage and develop a parcel of County Forest near Smith’s Falls, and an assessment of the feasibility of developing a canoe tourism route along the Mississippi River.
Throughout the semester students built on the field work they conducted in August and worked toward the development of reports and posters discussing their findings. They analyzed their primary data, contextualized their findings within academic and other literatures, and followed up on questions they weren’t able to answer in the field. Some downloaded and made sense of StatsCan demographic data, others looked into historical climate data and stream flow data, and others consulted with experts working in government, the non-profit sector, and industry.
The semester culminated in an open house in November, where stakeholders associated with each of the projects were invited to Carleton to learn about the students’ findings and celebrate their accomplishments. Their reports are now complete and have been circulated to community partners.
Thanks to all the students, faculty, and community partners who made the course such a great success again this year.