Geospatial Science 490

GEOS 490

Catalog Entry

GEOS 490. Field Research Methods. (T)
Three hours lecture and field work (3).

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.

Basic elements of geographic field research performed in Radford area. Course focuses on tools in field analysis. Students prepare single or group projects as indication of acquisition of logic of spatial analysis.

Required for the General, Technical, and Planning concentrations.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

This course provides an introduction to the concepts and methodologies of geographic field research. The course will be developed in a series of steps:

1. Introduction to aspects of empirical observation, sampling, and recording. This section includes methods of title research, interviewing, field mapping and field surveying techniques.
2. Introduction to the field area (a pre-selected geographic site) and its unique characteristics of location and development. 3. Formulation of field problems by students under supervision of instructor.
4. Actual implementation of field research methodologies to sample field area, compilation of comprehensive reports on the field area, and presentation of research results to the class as a whole.


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

The course emphasizes the development of field research methods used by geographers. Lectures and examples by the instructor as well as by guest lecturers will introduce students to the empirical observation, surveying, field mapping, title research, sampling, and recording. The class will then move to the sample field area under the supervision of the instructor to formulate the field problems and to apply the field research methodologies to the sample field area. The generation of written reports, charts, maps and graphs will be completed on campus in the final format for presentation to the class.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The goals of the course are:

1. students of geography will learn the nature of the field research methodologies used by geographers
2. students will acquire experience in designing and carrying out a field research project on a selected sample field area
3. students will develop and use methodologies for problem solving by applying theoretical knowledge to real world problems.


Assessment Measures

Assessment of the student's success in the course is based on the grades of one final examination (essay type), participation in discussions and the formulation of field problems, the consistent participation in the implementation of field research methodologies, and the final report and its presentation.


Other Course Information




September 2005 Reviewed Bernd H. Kuennecke

February, 2010