Gaining hands on research experience as an undergraduate

Undergraduate Geography BSc(Hons) student Chloe Carter tells us about the research experience she gained on a trip to the United States.

I went through clearing and chose Geography BSc(Hons) because I’ve always been interested in the physical landscape around me. Brighton is perfectly situated to learn about different landscapes being close to the sea and the Downs.

The trips to Greece and Sicily are great but also the amount of opportunities you experience, like being involved in up and coming research.

I was talking to one of the lecturers, Dr Annie Ockelford, about her research as it interests me. She spoke of her research on large wood in the USA and how she likes to take students so they get to experience the world of research. She then invited me along with her to help out with the research. We went to the Nooksack River, WA, USA.

My role was to help collect the data, I was responsible for setting up the ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler – measuring equipment) and running it from the comfort of the dry bank, this included telling those using the equipment where the best measurements were being taken and the quality of the data being collected. I also used the equipment to take the measurements.

For me the benefit is that I have experienced what it is like to be a researcher and the trials and tribulations of research. It has informed my dissertation and given context to topics covered in lectures.

I would recommend studying geography because of the wide variety of topics covered from rivers to sexuality, wetlands to racism.

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