|The Con Sci Field Trip to Portugal|
At the start of March Applied Geography, Applied Biology, and Environment and Coastal Management students went on a week long field trip to Portugal, as Chris Moody reports…
It was a long and tiring week for most of us, starting on day one with a meet up at the coach stop at 4:15 AM! Thankfully we arrived on schedule in Portugal by midday, with the afternoon free to explore Albufeira and it’s myriad bars and pubs.
The weather was generally excellent; sunny enough to wear t-shirt and shorts and get a tan, but with a small breeze that made it comfortable to wear a jumper and trousers too! The food was excellent too, with a few opportunities to sample local dishes whilst out and about. Portuguese liqueur is also worth trying!
For ECM each day was split up into separate tasks. These ranged from visiting places such as a fish market to observe the range of species caught, and a fisheries research centre, to performing research into species diversity in the sediments of a salt marsh, or on a rocky shore. The final day was allocated for projects, which small groups had to decide upon during the week.
Each day was very tiring, with breakfast at 7:45, and the coach leaving at 8:30 each morning. We’d arrive back at the hotel at around 5:30-6pm, with enough time to grab a shower and chill out for a short while, before a debrief at 7, followed by dinner at 8.
The students all thoroughly enjoyed the next part, with the bars of Albufeira catering for all tastes, at good prices, and big measures! Thankfully though, everyone was also at the bus stop each morning following a night out on the town.
The trip was better than I could have imagined. A lot of experience was gained from being able to actually do some field work, and see the techniques used in the conservation industry. The talks from various local authorities were also interesting. Seeing how birds are weighed in the bird ringing process was just hilarious!
Everyone I’ve spoken to has great memories from the trip, it was an opportunity to learn not just about field work, but about our course mates, and colleagues on other courses! I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again!