Fieldwork – Internal Assessment

IB Geography Fieldwork: Introduction and outline

You are required to produce a local, small scale study within which primary data collection must take place. Skills will include planning, collection of data (primary and secondary), presentation, interpretation and evaluation.

The planned fieldwork investigation should, where possible, be located as follows. It should be:

  • on a local scale, but one that allows for sufficient information to be collected
  • an area of a size that can be covered by all students in the time allocated
  • safely accessible at the times when data collection will be undertaken
  • open to the public and be an area where research is permitted.

Our fieldwork will take place in the Urban Environments unit.
Specific preparation for the fieldwork: 2 / 3 weeks class and homework in order to:

  • Read around the topic and research relevant information about the location.
  • Set Aims and Hypotheses.
  • Decide what data is to be collected.
  • Decide how that data is to be collected (including sampling techniques to be used).
  • To make sure that any equipment to be used is available.
  • To devise data recording tables.
  • To consider the types of presentations to be produced, eg photographs, annotated sketches and maps, profiles, scattergraphs, etc so that these can be planned for on the fieldtrip.
  • To collect any secondary data, such as climate figures, geology details, relief maps, etc that might be relevant.
  • Start the write up of the Aims, Hypotheses and Methods sections.

The detailed criteria and specifications are to be found on pages 60-72 of the IB Geography guide:

The DP Geography Guide from the IB (2011)

Here are some suggestions from the IB for suitable research areas within the Urban Environments unit:

  • Is there a pattern to perceived levels of personal safety in town X? (bipolar surveys/observation/litter counts/interviews/questionnaires)
  • Does environmental quality and urban stress increase or decrease with increasing distance from the centre of town X? (transect/bipolar surveys/observation/noise assessment/building, pedestrian and traffic density/interviews/questionnaires)
  • How does the urban heat island in town X change over a 24-hour period? (thermal transect/measurements of building density and anthropogenic heat sources)

This site from the Royal Geographic Society on Urban Fieldwork is helpful. As is this one from The Field Studies Council on Urban Geographical Enquiry.

Here is student checklist for the fieldwork: checklist04_en

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