There is no rest for the Y12 geographers! Having just returned from study leave and their Geog 1 and Geog 2 exams- our two Y12 classes were straight back out to carry out more fieldwork.
The students spent the day up at the sand dunes at Bluepoint in the north of the island, making observations and collecting data about plant succession and sand dune formation. This forms part of their Y13 Ecosystems topic, but also is the fieldwork and skills upon which their Geog 4a exam will be based in the summer of 2014. Students measured linear transects from the sea inland, looking for embryo, fore, yellow and grey dunes, and evidence of heath and other plagioclimax/ climatic climax species. They had to record data such as gradients, infiltration rates, ground cover %, types of plants, pH of the soil and wind speed. The site is interesting to study due to the use of the grey dunes as agricultural land (now clay pigeon shooting) and the raised beach (from isostatic readjustment) so there are various factors that create and modify the typical psammosere succesion. As usual we were accompanied by Star and the new addition of Frankie the Pug who provided much amusement by being a little bit too short to see over the marram grass (Xerophytic, salt tolerant and a pioneer plant species for sand dunes). The weather was perfect, so we managed an icecream stop-off on the way back to school. Students will be in the lab this week to analyse the soil samples taken for moisture content and organic matter- all signs of changes in the ecological niche.