Let me introduce this lab-workshop and field course web site with a prediction.
If some one asks you, in 20 years time, what you remember of your BSc degree you will first recall either your field course/lab workshop or your level 3 project.
Field courses and lab workshops are memorable because they are often turning points for biologists like you and me. Why does one week, in a 3 year degree, have such prominence? It’s good to be in a small group. It’s good to immerse oneself in an area of biology that for you is really special or surprising. It’s a relief after all of those lectures and exams to come up with some science of your own. You’ve heard all about other people’s ideas – now its time to test some of your own.
Field courses and lab workshops also have a special “buzz” because those teaching your course have chosen to share with you certain of their favourite field sites; their best examples; and the core reasons they are biologists. I could rattle on about transferable skills and good practice for your final year projects and I would be both boring and right. But most of us are biologists for romantic reasons too.
(OK since you asked – I recall, as if it were yesterday, as a 2nd year undergraduate, sitting on a rocky shore near Roscoff – eating raw oysters that had “escaped” from their beds and washing them down with a little local Muscadet (Sèvre et Maine) that had been chilling all morning in a rock pool. Oh yes, and then measuring another few hundred assorted periwinkles. Now, if I could only remember why?)
So my advice; look carefully through all of the details of all of the field courses and surprise yourself with your choice!
Professor Nigel Franks
Field Course Coordinator