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Field course and project work

Ecology Field Course at Juniper Hall


Monday 24 June - Thursday 4 July 2019

A highlight of IB Ecology, Evolution & Conservation is the field course, which takes place in the summer preceding the lecture course.

This course is led by experienced staff from the Plant Sciences, Zoology and Genetics Departments, providing a unique learning environment for students.

JH Field

This course introduces students to many key techniques in field ecology, and integrates botanical, genetic and zoological studies. A major objective of the field course will be practical work.

"The field course has made me excited to do ecology next year when before I was unsure of whether to even take it."

"It was great to work with experts from the field and find out in depth about some of the cool organisms out there."

"It was a super two weeks. It helps you to get to grips with concepts from lectures or reading when you see them out in the field!"

Seminars: Students are expected to give brief talks on their project to the rest of the class during the field course

Costs: Funding for students who participate is provided by the University, administered through Zoology (not the Colleges). Students will need to pay £100 towards the cost of the course. In the past some colleges have made grants to students to cover part or all of their contribution towards the course so please consult your College Director of Studies to find out if you are eligible for such funding. Students may also be required to pay for their own transport to and from Juniper Hall, Surrey (it is possible group transport will be arranged from Cambridge).

For further information please refer to the FAQ section below, or contact the field course administrator at .

To book your place you will need to complete an online application form, which will be available here in due course.

Frequently asked questions

JH Field2I am not able to attend the field trip. Can I still take Ecology in IB?

Yes! Although we strongly urge students to attend the trip if possible as the practical work conducted forms the basis of their project, alternative projects are made available at the beginning of Michaelmas Term for those not able to attend. 

I can't attend for the whole time; can I still apply for the field trip?

Yes! If you are only going to miss a few days it may still be possible for you to attend the field course, but please check with the field course administrator. 

Where is Juniper Hall?

The Juniper Hall Field Studies Centre is in a quiet wooded valley in an unspoilt area of the chalk North Downs, Juniper Hall, leased from the National Trust, is a superb country house dating from the 17th century. It is about 1km from Box Hill and only 40km from central London. The surrounding area provides a variety of exciting habitats ideal offering a broad range of ecological questions to study.

At what time should we be there on the first day?

Students should arrive between 3 and 4 pm on the first day, but certainly before 6pm. If you are going to arrive very late (after 7pm) please let the course organiser know, so that dinner can be saved for you.

What time can we leave on the last day?

All students will give a short presentation about their project on the morning of the last day. Finishing time is therefore a little difficult to predict, as it depends on the number of projects, but should not be later than 3pm.

What do we need to bring along?

You will get more detailed information about the field trip nearer the time. However, the most important things to bring are: sun hat, good shoes, raingear, sandwich box and drinks bottle. It can be beneficial to bring your own laptop (at your own risk) or at least a USB stick.

How does the field trip work?

The field trip is divided into two parts: during the first introductory part you will be introduced to the subject of Ecology and how to do ecological research by doing exercises and data collection in the field. During the second part you can develop your own ecological question and perform the necessary scientific data collection to answer it. This second part will finish with short presentations about each project. The daily routine will start with preparing your lunch before breakfast. After breakfast we will either work all together or everyone on their individual or group project. You will have your prepared lunch at a time suitable to your schedule. After dinner there will initially be lectures and later possibly talks.