Geography and environmental facilities

Geographical Information Sciences Laboratory

The Geographical Information Sciences Laboratory (GISci Lab) is a dedicated IT teaching and research lab for students and staff that work with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). It provides both hardware and software facilities that are essential to GIS project design and implementation and a senior technician is at hand to provide advice and support.

Lab equipment includes:

  • high specification networked PCs
  • digitising board
  • differential GPS systems with download facilities
  • flatbed scanner
  • a total station and access to high precision differential GPS receivers

Software packages available include:

  • ArcGIS ArcInfo Workstation
  • ERDAS Imagine (including the latest version of OrthoBASE for digital photogrammetry)
  • Idrisi and Cartalinx
  • Specialist databases including RUDI and Greenfile

Geosciences laboratory

This new laboratory has specialist equipment for the testing of sediments including: particle size analysis by wet  sieving; and sophisticated laser diffraction methods; basic soil properties, as well as compressibility and shear strength of soils.

Resources laboratory

The Geographical and Environmental Resources Laboratory (GER Lab) is a  dedicated area for undergraduate students who gather together for  research and group work.

Our specialist technical staff are there to  offer advice and support and deal with subject related queries. Resources include:

  • aerial photographs and specialist maps
  • OS 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 maps of England and Wales
  • information related to field course studies
  • recent research publications by staff
  • videos of programmes on environmental and geographical topics

Physical geography laboratory

This  lab is especially designed to support students' practical learning activities in physical geography, geology, environmental sciences.

Facilities include:

  • a full suite of UK Geological Maps at 1:50,000 scale
  • many specialist maps at different scales
  • maps of various other countries where field work has been carried out by our staff and students

The lab is extremely well stocked with all the major igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock types plus a fossil collection, and  also contains 25 binocular petrological microscopes for the analysis of rocks samples in thin-section. A dedicated PC in the lab has specialist software including a 'virtual petrological microscope' and soils analysis software.

Bayfordbury field station

Our University has its own field station which is used by our Geography and Environmental Sciences students during their degrees. The field station is situated in the Lee Valley just outside of Hertford and includes:

  • a science block
  • plant growth facilities
  • the Environment Agency funded stream research facility
  • 50 types of habitats, including ancient woodlands, grassland and a lake