Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blencathra Field Course

Alyssa Hendricks

Hello Everyone! Hope you're all enjoying spring at Purdue.  I'm currently on my Easter Holiday at Leeds, or a fancy way of saying I get a month long spring break! The first week of which I had the opportunity to spend at Blencathra in the Lake District of England on a field course with second year and masters level students in the School of Earth and Environment.

The Lake District is easily the most gorgeous place in the UK, it's a giant national park and has the closest things England can claim as mountains. We climbed to the summit of one of these, taking measurements the way up and down to get a look at how the atmosphere changed with height.  At the actual field site, we set up various equipment to measure temperature, moisture, wind speed, and radiation on different masts throughout the site and studied changes over the week.  Nightly forecasts were also done and students competed against each other to have the most accurate forecasts - which was slightly nerve racking for an area I've never studied before. By the end of the week I had compiled an entire notebook of data and observations as well as analysis of the radiation budget and atmospheric dynamics for the time we were there.

For any students considering a study abroad program in Leeds, I would definitely recommend going on this field course. It was the perfect opportunity to study in an area outside of Leeds, see a new part of England, and get to know the other meteorology students and professors. I also got 10 credits of my required 60 completed in a matter of days with no final exam or project!

The remainder of my Easter Holiday has been spent traveling. So far to London, Paris, Edinburgh, Dublin and soon Berlin. How much more convincing do you need to consider a study abroad now?


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