field work is the scientific study done away from classroom where students use the environment as a laboratory to; observe, record, and interpret for themselves the realities of man and his environment.
The environment includes the things, that surround man both physical and human e.g. the soils, rocks, vegetation cover, water bodies, relief etc.
There are a number of problems encountered while in the field and these may include;
- Physical obstructions: Physical obstructions such as tall buildings, hills, and trees can hinder one from observing certain features or accessing some areas. For example, if you are trying to study the vegetation in a particular area, but there are tall buildings blocking your view, you will not be able to see everything. Similarly, if you are trying to access a remote area, but there are hills or trees in the way, you may not be able to get there.
To overcome this problem, you can try to find a different vantage point from which you can observe the area. You can also try to get permission to access the area from the owners or authorities.
- Abrupt weather changes: Abrupt weather changes such as rain, fog, and mist can also pose problems for geographers. Rain can make it difficult to see, and it can also damage equipment. Fog and mist can also make it difficult to see, and they can also be dangerous if you are driving or walking in them. Wind can also be a problem, as it can blow away equipment and make it difficult to stay upright.
To overcome this problem, you should be prepared for any type of weather. You should pack appropriate clothing and equipment, and you should have a plan in case of bad weather.
- Language barrier: If you are working in a foreign country, you may encounter a language barrier. This can make it difficult to communicate with people and to collect data.
To overcome this problem, you should learn as much of the local language as possible. You should also bring a translator with you, if possible.
- Inadequate tools: Inadequate tools can also be a problem for geographers. If you do not have the right tools, you may not be able to collect the data you need.
To overcome this problem, you should make sure that you have the right tools for the job. You should also be prepared to improvise if necessary.
- Obsolete tools: Obsolete tools can also be a problem. If you are using tools that are outdated, they may not be accurate or reliable.
To overcome this problem, you should make sure that you are using the most up-to-date tools available. You should also be aware of the limitations of your tools and take steps to mitigate them.
- Hostile respondents: Sometimes, you may encounter hostile respondents when you are conducting fieldwork. This can make it difficult to collect data.
To overcome this problem, you should be respectful of the people you are interviewing and try to build rapport with them. You should also be prepared to answer their questions and to explain the purpose of your research.
- Getting biased and exaggerated information: When collecting data, it is important to be aware of the possibility of getting biased or exaggerated information. This can happen if the respondents are trying to please you or if they have an agenda of their own.
To overcome this problem, you should be careful about the questions you ask and how you interpret the answers. You should also be aware of the limitations of your data and be careful about making generalizations.
These are just some of the problems that geographers may face when conducting fieldwork. By being aware of these problems and taking steps to mitigate them, geographers can improve the quality of their research.
The problems which are valid should be geographical and illustrated with information missed or not got according to the objectives as evidence of being in the field