56295 - Naturalistic Field

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Climate Action Oceans Life on land

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course gives a practical approach on the field to several arguments studied in previous courses concerning Geology, Geomorphology, Botany and Zoology. The approach is carried out in bottom valley (600-900 m) and middle altitude areas (1400-2000 m). Aim of the field-work is to yield several and various data useful to produce original reports.

Course contents

The naturalistic field is a multidisciplinary activity that crowns the three years of study in Natural Sciences. The knowledge acquired in three years will be put into practice through some preparatory lessons and a field activity (training camp and true camp) followed by a moment of data analysis and processing in the lab.The preparatory lessons will allow the collection of cartographic and bibliographic information on the territory that will act as a "natural classroom" during the Naturalistic Field. In this phase, the topographic and thematic maps of the area to be studied will be prepared, and bibliographical material will be found on the territory concerning geological, geomorphological, floristic-vegetational and faunal themes.This preparatory phase also includes the acquisition of survey techniques in the field and the focus on the objectives of the activity which in general will include surveys of vegetation, documentation and identification of plants and animals, geomorphological, landscape and ecological analyses and the design of nature discovery routes. During the field activity, students will first explore the area by taking note of observations on flora and vegetation, fauna, habitat, and on the geological and geomorphological characteristics of the territory. In this phase, the use of the fieldbook is of particular importance, in which all the observations and arguments will be noted. In a subsequent phase they will be asked to develop more targeted activities, both individual and in groups, which will be the subject of the evaluation.By way of example, these activities may concern:1) in-depth analysis of single animal and plant species;2) Systematic sampling of vegetation or faunal components;3) Mapping of habitats; 4) Design of a naturalistic path and / or panel


The search for texts capable of providing both basic and specific information, useful for the creation of reports and thematic cards, is left to individual students. This "exercise" is very advantageous since it allows you to refine the ability to identify the most suitable sources, using search engines in the most convenient and rapid way.

Teaching methods

- Frontal and practical lessons on the techniques used during the fieldwork.- Individual work of bibliographic research, and cartographic preparation.- During the course of the camp the teachers will check the fieldbook of the individual students, advising, suggesting and evaluating;- The individual and group works, which will be presented by groups of 4-6 students, will be evaluated by the teachers who will assign a score divided as follows- unsuccessful: insufficient work (poor and / or with serious gaps)- suitable (without points): sufficient work- 1 point (additional to the degree): good job- 2 points (in addition to the degree): excellent work (both content and layout)- the judgment - unquestionable - will be based on the evaluation of: contents (texts), logical distribution of the sub-topics within the individual and group reports, graphic layout, value of the figures used and their captions, general organization of the individual products, behavior and individual commitment, interest shown;- each individual or group report must be an original work. The lack of originality (copy / paste from the Internet, copying - even partial - of reports relating to excursions from previous years) will result in an insufficient work.- in the event of a documented inability to participate in the Three-year End Camp (Erasmus students, student-workers, students in traineeship), the eligibility can be acquired (with the same scores) by creating a .ppt file based on a bibliographic research centered on a multidisciplinary topic assigned by the Commission. Duration of the public presentation in front of one or more members of the Commission: 20 minutes.

Assessment methods

Correction of the documents

Teaching tools

Altimeter (GPS), Compass, Stereo-microscope, Flora, Bibliography, Topographic and thematic maps provided by the teachers. Entomologic sampling materials provided by the course, tweezers and brushes for entomological work are personal. Fieldbook, backpack, mountain boots. Precise information will be provided on clothing and essential material depending on the location and general logistics.

Office hours

See the website of Jo Hilaire Agnes De Waele

See the website of Roberto Cazzolla Gatti

See the website of Antonio Bonfitto