Video text transcript

Learning how to use geographical equipment for field studies

Hi, I’m Tim from the Coastal Environment Centre.

Today I’m going to show how to use a range of different geographical equipment. This video will help you prepare for what to expect when you come out to your field trip with us.

This is a compass it’s used to help us determine direction. It consists of a clear plastic base plate, a circular bezel, filled with liquid with numbers around the outside and a magnetised needle with the red end always pointing to magnetic north.

Notice that when I rotate the compass, the needle remains stationary. This is because its attracted to the earth's magnetic field. Id like to know what direction that headland is, so we're going to take a bearing. The bearing is simply the angle between magnetic north and the headland.

First I line up the headland with the arrow, I then rotate the bezel lining up magnetic north the N marked on the bezel. Once I've done that, I have lined up my bearing with the bottom of the arrow. The bearing of this headland is 60 degrees.

This is an anemometer. It's one of the pieces of equipment we use to measure wind strength. So I hold the device facing into the wind. Wind blows in two holes and blows that small ball up the scale. In low and conditions I’m reading off the left scale. Once the wind strength goes above 16 km/h, I put my finger on the top of the device and start reading off the right scale.

Next we have a Kestrel, which is a digital wind strength meter. To use it, I turn it on , hold it facing into the wind. After a minute, I record the highest the number goes on the digital display.

This is a thermometer that we use to measure air temperature. When you’re measuring air temperature, don't hold it like I am right now because I'm actually measuring the temperature of my hand. You want to hold it at the top. Make sure you’re reading the thermometer at eye level.

Next we have a soil thermometer in a black metal case. You carefully push the soil thermometer 5cm into the sand, wait one minute then pull it out and read it at eye level.

This is a multimeter that we use to measure soil moisture and light intensity. When you’re using this piece of equipment make sure that the switch at the front is set to the parameter that you are measuring. Firstly I’m measuring soil moisture so I’ll carefully push it down into the ground and read off the correct scale. It's very dry the score of 1. I’m then going to switch the multimeter to light intensity and read off the light intensity scale. At this site we have a score of 2000 Lux. It’s very bright here.

This is a rangefinder. It's used to measure the distance between two points. You press button number one to take the measurement. Your partner will be standing up the hill holding a piece of paper or a clipboard. You’ll look through the viewfinder and see a set of crosshairs. Line that up with the object your partner is holding and press button number one to take your measurement. The distance will be displayed in metres.

Lastly we have a clinometer. This device helps us measure the angle of incline or gradient of our site. Notice that when I tilt the clinometer, the circle remains stationary. You look through the viewfinder, keeping both eyes open and you line the horizontal black line up with your partner. You then read off the left-hand side of the scale.

As we conduct our dune transect, we’ll be collecting biotic and abiotic data at a number of sites. The aim of this study is for us to understand how dunes change from the waters edge to the hind dune.

From us at the Coastal Environment Centre, thanks for joining us and we look forward to working with you.