Earlier this term in Biodiversity we took our classrooms into the outside world and went on 7 different camps and excursions. Here’s what happened!
Flinders Ranges Camp
Students participated in a week long field trip to the Flinders Ranges engaging in field science experiences and meeting with industry specialists. Highlights included Brachina Gorge, field work and data collection around Rawnsley Station, Spear Creek Biodiversity impacts and star gazing.
Quotes from students;
“It was really peaceful out there away from the city, I really like the vibe” Soloman Germain
“It was an amazing time!” Reya Thomas
“I really enjoyed that we got to spend time away from the city and all of the technology” Joshua Carboni
“I loved it! I really liked the field work (not just working in a book) and the food was amazing!” Amber Couldhart
Students became entomologists for camp week and engaged in field science by investigating the diversity of ant species on the Flinders University Campus. They made entomological equipment, used various collection methodologies to collect some amazing ant specimens, preserved them and identified some species with the help of experts. All while learning that ants are an essential component of biodiversity.
Kangaroo Island Biodiversity Camp
Students participated in a week long experience to Kangaroo Island engaging in field science experiences such as Beach Transects and observations of animals – Australian sea lions and koalas in their natural habitat. Students connected with professionals and locals in Kangaroo Island and learnt about the biodiversity of the island.
Highlights included visiting Island Bee Hive, fieldwork and data collection on multiple beaches, and the TimTam poetry slam.
Animal behaviour Excursion
Students spent the week researching the behaviour of animal species at Adelaide Zoo and comparing the animal’s behaviour at the Zoo to that in the wild. Their findings were presented as posters. The highlight of the week was a day at the Zoo.
Quotes from students;
“I learned that having the correct habitat is very important for animals, so that they keep a positive mentality and that they keep up exercise and the correct diet. Otherwise animals can get depressed and die, or become permanently stationery and damage themselves.”
“I learnt how to record animal behaviour observations, and what to look for when observing the behaviour of these animals, eg. vocalizing, preening, interaction with other members. I also learnt how to create scientific posters, such as structuring them and how to present the information.”
The Plastic Tide
The ASMS and the CSIRO joined forces in investigating marine debris in The Plastic Tide. The CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere division invited ASMS students to collect data on the amount and types of marine debris that can be found on the beaches of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Students journeyed to Christies Beach, South Port and Moana beaches, finding that South Port has the greatest abundance and variety of marine debris in the form of glass, beer bottle ring tops and fishing line. Students concluded that this was due to the rocky substrate of the beach, the cliffs at the backshore and the Onkaparinga River exiting at this site. Our students conducted substantial clean ups at each of the three sites and have submitted their data to the CSIRO for entry into a national database.
Naracoorte Biodiversity Camp
The Naracoorte Biodiversity Camp was an amazing opportunity for students to undertake field science, and learn from experts in Wetland Management, Palaeontology and Indigenous Culture. The focus question for the camp was:
‘How can connecting with the past help us to respect, and protect, Biodiversity – in the present, and in the future?
Students explored this question through the lenses of birds (observations at Bool Lagoon), bones (fossils of the Naracoorte Caves) and bush (field surveys and ‘fungi foray’ activities). Students worked closely with park rangers, palaeontologists and an Indigenous Elder to understand the issues and opportunities facing biodiversity, and how each one of us can make a difference in the world.