Seaweek helps students learn marine science skills
04 September 2015
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula and Port Lincoln High School have worked together to implement marine park science and marine conservation learnings in the curriculum.
Port Lincoln High School Aquatic Science Teacher, Rebecca Patterson said that learnings provided students with a better understanding of the role marine science plays in local community issues and the relevance of marine parks to the local community.
“Students have a chance to engage in their marine education, understand it and form their own opinions,” Ms Patterson said.
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula Marine Parks Regional Coordinator, Dr Shelley Harrison said Seaweek is a celebration of the sea and Tuesday’s activities would empower students with knowledge and marine science skills that could be used to help monitor and protect our wonderful oceans into the future.
“Students will be trained in a Rapid Assessment Method which helps to predict biodiversity levels on the beach,” Ms Harrison said.
“Most of the animals and plants that live at the beach actually live within the sand, which means they’re hard to monitor.
“This method allows us to take simple measurements of the beach such as width, slope and sand grain size to predict biodiversity levels, without having to sort through buckets of sand to identify critters.”
The Rapid Assessment Method was initially developed in 2007 through an Honours Project, funded by Flinders University and the then Department of Environment and Heritage, as a tool to quickly measure beach biodiversity within marine parks.
Skills learnt by students will be applied to marine park monitoring, an area where they’re already making a difference.
This year’s Aquatic Science Class recently went on an expedition to the Point Bolingbroke Sanctuary Zone within the Sir Joseph Banks Group Marine Park to undertake seabird and shorebird surveys and coastal vegetation surveys.
They also learnt about local Barngarla Aboriginal culture with Emma Richards, a local Barngarla descendent at Point Bolingbroke.
In August last year the Year 10 Aquatic Science Class went on an expedition to Wreck Beach at Sleaford Bay, within the Thorny Passage Marine Park where they undertook the Rapid Assessment Method and collected baseline data for the Marine Parks Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Program.