This is part 4 of a number of posts about Fieldwork - Reef Surveying.
Read the other posts:
Fieldwork - Reef Survey - Preparation
Fieldwork - Reef Survey - Where to snorkel
Fieldwork - Reef Survey - Student Activities
Any active learning, where students are out in the field and enjoying nature is good for the students, good for us as teachers and helps to promote the real world application of our subject. Introducing students to snorkelling will expose them to a whole new world that they may not have engaged with before. It will encourage them to be more passionate about what they are learning, be more active in trying to protect environments and hopefully engage in more active citizenship to address environmental issues.
Snorkelling is a great activities for Year 9 Elective Geography students studying Oceanography. There has been growing recognition of the Great Southern Reef as an excellent case study for Year 10 Environmental Change and Management and Year 12 Ecosystems at Risk. It could also be used in the new Stage 6 syllabus for the new Year 12 Ecosystems and Global Biodiversity topic. Unlike a case study of the Great Barrier Reef, students could actively engage in fieldwork multiple times within a topic if your school is relatively close to the coast. Even if you aren't close to the coast, it is a lot easier to organise an excursion that doesn't involve air travel, so it is still a great option. Fieldwork for this case study is also a lot more economically accessible if you teach in a school with a low or complex socio-economic background, or have a group of significantly disadvantaged students.
In Elective Geography, in the Oceanography topic, reef surveying could link with the investigative study investigating an issue relating to the use of oceans. This could include an issue such as: crayweed or seagrass loss in the Sydney region/North Coast/South Coast, biodiversity in the Sydney region/North Coast/South Coast, or a similar issue that you identify as a class that the students are interested in.
In the Environmental Change and Management topic, reef surveying could link with work completed on the Investigative study, addressing aspects of:
- biophysical interactions
- causes, extent and consequences of change
- examples of some management strategies
In the Ecosystems at Risk topic (current Stage 6 syllabus), reef surveying could link with the case study of an ecosystem, addressing aspects of:
- geomorphic and hydrological processes
- biogeographical processes
- human impacts
- management strategies
In the Ecosystems and Global Biodiversity topic (new syllabus - to be implemented in Year 12 in 2025), reef surveying could link with the investigation of an ecosystem (this would need to be the example within Australia). It could address aspects of:
- characteristics of the ecosystem
- human-induced modifications
- responses and strategies
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the Geoactive text book series.