Field trip Blogs 2012

First 7-day field trip a success!

The first 7-day TeachWild field trip for teachers has wrapped up and was a huge success.

Six teachers – Stacey Ward and Tim Mason from QLD, Emily Simmonds and Lee Middleton from NSW, and Julie Miller and Matthew Radburnd from WA – spent a week on North Stradbroke Island off Brisbane, working alongside three scientists – Dr Denise Hardesty from CSIRO, and Dr Kathy Townsend and Qamar Schuyler from The University of Queensland.

Field work included:

  • Marine debris surveys: 3 beaches were surveyed with 3 transects completed on each beach. The data was entered into the national marine debris database.
  • Boat trawls: 8 trawls were carried out in Moreton Bay and all samples were analysed for marine debris.
  • Spectrophotometry: this looks at the reflectance of different types of marine debris ingested by turtles. Debris is placed under a laser to measure how much light it reflects. This will help research investigating if turtles’ visual systems influence its encounters with marine debris, perhaps as some debris may look like its natural food source in the ocean (for example, a jellyfish).  The team processed samples from 8 turtles, which added up to nearly 400 samples being processed during the week.
  • Turtle necropsies: completed for 5 turtles and 2 hatchlings, and were across 3 species, Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead Turtles.

Feedback so far has been extremely positive, with one teacher commenting:
“Thanks for such a rewarding trip. My kids are super super keen to get involved. They are even asking if they can go on one of those trips.”

Thanks to all the teachers and scientists for an amazing and rewarding week and we look forward to the next one!

Images from the week can be viewed here.

If you’re a science teacher and interested in participating in a week-long field trip, please visit this page for more information.


The next 7-day field trip is from 29 April – 5 May 2012.