Newhaven College

What a great experience!

There were so many dimensions to this program.  The Researchers, Chris and Denise have a great wealth of knowledge and experience and are very willing to share it.

Activities undertaken:

Watching the Little Penguin cross the beach at the Penguin Parade, Summerland Beach

Beach transects colleting rubbish and data and Summerland Beach and Woolamai Beach

Emu Bob

Debris sorting into class sizes

Data Entry

Necropsy of numerous Shearwater birds

Guest speakers:

Graham Burgen, Short-tailed Shearwaters

Roger Kirkwood, Australian Fur Seals

Dawn and dusk Short-tailed shearwater excursions to watch them take-off and land at Cape Woolamai

Catching and recording Short-Tailed Shearwater birds and recording data with David Boyle at the Cape Woolamai site

Collecting and recording data on the number of burrows in a 15 meter area at the Cape Woolamai site.

A massive THANK YOU to all who were involved – and to Sue Graham who inspired me to become part of this amazing journey!

Ann-Marie McLean


Crew for the May Teach wild fellowship with Cassandra

The Teach Wild program I attended during May 2012 were seven amazing days working with fellow educators assisting researches looking into the impact of human debris on the oceanic species of Short tailed shearwaters  (mutton birds)  and Turtles  at the Moreton Bay research station on North Stradbroke Island Queensland.





The week involved scientific observations, undertaking necropsies, collecting data of human pollutants and recording these findings on the National database.



From this adventure I have been astounded by the amount of Plastic found in the digestive systems of juvenile Shearwaters found dead on the beaches of North Stradbroke during that week.  These shearwaters had only just left, migrating from places like Phillip Island where I live a few days earlier. The only food these chicks had eaten had been the food brought back by the parents and regurgitated into the mouths of these juvenile birds which points to the adults ingesting ocean plastics as they feed on krill in the Southern Ocean and Bass Strait.





Year 9 Environmental centre students of Newhaven College Phillip Island will be assisting this important research taking part in Island beach surveys near the Phillip Shearwater colonies gathering information and evidence using a variety of technology linked to the internet and National database.



Examples of Beach surveys during the Teach Wild week which will be utilised on Phillip Island


Taking GPS recording and determining wind direction, visual on beach users in the 800meters to the left and right. Photos taken as records.







Setting up the beach for a Beach survey: using a peg (stick) with a flag on one end, set out tape from wave line up into the vegetation for 2 meters

Take photos up string line



Taking photos looking into the ocean







4. Photo taken looking back to start of line





5. Photo looking into vegetation



Using string or rope as a meter guide walk up tape recording in 10 divisions of the transect line any found debris

 Rubbish collection for Litter Surveys







7. Sorting and sizing marine debris






8. Inputting of data through the web site


Another strategic surveys that Newhaven College students could undertake to help this important research are:

Debris Emu bobs (or parade)


emuteam 2 emu


From the marine discovery centre on Stradbroke Island we set out by boat to trawl for marine debris floating on and in the water, again gathering data .


Water trawl



Cathy and Qamar undertaking necropsy’s on turtles.

Necropsy (autopsies on oceanic species)


Cathy has discovered alarming impacts see the graph.














Cavan and HeidiQamar is researching what a turtle might see, measuring colours, ultraviolet and polarized light, so all debris found in a Turtles stomach is analysed using a spectrometer.





 Rubbish, Debris , pollution

Most importantly what can we do!

  1. Great summary Warwick, hope it’s not too cold down there, it’s freezing and pouring rain here!!!

  2. Lee G SA

    Sue I’m presuming that this is you. Well done on the blog. I’m enjoying reading everyones blogs -it reminds me of the great time we had at Straddie.

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