Anthony is the Environmental Education specialist at Wooranna Park Primary School, located in Dandenong North. He also facilitates the kitchen garden program and compliments classroom education with general science explorations. He is a passionate advocate for hands-on, authentic learning experiences.
Relevant, useful, informative links: Denise, our Teachwild scientist, was on Catalyst, ABC reporting on her work to record marine debris around the globe.
9th April —- day one
3pm I packed clothing and equipment for my expedition to Phillip Island. Shorts, wet weather gear, tooth brush, deodorant and chocolate Easter eggs for snacks… check! 4pm I set off down the south eastern toward Gippsland, through Koo Wee Rup, past San Remo and onto the Island at 6pm.
I met the clan (Denise and Geraldine our hosts) whom my time will be shared with over the next few days, discussed our journeys, many from interstate, and what roles we have in schools. Achievements and dilemma’s that are faced in our work environment were hot topic of conversation until dinner time, where I helped Trish make a mad batch of vegetable stir-fry.
The Teachwild team.
After a wild chess game with Michael (I did a Bradbury and won), we hit the hay at 10:30pm.
10th April —- day two
Up at 6:30… 8:00 we sat in a circle and shared our roles and what we would like to get from this week’s expedition.
9am Duncan Sutherland, a ranger for Phillip Island Nature Parks at the Summerland, gave us a talk on the history of Phillip Island and the penguin parade. He also covered his team’s research on penguin preservation over the past 44 years, the impacts on their population numbers and the property buy-back scheme which ran from 1995 to 2010. Foxes, cars, fire and habitat loss were the killers of most penguins since the 1920’s. Removing houses and roads, consistent and ubiquitous fox control and revegetation and nesting box construction have brought the penguin numbers back.
At 10:30 we went to the penguin parade beach and did 5 surveys of litter. Four transect lines of 20m long, 2m wide up the beach and 1 emu parade 50m wide along the beach.
6pm at the penguin parade.
11th April —- day three
Awoke around 6am and headed to Flynns beach.
Making tracks. How many tracks can you see? What might have made these tracks on the sand?
A transect is a section of the ground we investigate for something. For our transect, we are looking for pieces of plastic otherwise known as debris. We record the colour, size and type of debris we find and how far up the beach we found it.
Today we looked at Short tail Shearwaters that had died and washed up along the beach. We are investigating whether plastic in their guts. We needed to cut them open to find digested plastic. This is called necropsy. Plastic does not have any nutritional value and can become lodged in the stomachs of the birds, building up until they cannot fit any normal food in. They die if this happens.
12th April —- day four
13th April — day five
We were up at 5am to journey down to Cape Woolamai. The Shearwater bird colony may have their chicks out for us to see.