Environmental Change and Management
– A S5 Geography fieldwork program focussing on ocean environments
‘Environmental Change and Management’ is a Stage 5 Geography fieldwork program focusing on ocean environments to answer the Key Inquiry Questions of:
- How do environments function?
- What are the causes and consequences of change in environments and how can this change be managed?
- Why is an understanding of environmental processes and interconnections essential for sustainable management of environments?
The program takes place at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), and Clifton Gardens Reserve (Chowder Bay). Students will use these study sites to:
- Investigate the biophysical processes essential to the functioning of ocean environment
- Investigate the causes, extent and consequences of environmental change in oceans
- Investigate the management of environmental change
Integrating the ‘Sustainability’ cross curriculum priority is a feature of the program.
The program has three main components:
- Introductory activities and web based resources to introduce the students to the program.
- A full day fieldwork excursion at Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), and Clifton Gardens Reserve (Chowder Bay).
- Follow up activities to enhance Geographic and Sustainability, knowledge, skills, values and attitudes.
During the full day fieldwork excursion, students will:
- Visit the Sydney Institute of Marine Science theater to learn about Ocean Ecosystems, including the importance of oceans to life on earth and human impacts (particularly micro plastics) on marine environments
- Take part in a citizen science project (with Dr Scott Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science), to investigate the causes, extent and consequences of plastic pollution
- Visit the SIMS Marine Discovery Centre to learn about biophysical processes in oceans and environmental management issues and strategies
- Practice using basic geographic tools including GPS, mapping, photo interpretation etc
- Measure environmental factors with instruments including a water testing equipment and a microplastics investigation with sieves
- Use Ipads to document their fieldwork activities
- Acquire, process and communicate geographic information
- To investigate the causes and consequences of human induced environmental change and management in ocean environments.
Learning across the curriculum focus
- Information and communication technology capability
- Personal and social capability
- Civics and citizenship
1. Pre-visit tasks
Successful fieldwork visits have direct links to current classroom learning and will help students better understand their excursion content and provide links with classroom learning. Examples of pre-visit activities include:
- Visit the International Ocean Literacy website and view the Introductory film clip that describes the 7 principles of ocean literacy. The Australian Ocean literacy website provides link to the Australian curriculum. Divide the class into groups and have each group research one of the principles and present it using the Ocean Powerpoint scaffold provided.
- View the Seas of Plastic YouTube TED Talk clip and discuss the impacts of plastic pollution on the ocean ecosystems.
- Visit Clifton Gardens Reserve (Chowder Bay) on the NSW Government’s 6 Maps website to familiarise students with the study site. View the 1943 imagery to see how the landuse in the area has changed over time. Imagery is found under Base Maps (top right corner). Choose ‘Looking for 1943 imagery’ and slide the slider to toggle between 1943 and the current map. Discuss what has changed and what remains the same. NB. SIMS was a major military base during WW2.
2. On the day
- You have checked the meeting place and time on the booking sheet.
- You inform the EEC prior to your excursion of any student requiring special medical attention or support, and ensure any required medication is brought with you. EEC teachers carry basic first aid equipment.
- You inform the EEC teacher of any required changes to the program.
- All students have sufficient food and drink with them for the entire day.
- Students wear school uniform and bring suitable weather protection equipment including sun hats and umbrellas/rain coats if raining.
3. Follow-up activities:
- Have students research one of the issues identified during the Geographic Skills activity and prepare a class presentation on the issue.
- Visit the following film clips and websites to learn more about Ocean environments:
- Underwater Sydney – Mosman Link (Search under Explore/Mosman)
- Sydney Marine Life – Channel 7 News Link
- Visit the website Take 3 for the Sea
- View The Death Of Oceans to learn more about the effects of acidification on our oceans and reefs.
- View Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem
To help you prepare your excursion risk assessment documentation, please download the Excursion Risk Management Plan Proforma
Observatory Hill EEC would like to thank SIMS for their support of this program.
Summary of Learning Sites, Activities and Student Outcomes
SIMS and Clifton Gardens Reserve at Chowder Bay