Students undertake a geographic skills circuit throughout the park using maps and GPS devices to discover issues related to Environmental Change and Management of ocean ecosystems.

Citizen Scientist activity sampling Clifton Gardens beach for evidence of micro plastics (with Dr Scott Wilson)

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?

Program Outcomes

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.

Program Format

The program has three main components:

  1. Introductory activities and web based resources to introduce the students to the program.
  2. A full day fieldwork excursion at Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), and Clifton Gardens Reserve (Chowder Bay).
  3. 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

Program Aims

  • To investigate the causes and consequences of human induced environmental change and management in ocean environments.

Learning across the curriculum focus

  • Sustainability
  • Literacy
  • Information and communication technology capability
  • Personal and social capability
  • Civics and citizenship

Program Format

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 Ocean Literacy website and view the Introductory film clip that describes the 7 principals of ocean literacy.
  • 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

Please ensure:

  • 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:
  1. Underwater Sydney – Mosman Link (Search under Explore/Mosman)
  2. Sydney Marine Life – Channel 7 News Link 
  3. Visit the website Take 3 for the Sea
  4. View The Death Of Oceans to learn more about the effects of acidification on our oceans and reefs.
  5. View Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem

Risk Management

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

Learning Site Activity Student Outcomes – Students will be able to: Fieldwork in Action
Pre visit activities Students complete pre visit activities to familiarise themselves withe topic and study site.
  • Communicate Geographical information to a range of audiences using a variety of strategies
SIMS 1. SIMS Theatrette 

Introductory presentation on:

  • Importance of oceans to life on earth
  • Human impacts on marine environments
  • Pollution Case study – micro plastics project – Dr Scott Wilson Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science
  • Explain processes and influences that form and transform places and environments
  • Analyse the effects of interactions and connections between people, places and environments
image-69737
SIMS Marine Discovery Centre 2. Marine Discovery Centre

  • Students explore the SIMS Marine Discovery Centre to learn more about marine environments, causes of environmental change, and management strategies.

 

  • Explain processes and influences that form and transform places and environments
  • Analyse the effects of interactions and connections between people, places and environments
  • Assess management strategies for places and environments for their sustainability
MDC SIMS
Clifton Gardens Reserve 3. Water quality testing

  • Students identify types and common sources of water pollution (eg Stormwater) assess water quality conditions, and discus implications for ocean environments.

 

  • Aquire and process geographical information by selecting and using appropriate and relevant geographic tools for enquiry
image-69756
Clifton Gardens Reserve 4. Microplastics Investigation

  • A Citizen Scientist activity sampling Clifton Gardens beach for evidence of micro plastics (with Dr Scott Wilson)

 

  • Aquire and process geographical information by selecting and using appropriate and relevant geographic tools for enquiry
image-69762
Clifton Gardens Reserve 5. Geographic skills activity including GPS hunt

  • Students undertake a geographic skills circuit throughout the park using maps and GPS devices to discover issues related to Environmental Change and Management of ocean ecosystems.

 

  • Aquire and process geographical information by selecting and using appropriate and relevant geographic tools for enquiry

 

SIMS and Clifton Gardens Reserve at Chowder Bay 

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