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2020 Trips

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United World College Thailand


28-30 November 2016

Ranong

Aim: To Investigate Marine and Coastal ecosystems with United World College, Thailand

Hypothesis: Students will learn about different coastal marine ecosystems found in Thailand and gain an understanding of their importance.

Method: Students from UWC and Staff from the Barge Program spent three days in Ranong carrying out biodiversity investigations on four marine ecosystems – Mangroves, Rocky Shore, Seagrass Beds and Coastal Grassland.

Population sampling techniques used included: Stratified sampling of rocky shore using belt transects and quadrats to assess biodiversity variations along an environmental gradient, measurement of limpet shells to investigate morphological differences between individuals on exposed and sheltered shorelines, pitfall trapping and sweep netting to investigate invertebrate biodiversity in both coastal grassland and mangrove habitats, and performing a Bioblitz to record species data for a seagrass bed via snorkeling and observation of exposed seagrass beds at low tide. Further investigation of the Mangrove ecosystem was carried out via a ninty- minute trek wading through the mangroves and recording and discussion of plant and animal species adaptations.

Results: Statistics analysis including Student T Test, Simpson’s Index of Biodiversity and Spearman’s Rank Correlation were performed on data collected from each habitat assessment or investigation and graphs were created to show results of biodiversity studies and comparisons between habitats.

Observations and Conclusion: Barge staff observations support our original hypothesis
- Students had an excellent time completing the various scientific investigations and population sampling techniques to learn about the importance of various coastal ecosystem in Southern Thailand and around the world. Students seemed to particularly enjoy field work and data collection, especially the trip on the long tailed boats to the seagrass beds and snorkeling to investigate marine species and also invertebrate sweep netting in the mangrove and coastal grassland ecosystems.


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