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2020 Trips

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Practicing data collection and field study techniques in Ranong


Harrow International School

15-19 November 2019

Year 13 students joined the staff from Barge Program to explore Ranong’s Marine Ecosystems, which provide an excellent location for fieldwork, allowing students the opportunity to explore different habitats, methods of data collection, statistical analysis techniques and consider human impacts on these environments.

The mangrove habitat allowed students to consider biotic and abiotic differences that occur along environmental gradients, with investigations considering possible interactions between soil pH, soil moisture, pneumatophore height and width, mollusk density and crab distribution. At the rocky shore students used belt transects to measure biodiversity changes along another ‘wet to dry’ gradient, using kite diagrams to display their data findings. Differing aspects of the rocky shore also allowed students to explore how wave exposure might affect limpet morphology.

After travelling up the estuary taking field data and collecting water samples at various sampling points along the river to complete chemical water tests, data analysis supported student’s hypothesis that salinity increases as you travel downstream towards to estuary.

Sweep nets and pooters allowed a close up look and a chance to identify terrestrial invertebrates and make comparisons of species inhabiting different grassland sites using Simpsons Index of Biodiversity. A final exploration of the regions seagrass beds in a bioblitz challenged student’s identification skills for both marine plant and invertebrate species!

A successful ‘sweep’ with a sweep net

Travelling to the seagrass beds

Catching mangrove crabs as part of a ‘Mark, Recapture’ study

Rocky Shore Surveys

Investigating biodiversity along an environmental gradient

Counting Rock Oysters at the rocky shore


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