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Year 11 and 12: Moreton Bay studies (Biology)

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Biology – Unit 3 Biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life

Moreton Bay Studies is a day program immersing students in a directed data collection process on board our vessel Inspiration. The program supports completion of the mandatory practicals from Unit 3, Biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life. Students adopt the role of a biologist tasked with a scientific inquiry evaluating the effectiveness of the Marine National Park zone around St Helena Island.

Studies, primarily focused on the marine ecosystem around Green and St Helena Islands, include:

  • Determination of species diversity using Simpson’s diversity index
  • Comparison of ecosystems across spatial and temporal scales using species diversity indices, benthic habitat and abiotic factors such as water depth and turbidity
  • Investigation of environmental factors limiting the distribution and abundance of species in an ecosystem
  • Interpretation of data to classify and name an ecosystem
  • Evaluation of strengths and limitations of data collection methodologies

This fieldwork requires students to utilise:

  • techniques for identifying organisms (e.g. keys and field guides)
  • sampling techniques (e.g. BRUV, underwater video glider, sediment grab)
  • methods to measure abiotic data (including salinity, temperature and availability of light)

Pre-program resources introduce students to the study context and methodologies. Students become familiar with equipment and data collection protocols maximising independent participation on program day. They are challenged to formulate research questions investigating the biodiversity of Moreton Bay.

Post-program support is provided, including exemplars, to complete data analysis. Data is supplied in digital format for analysis and evaluation. Data collected, added to our longitudinal data set, is shared with agencies managing Moreton Bay. Access to the Moreton Bay EEC complete data set is available to allow analysis of other research questions.

Curriculum intent

Biology

Unit 3 Biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life - students will collect data using sampling methodology to support completion of the mandatory practical from Unit 3.

  • Determine species diversity of a group of organisms based on a given index
  • Use the process of stratified sampling to collect and analyse primary biotic and abiotic field data to classify an ecosystem
  • Select and appraise an ecological surveying technique to analyse species diversity between two spatially variant ecosystems of the same classification (Marine National Park and Habitat Protection Zone).   

Data is available to assist with the formulation of the assessment IA1 – Data test.

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Last reviewed 25 January 2019
Last updated 25 January 2019