Marine Science - Unit 2 Marine biology
Moreton Bay Studies is a day program immersing students in a directed data collection process on board our vessel Inspiration. It supports completion of the mandatory practical from Unit 2, Marine biology. 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 in 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, turbidity, tides and sediment type
- Investigation of environmental factors limiting the distribution and abundance of species in 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 the 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.
Unit 2 Marine Biology - students will collect data using sampling methodology to support completion of the mandatory practical from Unit 2.
- Conduct an investigation to determine factors of population dynamics and assess abiotic components of a local ecosystem
- Assess the processes and limitations of the sampling techniques
- Use field guides and identification keys to identify and describe marine species
- Calculate the biodiversity of a marine ecosystem using Simpson’s diversity index (SDI)