After a long semester of studying at Uni, home and in the labs, it was extremely rewarding to partake in this fieldtrip activity at Port Noarlunga.
The purpose of this fieldtrip, and the other BIOL2711 ecology fieldtrips, was to allow students to gain an idea as to what techniques are involved/required to conduct science in the field. In this particular case, students were required to conduct Underwater Visual Censuses (UVC) or deploy Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUV’s) to survey both fish and invertebrate diversity at Port Noarlunga Reef, South Australia.
I personally was quite nervous prior to partaking in this activity, however, knowing that Dr Lauren Meyer was organising this fieldtrip – I knew this was going to be a worthwhile experience! Before attending the fieldtrip, Lauren organised a workshop to discuss what was required of students on the day, and also for us to meet guest Danny Brock from the Department of Environment and Water who provided further insight about monitoring fish diversity using BRUV’s and UVC. He also discussed his experience working as a marine scientist, which I think I can say on behalf of many students; it is always so great to hear about successful STEM career pathways.
The weather on the day of the fieldtrip was pristine; the sun was shining, and the water was blue, clear and flat (see image). Everyone, including Lauren and helpers, was so welcoming on arrival and throughout the course of the day, which made the experience so much more enjoyable! I was lucky enough to be in a group of students who I had previously become friends with during the semester, but I can happily say that this fieldtrip gave us the opportunity to become even closer. We changed into our wetsuits and talked to Lauren about how we would conduct the survey.
Once we had a clear understanding of what was expected of us, we proceeded to jump into the water. Our snorkel leader Josh helped us conduct our surveys on fish and invertebrate diversity, explaining what techniques are most useful when conducting UVC. One of the things I love about this day, is that there was no such thing as a silly question! Once we had finished our UVC’s, we jumped out of the water and signed out. Overall, this is probably my most favourite experience I have had at Uni so far! Not only did we learn lots about conducting science in the field, but we had fun while doing it.
Bachelor science (Marine biology) and Bachelor of science (Animal behaviour)