This week our ASMS students and staff embarked on the trip of a lifetime up to Heron Island in sunny Queensland, to research and document the local coral reef ecosystems and marine organisms.
Heron Island is a protected area that’s part of Capricornia Cays National Park and is a nesting site for birds and turtles. The island features the University of Queensland Research Station – HIRS, which has educating tertiary and secondary students about coral reef ecosystems for over 3 decades.
The ASMS students had access to technology and laboratories from the HIRS on this excursion, and were able to conduct field research using these facilities to further contribute to the data collection on the health of coral reef ecosystems during their time on the island.
Students were split into groups, then chose their study topics, and went out to conduct field research. They had the opportunity to learn organism identification, investigate the functions of organisms, dimensions and zonation of the reef, and gain a greater understanding of the ecological relationships of the area.
The group were in awe of the incredible marine life as they explored the reef and at the end of the trip, they were able to present the results of their findings to the rest of the cohort.
The ASMS group also had the privilege to safely observe the nesting process of the island’s turtles, a truly unique and remarkable experience that they will cherish forever!