Hazards and Disasters in the Forest (VCE Geography Unit 1)

Excursion Program Overview

Explore the magnificent forest ecosystems of the Victorian Central Highlands, and investigate the hydro-meterological hazards and disasters that characterize the region.  Visit sites with contrasting ecological functions and response to bushfire, and that are at varying stages of recovery from such disaster. Discuss human responses to the region’s bushfire hazards and disasters, including prediction of risk and vulnerability, planning protection and mitigation, recovery and reconstruction. Complete fieldwork activities that will collect primary data for the unit’s SAC requirement.

Full Day (4 hour) program includes;

  • Introduction to the region’s geography and ecology
  • Visiting numerous sites in the region, looking at Mountain Ash, Messmate and Cool Temperate Rainforest
  • The use of GNSS technology to locate specific sites for fieldwork activities.
  • Practical fieldwork activities and observations that will be used as Primary data for the Fieldwork SAC, using equipment supplied by the Gould League
  • Time for Lunch
  • Discussion of bushfire impacts on humans, and their response to that hazard.

Teacher resources include:

  • A guide to fieldwork topics relevant to the data being collected on the excursion, with suggestions for additional resources accessible to students.
  • Teacher’s version of student workbook with answers and a copy of the guide used for fieldwork observations.
  • Consultation with Gould Educator before the program visit to ensure focus is in the desired direction; some alterations may be available to the program by request.

Restrictions: The Gould League does not operate in Toolangi on days with a Fire danger rating of Severe, Extreme and Code Red in the North Central Fire District. On very rare occasions, programs may be postponed due to extreme weather predictions involving wind/storms. In both cases, these programs will be rescheduled at the earliest convenience of both parties.

Programs DO operate during wet/snowy weather. Please contact us to discuss the best timing to optimize your group’s experience.

Suitable clothing and footwear for the conditions predicted.  Plan for wet weather from April-October, and expect temperatures at least 5˚ degrees colder than suburban Melbourne.

Prior knowledge required: basic functionality of fire. Theoretical understanding of running a transect.

Equipment needed: Each student needs a clipboard, pencil, and a copy of the Gould League workbook for this excursion; camera or phone with camera.  Phone with GNSS capability or GPS.

Equipment supplied by Gould League: Safety helmets worn by all participants; all tools required for fieldwork data collection.

Additional Equipment needed: Chartered bus is required to remain with the group at all times.

Curriculum Connections:

Geographical skills activities available:

  • Cartography—map creation: Sketch a representation of what can be observed from a vantage point in the field, taking into account foreground, middle ground and background (proportions and features), adding relevant annotations, orientation, scale, time and location.
  • Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS):  Recognise, interpret and use co-ordinate and other data output on a GNSS receiver or mobile phone in fieldwork
  • Map use, interpretation and analysis:  Use topographic maps in the field to identify locations, routes, features
  • Transects:   Observe, measure and construct an annotated transect over a small distance

VCE Geography Unit 1: Outcome 1

Key knowledge

  •  the classification of types of hazards by their causes and the interconnections between causes
  • the nature of one primary hazard, including:

– physical causes

– location, scale, frequency, magnitude, sequence

– the role of human activity in initiating and/or compounding the selected hazards and how this has changed over time

– factors affecting the risk level for people, places and environments and impacts of the selected hazards and hazard events on people and environments and how these factors are interconnected

– the potential and realised positive and negative impacts on people and environments in the short and long term

  • applications of spatial technologies by agencies in identification and assessment of impacts, and management of hazards and hazard events.

VCE Geography Unit 1: Outcome 2  

Key knowledge

  • natural and human factors influencing responses to selected hazards and disasters
  • the nature and importance of interactions between natural processes and human activity in developing responses to selected hazards and disasters
  • the types of responses to selected hazards and disasters, including prediction of risk and vulnerability, planning protection and mitigation, recovery and reconstruction
  • human responses to selected hazards and disasters and how their effectiveness can be measured

What to bring: Your bus is required to accompany the program, clipboards, copy of worksheets for each student (or print worksheet on cardboard so there is no need for a clipboard) and pens.

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Program Details

Cost (per group): Full Day $495 + GST

Max # of Groups (group max. 30): 2

Possible Start Times: 9.45am

Grade Level: Year 11, Year 12

Program Location: Toolangi State Forest

Program Duration: 4 hours inc. breaks

Program Type: Excursion

Program Theme: Forest, Human Impacts