VCE Biology Fieldwork (Unit 1 Area of Study 2)

Excursion Program Overview

Explore the intertidal rockpools and sandy beaches of Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary. Discover how abiotic factors influence the distribution of species on the rocky platform and how organisms have adapted to these highly variable conditions. This program has been written by an experienced VCE Biology teacher and has been tested and refined to suit the new study design.

Half Day Program includes;

  • Safety Talk – how to stay safe at the beach
  • Marine Education Centre – learn about the role the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary plays in conservation
  • Rock Platform Discovery – discover some of the sea creatures and plants that have adapted to survive in the harsh intertidal zone and classify organisms using a dichotomous key and Sea Search’s Species Image Library
  • Use a range of scientific equipment supplied by Gould League educators to measure the abiotic factors of the different habitats
  • Using Sea Search’s Intertidal Reef survey and a transect investigate the reasons for the distribution of organisms
  • Pollution and the Marine Environment – create connections and consider how their actions at home can affect the marine environment
  • Sea Treasures – Students look at, touch and learn about some fascinating beach washed treasures such as such as cuttlefish, sea stars & shark eggs.

Restrictions: Tide dependent please provide alternate dates that spread across at least 2 weeks

Prior knowledge required: biotic/ abiotic, textbook knowledge of transects and quadrats, how to draw food webs, food chains, how to use classification keys, look at Sea Search’s Quadrat sampling method http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/561274/2.1.pdf

Equipment needed: A copy of the workbook, clipboard and pencil per student

Equipment supplied by Gould League: thermometer, classification key, tape measure, quadrats, Species Image Library sheet from Sea Search

Additional equipment to bring: If your school has the following equipment and you know how to use it, please feel free to bring- a light metre, probes (salinity, DO), turbidity tube, stop watch and cameras

Curriculum Connections:

VCE Biology Unit 1 Area of Study 2 Biological Fieldwork

On completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake an investigation related to the survival of an organism or species, and draw conclusions based on evidence from collected data. A sample SAC is available upon request.

Key knowledge

  • the biological concepts specific to the investigation and their significance, including definitions of key terms, and biological representations
  • the characteristics of scientific research methodologies and techniques of primary qualitative and quantitative data collection relevant to the investigation: fieldwork (quadrats, transects and field guides) and/or observational studies of animal behavior; precision, accuracy, reliability and validity of data; and minimisation of experimental bias
  • ethics and issues of research including identification and application of relevant health, safety and bioethical guidelines
  • methods of organising, analysing and evaluating primary data to identify patterns and relationships including sources of error and limitations of data and methodologies
  • observations and experiments that are consistent with, or challenge, current biological models or theories
  • the nature of evidence that supports or refutes a hypothesis, model or theory
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Program Details

Cost (per group): Half Day $487 + GST

Max # of Groups (group max. 30): 4

Possible Start Times: 10.15am, 11.15am

Grade Level: Year 11

Program Location: Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary

Program Duration: 3 hour incl break

Program Type: Excursion

Program Theme: Biodiversity, Human Impacts, Living things, Marine