2023 Year 11 Biology Camp | Full Excursion Wrap

Thursday 2 November dawned bright and sunny, as 43 excited Year 11 students and their teachers (Mr Nicholson, Ms Moore and Mr Mills) boarded the bus to travel to Hastings Point for the two-day Biology Field Trip Camp.

During the camp, the students worked hard to collect data from three key ecosystems: mangroves, sand dunes and rocky shores.

We scrambled over the rocky shore foraging for all manner of life hiding within the crevices of the rock pools.

The students relished the opportunity to get up close and personal with anemones, sea stars, urchins and sea hairs.

We strode over the sand dunes to learn about succession, and collect data to enable an analysis of the variances between disturbed and undisturbed ecosystems.

We tiptoed around pneumatophores, dodged the fiddler crabs and licked salt excreted from the leaves of the Aegiceras corniculatus.

Then the students literally immersed themselves in the mangrove habitat.

In the evening, the students explored the world of plankton, marveling at the microscopic wonders that occupy the sea water.

On Friday we took to the water in kayaks to learn more about estuarine ecology.

Some students struggled to get in and then stay in their kayaks, while others reveled in the hilarity of frequent splashing bombardments.

Punctuating the noisy chaos of splash battles and capsizing, we meandered down the estuary, savoring the tranquility and noting evidence of human impacts.

The Year 11 Biology Camp is a challenging academic experience and once again, the biologists rose to the occasion – working hard, but with good humour, into the late evening to analyse and interpret their field work.

I commend the students on their openness to new experiences and to learn new things.

They were wonderful risk takers, with some kayaking, being away from home, and venturing into the wilderness, for the very first time.

Some students also took calculated risks in emerging from their cabins without shoes on.

Fortunately, all the teachers (but especially Mr. Mills) were there to keep them safe.

Upon returning to Canterbury, we will now spend several weeks dissecting and analysing the data collected on our camp.

This is our way of developing a deep and real appreciation of the key ecological principles that underpin our studies.

Hence, the educational value of the 2023 Biology Camp extends well beyond the two days that we were off campus.

More photos from the Year 11 Biology Field Trip Camp are on our Facebook page HERE.