Ecology field trip: Kioloa
Health and wellbeing
Look after yourself: 2 nights away from home
For some students, two nights is a long time to be away from support networks and students are strongly encouraged to think about how they will manage their physical and mental health while on the trip. Kioloa is located near a small coastal community, which places a number of constraints on how we can support you to manage your health. Students will be asked to fill out a pre-excursion form and it is very important that you report any existing or potential health issues. This information will assist our first aid officers to support you if you require it. If you need assistance storing equipment or medication, you will need to discuss this before the trip. We can also arrange emergency transport if you need to access medical facilities, however this cannot easily be arranged for routine issues. Also please be aware that the university's insurance policy does not cover pre-existing conditions.
During the course we will be working in laboratories containing hazardous materials and with animal material and in the field collecting invertebrates. Students will be given a schedule of activities before the trip and need to talk to the convenor before the trip if any may cause a risk to their physical or mental health. We will look for ways for you to safely participate, and if this isn't possible, can develop alternatives. Students should therefore only need to withdraw from an activity in emergency, or genuinely unforeseeable, situations.
You will be living and working in close quarters with other students throughout the trip. For safety reasons, there are limited opportunities for you to spend time on your own and you must let the convenor know where you are at all times. Kioloa has limited mobile reception; there is good coverage on the Telstra network, but other providers won’t work. If you need a bit of time alone, access to a phone or to make calls in private, please talk to the course convener.
You will be working and living alongside a small group of people for a considerable length of time. Students must act in a professional, respectful and responsible way at all times during the activity. Students are also requested and required to follow the safety procedures set out for the course, and at the Kioloa centre in general.
A typical day involves breakfast at approximately 7 am with activities starting at approximately 8am. Most activities finish around 5pm. There will also be some evening work and an opportunity for sampling after dark on one night, and there may be lectures at night on both the Friday and Saturday. Students who have difficulties with physical or mental endurance related to these timings should speak to the convener at the beginning of semester so we can investigate the options available.
The following items are strongly recommended:
- Sensible clothing and foot ware for all types of weather
- jumper/windbreaker/umbrella or raincoat
- mosquito and insect repellent (there are plenty of ticks and leeches around)Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat (a MUST!)
- water bottle
- flash light/head lamps (it can be very dark…).
Please note that a recommended equipment/clothes list is provided with the schedule for the field trip.
Tasks and activities
Measurements will be taken of: tree size, abundance, air/weather properties like windspeed, soil properties, organic matter depth and soil moisture, invertebrate abundance and identity. All measurements can be made from the ground, on foot. They involve working with others to build a sampling protocol and use some basic equipment, which is either mechanical or runs on batteries (eg flashlights).
There will be some introductory lecture material at the start of and during the course; also discussions and group planning to wrap up the field trip.
Students will be listening to content delivered by staff whilst in the field (outside). While collecting field data, students will have to listen, discuss and coordinate with each other as small group.
If you think that you may have difficulty doing this, please discuss this with the course convener at the beginning of semester.
Students will have the opportunity to informally present their work to other students and to staff if they wish to, but this is not core to the field trip.
Students are expected to use guides for flora and fauna, as provided, and as needed for completion of activities. They may also wish to consult any other texts brought along for their benefit.
Students may be required to take handwritten field notes and/or record data while working in the field. If you think that you may be unable to do this, please talk to the course convenor about alternatives (e.g. using an electronic device, recording verbal observations to write up later).
Students will be expected to put datasets into laptops provided by the school. They will also have the opportunity to learn to use some equipment such as instruments to measure weather conditions, soil moisture, light intensity, other.
The student class will be split up into groups of up to 10 and helped to obtain measurements needed for the field trip.
They will be guided in their work in the field by the teaching team.
Students taking this course will catch and handle invertebrates. Please talk to the convenor at the start of semester if you think this might be an issue for you.