Invertebrate collecting trip
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.
To fully participate, students must have the mental and physical endurance to manage long days working including outdoors in changing conditions (e.g. hot, cold, windy, rainy conditions). As an indication, on a typical day, we have breakfast at 8am and begin activities at 9am. There will be evening activities which may include excursions into the field, or lectures and seminars. If you think this schedule may be an issue for you, please discuss the options with the convenor before signing up to the trip.
The following items are strongly recommended:
- sensible clothing and foot ware for all types of weather
- jumper/windbreaker/umbrella or raincoat
In addition please bring:
- 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…)
You will be presented with a more complete list of items to bring before the trip. Exact requirements may change depending on weather forecasts.
Tasks and activities
Identifying invertebrates based on visual features
During this trip, students will need to interpret visual detailed features to identify invertebrates. The interpretation of visual features is required throughout the course and you cannot pass the course if you cannot complete these tasks. If you have a visual impairment that may impact your ability to do this, please discuss this with the course convenor. We may be able to organise stronger magnifying equipment to assist you and can discuss strategies to assist colour-blind students.
Students will use insect nets and magnifying lenses as standard field equipment. Students will also use microscopes in the lab for specimen identification. This requires a range of motor abilities, from chasing after insects while carrying a net to fine manipulation to mount small insects. If you may be unable to complete some of these tasks, you will need to talk to the convenor at the beginning of semester about whether the requirements for the invertebrate project can be modified.
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 in small groups. If you think that you may have difficulty doing this, please discuss this with the course convener at the beginning of the semester.
During the trip, you will need to keep written field notes to submit as part of the assessment. This can be done by hand or electronically. You can also verbally record your observations to write up later - if you think this will be useful for you, please discuss it with the course convener.
Students may choose to use online keys and other web-based information for specimen identification. Some laptops will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring a smart phone, tablet or laptop.
Kioloa is situated near a small coastal community and has limited mobile phone services; there is good coverage on the Telstra network, but other providers don’t work (e.g. Telstra and Aldi SIM cards will work, but Optus and Vodaphone SIM cards are less likely to work). There is Wifi access (via Eduroam). For some activities a camera will be a valuable asset, so bring a smartphone or a camera.
Students taking this course will develop skills which are necessary in the field of animal systematics and taxonomy. These will include handling, euthanasing and preserving invertebrates. Students who are not prepared to do this will have their learning compromised and be at a considerable disadvantage in the course assessment. Please talk to the convenor before the enrolling in the course if you think this might be an issue for you.