Invertebrate collecting trip

Course codes: 

This 3 day field trip helps students gain knowledge of the invertebrate fauna and collect specimens for the Invertebrate Collection, a major assessment item for the course. Held at the ANU Kioloa coastal campus near Batemans Bay, we will make excursions into nearby forest and onto rock platforms. Working individually or in groups, students will collect specimens in the field and analyse them at the Kioloa laboratories. This trip gives students a unique opportunity to collect specimens at locations they would not otherwise have access to and obtain guidance and assistance from their peers and teachers.

How to participate: 

Any student who meets the pre-requisites can enrol in one of the relevant courses and participate in the trip.

If you can't participate: 

All students are strongly advised to attend this trip, as it provides an opportunity to collect specimens for the major assessable component of the invertebrate section of the course. If you cannot participate, you will need to make your own arrangements to collect and prepare specimens for the invertebrate collection project and discuss your plans with the course convenor.

This information is correct for the semester 1, 2020 trip. We do not anticipate changes for 2021, but please check back closer to the time.
Last updated: 
27 February 2020

Interested in participating? Read on

Participating in trips can be a highlight of your university experience, however it is also important to think carefully about whether it is the right decision for you at this point in time. This page is to help you understand what the trip involves, so you can make an informed decision. The information is accurate to the best of our ability, however please be aware that trip plans can change at the last minute. If this may cause issues for you or you need additional information, please talk to the course convenor.

How we can help you participate

For most of our trips, there are lots of options for flexibility that may make it easier for you to take part. This page will tell you about some of them.  Keep in mind, it is not possible for us to anticipate every individual circumstance, so please contact the course convenor if you have other ideas for how we could help you participate. If you would like support discussing your needs with the course convenor or if your discussion didn't go as you expected, please contact the school accessibility contact.

Course convener

Convener: Dave Rowell

Email: David.Rowell@anu.edu.au

Logistics

Activity sites: forests and rocky platforms

The collection activities will take place at nearby field sites such as forests and rock platforms. Specimens collected during the trip will be prepared and examined using laboratory facilities at Kioloa. Students may be working in sunny, windy or wet conditions and must bring appropriate protective clothing and sunscreen (details covered in class). Most activities will be carried out at less than 30 minutes walk from field station facilities (toilets, showers etc).

To fully participate, students must also be able to safely traverse the distance from the nearest vehicle access to the location of the field activities. This includes:

  • Walking 3 - 4 km over uneven ground most days
  • Some activities will include traversing sandy beach or bush.

If you can't safely traverse these distances, you may still be able to participate in the field trips in a more limited way, such as keying and mounting specimens in the lab, or collecting specimens in nearby grassland - please discuss these options with the convenor at the beginning of semester.

Students who have difficulty with mobility in the field should discuss this with the course convener prior to the trip, even if they can cover the distance described above. The convener will take the students' needs into account if the trip plans change (e.g. due to weather) and in emergency situations. Students with sensory impairments that impact their ability to identify hazards or follow emergency instructions must discuss this with the course convenor at the beginning of semester so we can investigate possible ways for you to safely participate.

Accommodation: dormitory rooms

Accommodation will be in dormitory rooms of 2 – 4 at the ANU Kioloa campus. Rooms will be allocated to same-gender groups unless mixed-gender rooms are discussed with the convenor prior to the trip. There are shared toilets and showers associated with the buildings. The accommodation does not have air conditioning and only basic heating.

The accommodation at Kioloa has some accessibility features, such as ramps to the accommodation, but lacks others, such as paved paths between buildings. If you need accessible accommodation, please discuss your specific needs with the course convenor at the beginning of semester. We will investigate whether they can be accommodated at the Kioloa campus.

Travel: bus 

Travel will be by coach, chartered by the university. Students will leave from the ANU at 2pm on a Friday. The trip takes approximately 3 hours, with a break at Braidwood (halfway point) to allow students to stretch, use public toilets, and purchase refreshments. We will return on Sunday afternoon, arriving back at campus between 5 and 6pm.

Food: cooking as a group 

We will prepare our own meals on site and everyone is expected to help with the preparation and clean-up. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diets can be catered for.

If you have a very restrictive diet or allergies to the food other people eat, please discuss this with the convenor at the beginning of semester, so we can investigate the food options available.  Students are welcome to bring their own snacks, however cooking facilities will not be available to students.

Cost: $250 

Students are required to make a co-contribution to the trip, which will be $250 in 2020. This will go towards costs for transport to and from Kioloa, accommodation and food. This is in addition to the course tuition fee.

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.

Look out for each other: respecting other students' needs

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. 

Workload: Long days in the field followed by evening activities

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.

Clothes: options for all weather

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.

Chasing insects and preserving specimens

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.

Field presentations and discussions

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.

Flexible field notes

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.

Cameras and web-access desirable

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.

Preserving invertebrates

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.