Marine biogeochemistry boat trip

This information is correct for the Semester 1, 2023 trip. It is expected that some changes may be made for 2024: please check back later or contact the course convenor for more information.
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Michael Ellwood

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This overnight trip to Narooma provides students with the opportunity to collect water samples which will later be analysed at ANU. During the 3-4 hour boat trip, students will collect the samples and operate instruments to make seawater measurements.  Contributing to the sample collection process enhances students’ understanding of the marine environment and help students appreciate how marine biogeochemists collect samples.

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 that 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.

How to participate?

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

If you can't participate

This trip is completely optional: all students analyse the collected samples during laboratories, but there is no assessment directly associated with participating in the trip.


Activity site: small commercial boat

Students will travel out to sea on a small commercial boat to collect water samples.  The weather conditions can be rough/sloppy at times which can induce seasickness. Students are advised to bring waterproof clothing that can accommodate cold and warm conditions. There is a small toilet on the boat. 

Students do not need to be able to swim.

The boat is small and students will need to be able move around the boat without assistance. This trip is therefore not suitable for students with limited mobility. If you have a mobility impairment and think you may be able to manage the trip, please discuss this with the convenor before signing up. 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: shared

Accommodation will be booked by the university. It will be shared accommodation.

Travel: minibus 

The university will organise travel by minibus. The trip to Narooma takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.

Food: organise your own 

It is the student responsibility to bring food. There is an opportunity to purchase food a the local supermarket. If you have an allergy to the food other people eat, please discuss this with the convenor before signing up to the trip.

Cost: approximately $140 

The cost will be approximately $140. Payment made via the science shop.

Health & wellbeing

Look after yourself: sea-sickness and other boating risks

During the boat trip, we may experience rough weather conditions that may cause some students to experience sea-sickness. Students are encouraged to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about sea-sickness medication and students who know they experience severe sea-sickness should think about whether participating in this trip is the best option for them. Rough conditions may also cause students to stumble on the boat, potentially leading to minor scrapes and bruises.

For some students, staying overnight away from support networks can be an issue and students are strongly encouraged to think about how they will manage their physical and mental health while on the trip. First aid officers can assist by arranging storage for medical equipment/medicine and arranging transport to medical facilities if needed. Students should be aware that the university's insurance policy does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Field trips typically involve extended periods of work and leisure time spent with other people, resulting in limited time alone or privacy. Students who feel they would benefit from time alone or in quiet locations should discuss the options with the course convener.

Look out for each other: respecting other students' needs

During the trips you will work alongside other students for extended periods of time, including during non-academic time. It is essential that you understand and respect the varying needs of other members of the group during the trip.  If this might be an issue for you, please talk to the course convener.  We can talk through the issues, suggest strategies to improve the situation and facilitate discussions with other group members.

Workload: The boat trip is the only activity

The group will leave from the Research School of Earth Science on Saturday and travel to Narooma by mini-bus. The trip out to sea will be on Sunday morning, leaving from the wharf at 7:30 am.

Clothes: waterproof with options for different weather conditions

You will need waterproof clothing and closed-toe shoes/boots for safety reasons. You will also need to be prepared for a range of weather conditions including hats and sunscreen for hot weather and warm clothes for cold weather. 

Tasks & activities

Collecting sea water samples

Students are typically required to contribute to collecting the water samples, including reaching to collect samples and carrying equipment. If you may be unable to contribute to some of these tasks, please discuss this with the course convenor prior to signing up for the boat trip.

Instructions and discussions on the boat

During the boat trip, you will need to follow instructions relating to collecting samples and be involved in discussions explaining the collection methods used. These may take place in noisy or windy conditions. If this may cause an issue for you, please discuss with the course convenor prior to signing up for the trip.