How exciting would it be to undertake a course where you snorkel, visit the beach to monitor sand dunes, squish through mud to examine the growth and diversity of seagrass beds on the Gold Coast, dive in local reefs, monitor mangrove forests, learn photography lessons on land and underwater?
What if I tell you that it really happens? Students of the Certificate III course in Conservation and Restoration of Marine Habitats have 50% of this course is practical both in class and outside!
Where are they going? To the edge of the ocean, to the mangrove - to nature, anyway! And the class takes place in the sun or rain, in the wind or in the middle of a quiet breeze... students learn about marine life not only by reading about it, but by touching it, experiencing it.
The concerns in 2020 are for the future of our world. The world is more conscious than ever before that our natural habitats are suffering and in dire need of restoration and conservation. This is the main purpose that we have created these courses.
Some of the classes are done in partnership with Sea World. On Sept 2nd, students went to the rockpools of Burleigh Heads beach to study. On Thursday, 20th of August 2020 they joined Watergum Seagrass in the Citizen Science Project called SEAGRASS WATCH, a long-term monitoring project of the state of seagrass meadows around the world. The site is located at Tallebudgera Creek, surrounded by a mangrove forest.
“The reason why we joined the Seagrass watch program was to provide our students the opportunity to apply what they learned in the classroom about how to perform quadrat sampling in the field and, at the same time, participate in a local conservation project. They conducted quadrat samplings along 3 transects and learned how to assess seagrass coverage, quantify epiphytes and how to identify the main species found in the area”, explains the trainer Maria Luiz Schmitz Fontes.