Diving Into Science | RMIT University


Hassan Adly: Well when I heard that there
was a trip to Lizard Island organised by RMIT, I immediately knew I wanted to do this. Olivia Hoak: This was an incredible opportunity
to see the Great Barrier Reef, and actually know what you’re looking at. Justin Cerabond: To see things that we see
in the lab, out in the field, in their native habitats; It was too good to pass up. Gale Spring: We take about twenty-two people
in total, nineteen students and generally three staff; travel from Cairns to Lizard
Island by charter aircraft, and we stay there, and we are self-contained and self-sufficient. Hassan Adly: We’ve got a lot of work to do.
We’re not really lazing around; we’re not being left to our devices. Pretty much from
the morning it’s all, snorkelling, briefings, de-briefings, lectures, and then we have a
field journal which we have to fill out, so every day’s pretty well filled. Gale Spring: So over a period of about eight
days, we travel out to these different areas by boat. Twice a day; do our snorkelling,
do data collection, species identification, make notes on the environmental changes. And
then one of the key issues and the reason we do this, is that we also teach the students
how to do real life surveys, out in real life conditions. Hassan Adly: Lizard Island has been completely
un-exploited by tourism and other degrading factors that you see in other parts of the
world. So you’ve got a pristine tropical reef environment which is perfect for study. Olivia Hoak: The two sessions yesterday were
real highlights for me, because we did get to see a Sea Turtle swimming in front of us
and we sort of followed it for a while, and it was just incredible. Like I mean, you see
footage of it, but it’s just something completely different to know it’s right there in front
of you, and you are actually getting a chance to follow this animal. Gale Spring: The environments are so different
around the island, we have very shallow areas, some deeper areas, we have things called bommies
that come out from very deep water, straight up as columns. All of these have different
kinds of environmental issues, and we see lots of different kinds of wildlife at each
of these areas. Olivia Hoak: There’s researchers around us
and they’ve got tanks set and things like that. So you’re sort of seeing what it would
actually be like to work in this field. Justin Cerabond: This trip has really solidified
my plans for the future; and certainly to undertake more marine biology study, and possibly
even some work in the field. Gale Spring: The students come back with a
real sense, that they have really dealt with the real world. This isn’t just another academic
program, something one does in class, sees pictures on the board, goes to the library
looks things up: This is not that at all. It is you’re really there, you really experienced
it, and you really talked to the people that do this for a living.

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