Posted on: April 12, 2013
Cake made by Chelseas Culinary Creations
Guess who just had a birthday? We are proud to announce that Marine WATERs (Western Australian Teacher Education Resources) turned two years old last week, so we thought it was a good opportunity to say thanks to everyone for their support and positive feedback. We have been truly amazed with the response from teachers and educators – with over 2,500 registered users accessing our resources, including people from all over Australia and around the world. Of course, this initiative would not have been possible without the support of Woodside Energy.
In two years we have been able to develop 47 comprehensive curriculum-linked lesson plans for primary and secondary levels, plus an array of fact sheets, presentations and other resource materials. In fact, things got a little cluttered towards the end of last year so we hope you have been enjoying our website upgrade to help you locate resources quickly and easily. Being able to search for the Australian Curriculum code specific to the outcomes for the year level you teach was just one of the clever features rolled out with the facelift.
For our Western Australian registered users we have developed Teacher Guides on Marine WATERs. These guides assist those teachers taking advantage of our Department of Fisheries school excursions at Hillarys or incursions with some of our regional programs. The teacher guides demonstrate how Marine WATERs resources should be incorporated into your teaching-learning program prior to and after a Department of Fisheries led activity.
It wouldn’t be a Marine WATERs blog without profiling one of our favourite lesson plans and it’s very obvious this time round – What’s My Age Again? In this lesson plan students learn how fisheries management agencies monitor the health of fish stock using fish otoliths, also known as ear stones. Similar to the growth rings of a tree, these otoliths are used to help age fish. We have developed two presentations that can be used with your students to ‘age’ fish without even leaving the classroom! The Department of Fisheries also runs a community campaign called Send Us Your Skeletons, asking fishers to donate the fish frames of particular species to our research division so that they can extract otoliths, age fish and monitor the health of some of Western Australia’s favourite fish species. What’s My Again? not only deals with real science, students can also assume the role of a ‘citizen scientist’ next time they head out fishing.
Thanks again everyone and we always like to hear how you are using our Marine WATERs resources and how they benefit you and your students, so please don’t be shy and drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Australian Curriculum Outcomes: ACELY1725, ACELY1736, ACELY1746, ACELY1756, ACMSP169, ACMSP206, ACMSP284, ACSHE120, ACSHE227, ACSHE228, ACSHE230, ACSIS103, ACSIS107,ACSIS129, ACSIS139, ACSIS145, ACSIS169, ACSIS221, ACSIS232
Posted on: December 14, 2012
As the end of the year approaches many of us are on the move catching up with family and friends and embarking on travels over the summer break.
Spare a thought for our marine species that are potentially changing where they live in search of cooler waters, as seas become warmer with a changing climate.
The Redmap Australia website, also known as the ‘Range Extension Database and Mapping’ project was launched last week and invites potentially thousands of citizen scientists to contribute data that can help reveal whether fish are ‘shifting their range’.
We are seeking the assistance of a fishers and divers to report sightings and upload photos of marine life that aren’t usually found at their local fishing, diving and swimming spots.
Redmap Australia is interested in reports of any marine life deemed uncommon along your particular stretch of the coast; and not just fish but also turtles, rays, lobsters, corals, seaweeds, urchins and prawns. Photos are reviewed by a network of marine scientists around the country to verify the species identity and ensure high-quality data. Redmap Australia aims to become a continental-scale monitoring program along Australia’s vast coastline to help track marine range shifts; but also to engage Australians with marine issues using their own data.
Devotees of our lesson plan Acid Test may recall some links to the Redmap website. At the time we compiled the materials relating to ocean acidification, the Redmap project was only running in Tasmania by our enthusiastic colleagues at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and University of Tasmania. Fast forward nearly two years and the Department of Fisheries is now the lead institute for Redmap in Western Australia so expect to see some more climate related teacher resources in 2013.
Each Redmap sighting is a piece in a puzzle that over time will reveal to the community, scientists and industry which species or regions may be experiencing greater changes in marine distributions. The sooner Australian fishers, divers and the public help gather this information, the better. Some seas along the coast of Australia are warming at 3 to 4 times the global average. Turning up the heat tends to stress marine ecosystems and species, and can impact fish growth, reproduction and behaviour.
Everyone can get involved by becoming a Redmap Australia registered member, signing up for our quarterly newsletter, liking us on Facebook, and importantly logging unusual marine animals at www.redmap.org.au.
Contribution to Redmap is easy as Spot, Log and Map.
Redmap is a large collaborative project led by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania, and involves the University of Newscastle, James Cook University, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), Museum Victoria, Department of Fisheries Western Australia, the University of Adelaide and the South East Australia Program (SEAP). The expansion of Redmap nationally was made possible with generous funding from an Australian Government Inspiring Australia grant, the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Redmap also receives support from Mures Tasmania and many fishing, diving and community groups around the country.