CORAL REEF ECOLOGY EDUCATION PROGRAMS on the
GREAT BARRIER REEF
The reef community at Lizard Island.
We have been designing and delivering Coral Reef Ecology Education Programs to groups of Secondary and Tertiary students for over 10 years. These field study courses are 1 to 4 weeks in duration and usually take place at either Lizard Island Research Station (a facility of the Australian Museum) or Orpheus Island Research Station (a facility of James Cook University). Both stations combine modern teaching and accommodation facilities with rapid access to some of the best reef communities on the Great Barrier Reef. Many groups also choose to combine their reef study program with a visit to the World Heritage rainforests found along the North Queensland coast, a strategy that allows students to gain first-hand experience of two of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. We also offer Aboriginal cultural extensions to our educational programs.
A typical Reef Education Program might contain the following components:
A) Lectures on topics such as:
- Reef fish ecology - trophic biology, reproduction, niche specialisation, & distribution patterns.
- Identifying major reef taxa - corals, fishes, echinoderms, molluscs.
- The physical characteristics and geomorphology of coral reefs
- Management Issues on the Great Barrier Reef - Crown of Thorns Starfish, water quality, tourism, fishing.
- Sampling programs for ecological studies in the coral reef environment
- Coral ecology - zooxanthellae symbiosis, growth strategies, zonation patterns
- Energy flow in coral reef ecosystems
B) A field expedition component, where students snorkel in a group with TEVENE'I MARINE staff and observe the reef community at a number of different locations and habitat zones, such as:
- the reef front
- the reef crest
- the reef flat
- the shallow lagoonal patch reefs
- the leeward fringing reefs
C) A student study project component, where students have the chance to collect and analyse their own ecological data from the coral reef, under the direct supervision of TEVENE'I MARINE staff.
Some previous projects have included:
- The feeding biology of the Cleaner Wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus.
- Surveys of the fringing reefs of Magnetic island and Lizard Island using the GCRMN monitoring techniques.
- Aggressive interactions between the territorial damselfish Stegastes nigricans and other herbivorous reef fishes.
- Niche separation in three species of wrasse (Thalassoma hardwicke, T. janseni, and T. lunare) on a lagoonal patch reef.
- Male reproductive success in the planktivorous damselfish Chromis atripectoralis.
Please contact Dr. Andrew Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on the Coral Reef Ecology Education Programs offered by TEVENE'I MARINE.
Snorkelling at Lizard Island.
Students from Arcadia University (USA) attending the EMTRIE course in 2002 relax at Magnetic Island after a hard day's snorkelling! Follow this link for more images from the EMTRIE program.