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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 9542 1951


Module 3 (adaptations) and module 4 (population dynamics)

A fieldwork excursion is a great way to inspire students for a depth study. This excursion contributes 5 hours to a depth study. When you book we will send you digital resources to help support pre and post learning and a depth study back in the classroom.

A visit to the Royal National Park can support a range of depth studies, such as:

  • How will climate change impact the mangrove/rock platform ecosystem?
  • Can the Royal National Park sustain a koala population?
  • Should they reintroduce the spotted quoll to the Royal National Park?
  • What is the impact of plastic waste on marine ecosystems?
  • How has bushfire impacted the heath/woodland ecosystem?

Program feedback

"This gave students the opportunity to apply the practical skills, and have opportunities to use a variety of different technologies to test abiotic factors. This also provided a very different environment to study, compared to what our students are used to."

"This program is awesome as it allows students to get outside and actually participate in the biological concepts they are learning about."

Key syllabus outcomes:

A student:

  • communicates scientific understanding using suitable language and terminology for a specific audience or purpose BIO11-7
  • describes biological diversity by explaining the relationships between a range of organisms in terms of specialisation for selected habitats and evolution of species BIO11-10
  • analyses ecosystem dynamics and the interrelationships of organisms within the ecosystem BIO11-11

Inquiry questions:

  • How do adaptations increase the organism's ability to survive?
  • What effect can one species have on the other species in a community?
  • How can human activity impact on an ecosystem?

Learning activities may include:

  • Observe the structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations of plants and animals
  • Observe animals as relevant to the ecosystem, e.g., bird watching, dipnetting for macroinvertebrates, invertebrate search, capture and release of crabs or rock platform species
  • Use scientific equipment to measure a range of abiotic factors relevant to the ecosystem, such as: temperature, humidity, salinity, soil pH, water pH, sunlight intensity, wind speed and direction
  • Observe examples of the impact of biotic factors, including predation, competition and symbiotic relationships
  • Complete food chains to summarise observed feeding interdependencies
  • Use random quadrats to estimate the population of one plant and one animal species
  • Complete a transect to determine distribution of species across the ecosystem
  • Observe and summarise impacts of human activity on the ecosystem

Excursion sites:

We run biology excursions in a range of ecosystems and locations; some sites are accessible by public transport. Locations include: