Classification and Taxonomy
Focus on the diverse range of marine phyla and how we classify animals. Hands on classification activity with live animals to understand the similarities and differences between organisms and why classification is important to understanding our world.
Food Chains and Food Webs
Students learn about herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and how energy moves through food chains. We investigate the importance of tiny plankton and learn how humans impact marine food webs. Option to link this to sustainable fishing program and aquaculture program.
Water as a Resource
Investigate the water cycle in terms of climate, ocean currents and sea ice. Look at hydrodynamic models and understand the relationship between ocean currents and temperature and salinity. Understand fresh water is a finite resource and learn about marine pollution. Can be linked to sustainable fishing program.
Fishing for the Future
Aquaculture is a major industry in Tasmania and food security is of ever increasing importance with exponentially expanding population. We take the RV Penghana to a fish farm lease and discuss responsible fishing techniques as well as some of the environmental challenges in aquaculture and technological advances that are leading to improved global practice in this area.
Body Structures and Cells
Focusing on cells and body organs, students investigate the physiological adaptations of marine animals that allow them to survive underwater such as gills, sensory organs and reproductive strategies. Students will be able to hold live animals and compare and contrast different phyla. Students will use microscopes to view plankton and discuss cilia, flagellum, chloroplasts and mitochondria in a comparison between phytoplankton and zooplankton
We discuss how different rock type causes different types of sand and sediment and high energy and low energy coasts. Use the Van Veen Grab on board RV Penghana to take sediment samples from the sea floor of the channel and use the remotely controlled underwater vehicle to conduct a seafloor survey. We also discuss seafloor imaging technology.
Detailed discussion and case study of marine ecosystems, focusing on human impacts. Students will learn what happens when an ecosystem is disrupted by an introduced species or changed as a result of climate change. Case studies include the long spined sea urchin, Northern Pacific Sea Star, and the changes in the East Australian Current.
Focuses on the nervous system, oxygen transport system, digestive system and reproductive systems of three groups of animals – vertebrates (sharks), echinoderms and molluscs. Students investigate the physiological adaptations of marine animals that allow them to survive underwater. Students will be able to hold live animals and compare and contrast different phyla.
Underwater Plate Tectonics
Discuss undersea geological features such as deep ocean trenches, underwater volcanoes and how Wegener’s theory of Plate Tectonics contributed to our understanding of the movement of contents. Use the mapping and sonar equipment on board RV Penghana as well as the ROV to investigate the bathometry of the channel.
DNA and Natural Selection
Focus on two case studies: We consider natural selection and the rising problem of global ‘jellyfish blooms’ and also examine the life cycle of jellyfish to discuss meiosis and mitosis (sexual and asexual reproduction). Genetic technology in aquaculture; and using eDNA to track the virus implicated in Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome.
Study the carbon cycle in relation to reactions involving the acidification of sea water and global attempts to mitigate carbon in the atmosphere (such as using the ocean as a carbon sink). Discussion focuses on ocean chemistry and physical oceanography (ocean circulation systems involving the atmosphere and hydrosphere).