Transcript of Kelp forests, ecosystems at risk

Kelp forests, ecosystems at risk (3:14)

Loretta Coombes – Hi, I'm Loretta Coombes. I'm a teacher from Observatory Hill Environmental Ed Centre, and we are a Department of education school, and we provide incursions, excursions and fieldwork to schools.

So the resource I have developed is a Google website. It investigates the kelp forest ecosystems off the coast of South-eastern Australia. The website focuses on that part of the HSC geography syllabus, which directs students to examine case studies of an ecosystem at risk. The website covers each syllabus heading and dot point.

That is the unique characteristics, the biophysical interactions, the spatial dimensions, the nature and rate of change effecting the ecosystem, human impacts and traditional and contemporary management practices. In particular, it does investigate the impact of a stronger and warmer east Australian current, and how that is changing the ecosystem and causing some of the large kelp forests to disappear.

For each syllabus heading dot point, the resource contains content, photos, especially some beautiful underwater photos, YouTube videos, questions that students can complete themselves, and importantly, guidelines to structure and undertake fieldwork. I have primarily created the website for teachers teaching HSC geography students who are looking for a new and standalone case study of an ecosystem at risk. Recently, though, I have thought there is scope for the content to be shaped and to fit the stage five geography, topic, environmental change, and management.

So teachers can use the resource for explicit and whole class teaching. There is lots of content, lots of short videos, which I think will engage year 12 students. There are hyperlinks to some excellent third party websites and hyperlinks to some great online maps in which students can zoom down and find a part of the coast they know, and explore that ecosystem.

The website is comprehensive and easy to use, so teachers can allow students to self-direct their learning and navigate through the content and videos and complete the revision questions themselves. Hopefully teachers will find the field work guidelines and questions, which are embedded in each section helpful, so that teachers can run their own field work.

Part of the reason I wanted to investigate kelp forests is not only is this ecosystem incredibly diverse and productive, these ecosystems are within reach of many of us that live within an hour or so off the coast.

So I'm hoping that the website provides enough information on the ecosystem and enough guidelines on where and how to conduct field work, which is in an essential part of the syllabus. Thank you for your attention.

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