Transcript of Rainforests of NSW

Rainforests of NSW (3:37)

Loretta Coombs – Hi, I'm Loretta Coombs. I'm a teacher at Observatory Hill Environmental Ed Centre. And we're a Department of Education School and we provide incursion, excursion and field work programmes.

The resource I have developed in collaboration with Julianne, from the field of Mars Environmental Ed Centre, is a Google website. It investigates the temperate rainforests of New South Wales. 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 nature and location of rainforests, vulnerability, resilience, and modification. The nature and rate of change, how humans have impacted the ecosystem and how we are managing these impacts. In particular, it investigates the impact of the Black Summer Bushfires. How this event affects the way we think about vulnerability and resilience of these ecosystems and how forest managers have had to adapt.

For each syllabus dot point, the resource contains content, photos and videos of New South Wales rainforests, revision activities and carefully chosen extended response questions, which have been taken from past HSCs to match that part of the content. Importantly, the website provides a base to launch teachers and students outside, to investigate an area of rainforest through field work. So each section of the website covers a point in the syllabus and has corresponding inquiry questions, fieldwork methodologies and refers to the field work equipment required.

We have primarily developed the website for teachers teaching HSC geography students who are looking for a standalone and enhanced case study of an ecosystem at risk. So teachers can use the resource for explicit and whole-class teaching. There's lots of content and 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 in and find their field work site and explore the 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, methodologies and questions, which are embedded in each section, helpful. So that teachers can run their own field work.

Some of the reasons we wanted to investigate temperate rainforests of New South Wales is that these ecosystems are incredibly diverse and productive. That they were severely effected by the Black Summer Bushfires. And these ecosystems are within reach of many of us that live in coastal and regional New South Wales. 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 an essential part of the syllabus.

Thank you for listening.

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