Category Archives: Marine Biology

Dive into SeaWeek 2022

SeaWeek 2022 will be celebrated throughout Australia from 5-13 March. The theme this year is Our SEArch – what will you discover? It’s all about the fact that the Ocean is largely unexplored. This is a fascinating topic and a great reason for exploring all things relating to the ocean in schools and childcare settings this month. So, here’s some fascinating info about the ocean floor to set you on track, and ideas that will engage and inspire kids to want to learn more. Time to dive into SeaWeek 2022…

Is Most of the Ocean Unexplored?

Experts believe that more than 80 percent of the ocean floor is unexplored and has never been mapped. It’s crazy to think that a far larger percentage of the moon and the planet Mars has been mapped than the ocean on the planet where we live!

However, it’s probably not surprising when you consider that the ocean covers more than 70% of the surface of the earth. So, we are talking a huge area, with enormous variations in depth, much of which is very difficult to reach.

 

How Deep is the Ocean?

The depth of the ocean floor varies hugely, from the shallow blue waters of much of our coastline, to the darkness of the deep, deep ocean. So, to answer the question, “How deep is the ocean”, it’s tricky to give one answer. However, it’s generally agreed that the average depth of the ocean is 3.7 km.

What’s the Deepest Part of the Ocean?

Nowadays, we talk about the earth’s ‘one’ ocean as each named ocean (such as the Pacific Ocean) within it is connected to at least two other oceans, creating one whole ocean.

The deepest part of the ocean is in the Pacific Ocean. It is called Challenger Deep, after the HMS Challenger, whose crew first sounded (measured) the depths of the trench in 1875.

Challenger Deep lies at the southern end of the Mariana Trench and is around 10,984 metres deep. Compare that to Everest, which is 8,848 metres high, and it gives you an idea of the kind of depth we’re talking – about 11km. That’s deep!!!!

How do we Measure the Depth of the Ocean?

sounding

Measuring the depth of a body of water is called ‘sounding‘ or ‘sounding depth’. In order to measure the depth of the ocean, ships and boats use a sonar (Sound Navigation and Ranging) device, which sends sound waves to the bottom of the ocean and measures how long it takes for an echo to return.

 

We hope we have given you some ideas to get you thinking about celebrating SeaWeek 2022. Please see our blog and links below for more info.

Celebrating SeaWeek 2022

 

Read our BLOG ‘Celebrate SeaWeek Australia’, for ideas to celebrate SeaWeek 2022 and inspire kids to want to learn more about the ocean and to want to protect it

 

 

Free SeaWeek 2022 Poster

Other Ocean Events 2022

SeaWeek 2022 is hosted by the AAEE (Australian Association for Environmental Education). If you are planning to run a SeaWeek event, competition, or activity, they’d love to promote it! Email: seaweek@aaee.org.au for more information.

Bringing Nature into the Classroom

 

“Bringing nature into the classroom can kindle a fascination and passion for the diversity of life on earth and motivate a sense of responsibility to safeguard it”,

Sir David Attenborough.

 

Ocean Life Education’s Director of Education, Richard Coward, is a firm believer that education is the key to protecting the ocean. So, Richard has spent the past 14 years visiting schools, early learning centres and community events, passionately educating and inspiring young minds to feel a responsibility to protect the our seas.

“Our goal is to educate Australians about how our lives are interconnected with our oceans and to inspire them to feel a responsibility to take action to protect them”, Richard Coward, Director of Education, Ocean Life Education.

 

A Passion for Protecting the Ocean

Ocean Life Education was set up in 2006 by Director of Education and Marine Biologist, Richard Coward. Richard studied Marine Ecology at Queensland’s Griffith University and commenced his career running Sunshine Coast’s Underwater World education programs and was later promoted to Curator of Fishes.

Richard went on to work on the creation of a new aquarium in South Korea. Whilst diving in the ocean, he was astonished by the complete lack of marine life. This was the first time he had experienced first-hand the devastating consequences of human impact caused by over-fishing. This education inspired him to take action. Richard saw this as a wakeup call and was determined this was not going to be allowed to happen in Australia. Thus, his passion for protecting the ocean was born.

Richard’s career went off down many paths: managing exhibits in aquariums worldwide and working with sharks, seals, penguins, turtles, sea jellies, fish, octopus, and invertebrates, to name a few.  He has been involved in research projects and breeding programs as well as whale rescue and his knowledge has frequently been reported on television, including a whole feature on the Totally Wild television show. Throughout all this, promoting conservation has always been at the heart of what he does.

 

Taking the Ocean into the Classroom

Richard soon realised that educating future generations was the key to them understanding why the ocean is so important to us and inspiring them to take action to protect it. “You protect what you love”, he quotes.

But many children were unable to get to the ocean or even to an aquarium to experience ocean life first-hand, so the idea of taking the ocean to the classroom was hatched and Ocean Life Education was born.

 

Our Programs & Marine Educators

Since 2006, Ocean Life Education has promoted the protection of our oceans to hundreds and thousands of Australians throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Our aim is to bring the sea to the community or classroom.  Marine educators arrive with live marine animals, fascinating artefacts, games and resources and students get a hands-on experience interacting with the animals. They hopefully finish off knowledgeable and inspired to want to protect the ocean and passionate to tell their friends and families why they should do the same.

                       

Our Programs

Early Learning – Ocean Discovery Program https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/early-learning/

Primary – Curriculum based and tailored themes and activities https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/primary-schools/

Holiday Programs (OSHC) – Human Impact, Sharks, Weird & Wonderful https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/holiday-program/

High School – Curriculum based and tailored themes and activities https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/high-school/

Events – live marine displays, beach walks, lectures, workshops (tailored to requirement) https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/events/

 

Further reading

For more information about what we can all do to protect the ocean, check out our blog:

https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/how-can-i-protect-the-ocean/

 

Hope to see you soon!

 

How to become a Marine Biologist in Queensland

Interested in the ocean but not sure how to turn that interest in to a career you’ll love. Read on to find out all you need to know about how to become a marine biologist in Queensland…

What is Marine Biology?

Marine biology is the study of ocean life – organisms and ecosystems in saltwater environments. Marine Biologists study interactions between marine plants, marine animals and coastal areas and the atmosphere. Marine biology is a broad term which includes many specialisations.

What does a Marine Biologist do?

Marine Biologists are research based, so research projects are the main focus (as well as ocean education). These involve collecting specimens at sea, compiling research data, and laboratory-based experiments. Research areas may include human impact on reef systems, migration patterns and the underwater ecosystem.

Where could I work as a Marine Biologist?

Marine Biologists can work in many research and education specialisations. These include conservation and marine parks, fisheries and the fishing industry, planning and management, universities, museums, marine science institutions, power generation (sustainable please!), engineering and consulting government and industry.

Key responsibilities of a Marine Biologist:

  • Developing, planning and carrying out experiments
  • Operating tracking technology, fishing nets, sonar and remotely operated vehicles.
  • Using specialist computer software to aid data interpretation
  • Writing research papers and reports.

Skills Required to Become a Marine Biologist

  • Patience and determination
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Finding solutions to challenges whilst out on the ocean – sea legs required!
  • Practical skills – boat handling, scuba diving and first aid knowledge
  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Team working and interpersonal skills

Research Skills for a Career in Marine Biology

Marine Biologists must be able to conduct successful research and complete a literature review, plan a research question, design the study, collect and analyse data and accurately publish results.

Teamwork & a Career in Marine Biology

Marine Biologists rarely work alone. So, they need to be able to work as part of a team and communicate well with everyone. Communication and coordination are key attributes.

Observation Skills for Marine Biologists

Marine Biologists spend extended periods of time observing and studying ocean life. Therefore, they need a passion for this in order to generate new ideas for research and understandings about how sea life works.

Analytical Skills for a Career in Marine Biology

Excellent research means analysing in a new or insightful manner so Marine Biologists need to be able to decide which analytic methods would prove most useful to a particular set of data.

Qualifications required to Become a Marine Biologist

A degree in marine science, biology, geology, ecology, oceanography or zoology is usually required, followed by a Masters to work in a research position. Many marine biologists collaborate with universities and also teach when not out working on research projects in the field, whilst others work for consultancies, coastal authorities, charities and aquariums.

Where can I study for a career in Marine Biology in Queensland?

You can study for a career in marine biology in the following universities in Queensland:

Check out some of our inspiring programs and courses to start getting the knowledge:

Online courses – Amazing Sharks & Humpback Whales

Shark Resources

Marine Biologist for A Day

 

Marine Biologist for a Day

Over the past few years, hundreds of primary schoolers have enjoyed our holiday sessions that inspire them to care for the ocean – now it’s time for the high schoolers to get in on the action.

Due to popular demand, our Marine Biologist for a Day program has been adapted to cater for an older audience who want a more in depth look at the world of marine science.

Students will have the chance to examine in detail our impact on the ocean including environmental stress on coral reef systems, water acidification and plastic pollution.  We will discuss a wide range of ideas on how to better care for the health of our seas.

The aim of the program is to making learning fun and relevant, examining animal classification to discover how each creature fits into the aquatic world.

The program will be very interactive, with students observing the dissection of a dead fish to reveal the organ make-up and development of a mullet.

And our most popular feature will still be included – the chance to gently touch our living sea creatures – an opportunity that never gets old at any age!

This program will provide a valuable insight to the workings of the aquatic world for any high schooler who has a passion for the ocean or is considering a career in marine sciences.

But we haven’t forgotten the younger students – our classic Marine Biologist for a Day will still be running in school holidays – we’re just expanding the program to grow with your kids.

For more details check out https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/marine-biologist-for-a-day/