Tag Archives: marine incursions

Our Inspiring Team of Marine Biologists


Updating the team page on our website this month made us think that it’s about time to do a blog post dedicated to the incredible people who make our programs so popular – the wonderful crew at Ocean Life Education!

We really do have the best team imaginable who all have one thing in common – their passion for the ocean and their enthusiasm for wanting to share their knowledge and educate others about the big blue.

So, here we report back on what the inspirational crew at Ocean Life Education love about the ocean and why they want to shout about it!

A Passion for the Ocean pistol shrimp and gobie

Our educators tell us that they are driven by a deep passion for the ocean due to key factors that have resulted from childhood or ocean experiences. That’s why we believe that giving children the opportunity to experience ocean life firsthand is key to harbouring a love of the ocean. Here’s what they say…

Reasons our Team Say they Love the Ocean

Fascination with Marine Life: The incredible diversity of marine organisms, from the smallest plankton to the largest whales, captures the imagination. The intricate behaviours, unique adaptations, and complex ecosystems of marine life provide endless opportunities for discovery and study.


pistol shrimp and gobieOur educator’s favourite ocean animals are diverse, ranging from the tiniest nudibranch, pistol shrimps and gobies, to turtles, humpback whales and graceful manta rays. What an impressive range, demonstrating  just how incredible life in the ocean is.


Environmental Stewardship: A desire to protect and preserve ocean ecosystems against the increasing threats to marine environments, such as pollution, overfishing, and climate change, drive them to work towards conservation and sustainability.


Whale Rescue Coolum 1996

Whale Rescue Coolum 1996

Many of our educators have worked on environmental projects themselves. Director of Education, Richard Coward, has been involved in research projects such as buoyancy syndrome turtle research, shark research and breeding programs.

Many staff, including Richard, have also been involved in rescues, resulting in the release of whales and turtles (amongst other species) back into the wild.

Check out this picture of the rescue that Richard was involved in.


Love of Exploration: The ocean is still largely unexplored, offering a sense of adventure and the allure of uncovering new species, unknown habitats, and geological features.

The mystery and vastness of the ocean inspire curiosity and a spirit of discovery in our crew.

“I was amazed when I went diving at night in Papua New Guinea and was lucky enough to experience a coral spawning event in an ocean that was glowing with bioluminescence (the production and emission of light by a living organism – seen in the image). It just blew my mind! Another time, I was awe-struck when I went diving with a smack (yes, the collective name!) of sea jellies (aka jelly fish). Magic moments that I will treasure forever…and there’s so much more to come!!”


Growing Up on the Coast

Connection to Nature: Our educators all love the ocean, often stemming from childhood experiences, such as beach visits, snorkelling, or scuba diving. This personal connection fuels a lifelong passion for studying and protecting marine environments.

Great-Barrier-Reef-Most of our educators were lucky enough to have grown up next to the ocean in Queensland or NSW. The East Coast of Australia is probably one of the best places on earth to grow up if you love the ocean!

These factors combine to create a strong passion among our team for the ocean and its inhabitants, driving them to be the inspirational educators that they are!

Find out more about our inspirational team

Fancy a career in Marine Biology?

Here’s a link to our other news

And a link to our programs

Human Impact Teaching Resources for Schools in Australia


In Australia, the unique biodiversity and fragile ecosystems make understanding human impact on the environment especially crucial. Teaching students about human impact not only fosters environmental awareness but also encourages responsible citizenship. To support educators in Australia in this task, a variety of teaching resources tailored to the local context are available. In this blog post, we will explore some valuable human impact teaching resources designed specifically for schools in Australia.

Why Teach About Human Impact in Australia?

Australia’s diverse landscapes, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback, are home to countless unique species and Great-Barrier-Reef- ecosystems. However, these environments are increasingly threatened by factors such as climate change, habitat destruction, and pollution. By educating students about human impact, we can empower them to appreciate and protect Australia’s natural heritage. This knowledge can inspire future generations to make eco-friendly choices and advocate for environmental conservation.

Top Human Impact Teaching Resources for Australian Schools

1. Educational Websites

Cool Australia

Description: Cool Australia offers a wide range of free educational resources, including lesson plans, videos, and interactive activities focused on sustainability and environmental conservation.

Features: Curriculum-aligned content, teacher guides, and resources that highlight Australian-specific environmental issues.

Eco Warriors

Description: Eco Warriors provides engaging online resources, games, and activities designed to educate primary school students about environmental stewardship.

Features: Interactive learning modules, printable worksheets, and multimedia resources with an Australian context.

National Geographic Kids Kids Nat Geo

Description: National Geographic Kids offers a range of articles, videos, and interactive activities that explore environmental issues and human impact.

Features: Engaging content, quizzes, and classroom resources suitable for primary school students.


“The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss 

Description: This classic children’s book explores the consequences of environmental destruction in a whimsical and memorable way.

Features: Engaging storytelling, vibrant illustrations, and valuable lessons about conservation and stewardship. The Lorax

“The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest” by Lynne Cherry

Description: This beautifully illustrated book introduces students to the concept of deforestation and its impact on rainforest ecosystems, providing a global perspective on human impact.

Features: Rich illustrations, a compelling narrative, and themes that resonate with Australian environmental issues.

“Possum Magic” by Mem Fox

Description: While not strictly an environmental book, “Possum Magic” celebrates Australian wildlife and landscapes, making it a great starting point for discussing human impact.

Features: Charming illustrations, a captivating storyline, and opportunities to explore themes of conservation and biodiversity.

“One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia” by Miranda Paul

Description: This inspiring true story introduces students to the concept of recycling and the importance of community One Plastic Bag involvement in environmental conservation.

Features: Beautiful illustrations, a compelling narrative, and themes of empowerment and sustainability.

Interactive Workshops and Programs

Ocean Life Education

Description: Inspirational hands on learning with live marine animals and knowledgeable marine educators delivering engaging incursions and excursions throughout SE Queensland and northern NSW. Based on the Australian curriculum or tailored to special interests.

Features: a diverse range of live marine animals, artifacts and resources.

Kids Teaching Kids

Description: Kids Teaching Kids is a national education initiative that empowers students to become environmental leaders through peer-to-peer learning and collaborative projects.

Features: Student-led workshops, environmental action projects, and opportunities for schools to connect and share ideas across Australia.

Earthwatch Australia

Description: Earthwatch Australia offers immersive citizen science programs that allow students to participate in hands-on research projects focused on local environmental issues.

Features: Field-based learning experiences, expert-led expeditions, and curriculum-aligned resources that encourage scientific Kids Teaching Kids inquiry and environmental advocacy.

Curriculum Guides

Ocean Life Education

Description: Inspirational hands on curriculum based programs complemented by resources, supporting schools and childcare settings to teaching curriculaum topics.

Learning with live marine animals and knowledgeable marine educators delivering engaging incursions and excursions throughout SE Queensland and northern NSW. Based on the Australian curriculum or tailored to special interests.

Features: Aligned with the Australian Curriculum, includes practical tools for implementing sustainability initiatives. Educators arrived with a diverse range of live marine animals, artifacts and resources and host events as well as incursions and excursions.

ResourceSmart Schools

Description: ResourceSmart Schools offers a comprehensive sustainability program with curriculum resources, professional development opportunities, and support for schools across Australia.

Features: Aligned with the Australian Curriculum, includes practical tools for implementing sustainability initiatives, and fosters whole-school engagement.

CERES Education

Description: CERES Education provides hands-on sustainability education programs, resources, and workshops tailored to Australian schools.

Features:Curriculum-linked activities, teacher guides, and student-led projects that promote environmental awareness and action.


Teaching primary school students about human impact in Australia is essential for nurturing a sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship. With the help of these tailored resources, educators can engage students in meaningful learning experiences that highlight the importance of conserving Australia’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity. By integrating these teaching tools into the curriculum, we can inspire young Australians to become informed and active participants in shaping a sustainable future for their country and the planet.

Our Programs

We will work with you to ensure that our programs are tailored to suit your needs.

Click here to learn about our inspirational programs.

Useful links

Here’s a link to our other news


Life Cycles of Ocean Animals for Schools

Marine animals have diverse life cycles depending on their species and ecological niche. Here are some common life cycle patterns observed in marine animals:


Producing young by means of eggs which are hatched after they have been laid by the parent.

Many marine animals lay eggs that hatch then undergo a series of developmental stages before transforming into adults. For example, sea turtles lay eggs on beaches, and the hatchlings make their way to the sea where they undergo a pelagic (open ocean) stage before maturing into adults.

Learn more about turtle life cycles with our free resources


Give birth to live young.

These species nourish their developing embryos internally and give birth to fully formed offspring. Marine mammals such as shark life cycles whales, dolphins, and seals exhibit this type of life cycle. The majority of sharks give birth to live young too.

Learn more about vivaparous sharks and shark life cycles


Change of physical form, structure, or substance.

Some marine invertebrates, such as sea urchins, sea stars, and certain types of crustaceans, undergo metamorphosis. They start their lives as larvae, which go through a radical transformation to become adults.

Learn more about metamorphosis in sea urchins and sea stars

Complex Life Cycles

Many marine invertebrates, like corals and certain types of worms, have complex life cycles involving multiple stages and forms. They may have larval stages that float in the water column before settling on a substrate and metamorphosing into adults.

When coral polyps are sexually mature and their cells produce gametes (egg and/or sperm). The gametes are fertilized and produce a zygote which creates new cells and eventually forms a new coral polyp.

Planktonic Life

Numerous marine organisms, including various types of zooplankton and phytoplankton, have life cycles that occur entirely within the water column. These organisms often have free-floating larval stages that drift with ocean currents until they develop into adult forms.

Learn more about the open ocean habitat

Life cycles can vary greatly among different marine animal species. Factors such as reproduction, development, feeding habits, and habitat requirements influence the particular life cycle patterns observed in each species.


Example Life Cycles of marine animals


Turtles have an intriguing life cycle that involves various stages of development and unique behaviors. Here is an overview of turtle life cycle the life cycle of turtles:

  1. Nesting and Egg Laying: Female turtles return to land, usually the same beach where they were born, to lay their eggs. They dig a hole in the sand using their hind flippers and deposit a clutch of eggs. The number of eggs in a clutch depends on the turtle species, ranging from a few to over a hundred. Once the eggs are laid, the female covers the nest with sand and returns to the sea.
  2. Incubation: The eggs are left buried in the warm sand to incubate. The temperature plays a vital role in determining the sex of the hatchlings. Warmer temperatures typically produce females, while cooler temperatures result in males. The incubation period can vary depending on the species and environmental conditions but generally ranges from several weeks to a few months.
  3. Hatching: When the time is right, the hatchlings begin to emerge from the nest. Using their egg tooth, a small pointed structure on their snout, they break open the eggshell. Hatchlings often emerge together in a group, which provides some protection against predators. It’s estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood.
  4. Journey to the Sea: Once they hatch, the tiny turtles instinctively crawl towards the brightest light, which is typically the reflection of the moon on the ocean’s surface. This natural instinct helps guide them towards the water. They may face various challenges on their way, such as avoiding predators and navigating obstacles.
  5. Pelagic Stage: After reaching the water, the hatchlings enter what is known as the pelagic (open ocean) stage. During this period, they spend much of their time floating and swimming in the open ocean, away from coastal areas. This stage can last for several years, depending on the turtle species.
  6. Growth and Development: As the hatchlings continue their journey through the pelagic stage, they undergo significant growth and development. They feed on a diet consisting mainly of plankton, small organisms, and jellyfish, depending on their species.
  7. Juvenile Stage: After the pelagic stage, the turtles begin to transition into the juvenile stage. At this point, they leave the open ocean and migrate to coastal areas, such as estuaries and nearshore habitats such as coral reef. Here, they find shelter, food, and suitable environments to grow and mature.
  8. Maturation: The turtles continue to grow and mature over several years or even decades, depending on the species. The time it takes for turtles to reach sexual maturity varies widely among species, ranging from a few years to several decades.
  9. Reproduction: Once turtles reach sexual maturity, they return to the nesting grounds, often the same beach where they were born, to lay their own eggs. This completes the life cycle, as they repeat the process of nesting and egg laying.


The life cycle can vary among different turtle species. Each species has its own unique behaviors, migration patterns, and habitat preferences. Environmental factors, such as temperature, habitat availability, and human activities, can also influence the success and survival of turtle populations throughout their life cycle.


Teaching Marine Life Cycles

Our curriculum based Primary Programs give students the opportunity to observe live marine animals such as sea stars, sea urchins and sharks. This brings the learning experience to life.

Please check out our Primary Programs for more information.