VCE Biology Fieldwork (Unit 1 Area of Study 2)

VCE Ricketts

Excursion Program Overview

Explore the intertidal rockpools and sandy beaches of Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary. Discover how abiotic factors influence the distribution of species on the rocky platform and how organisms have adapted to these highly variable conditions. This program has been written by an experienced VCE Biology teacher and has been tested and refined to suit the new study design.

Half Day Program includes:

  • Safety Talk – how to stay safe at the beach
  • Marine Education Centre – learn about the role the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary plays in conservation
  • Rock Platform Discovery – discover some of the sea creatures and plants that have adapted to survive in the harsh intertidal zone and classify organisms using a dichotomous key and Sea Search‘s Species Image Library
  • Measure the abiotic factors of the different habitats
  • Using Sea Search‘s Intertidal Reef survey and a transect investigate the reasons for the distribution of organisms
  • Pollution and the Marine Environment – create connections and consider how their actions at home can affect the marine environment
  • Sea Treasures – Students look at, touch and learn about some fascinating beach washed treasures such as such as cuttlefish, sea stars & shark eggs.

Restrictions: Tide dependent please provide alternate dates that spread across at least 2 weeks

Prior knowledge required: biotic/ abiotic, textbook knowledge of transects and quadrats, how to draw food webs, food chains, how to use classification keys, look at Sea Search‘s Quadrat sampling method

Equipment needed: A copy of the workbook, clipboard and pencil per student, hat and sunscreen

Equipment supplied by Gould League: Thermometer, classification key, tape measure, quadrats, Species Image Library sheet from Sea Search

Additional equipment to bring: If your school has the following equipment and you know how to use it, please feel free to bring- a light metre, probes (salinity, DO), turbidity tube, stop watch and cameras

Curriculum Connections:

VCE Biology Unit 1 Area of Study 2/Outcome 2

A sample SAC is available upon request.

Key knowledge

Survival through adaptations and regulation

– the structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations that enhance an organism’s survival and enable life to exist in a wide range of environments

– how regulation of factors is needed to maintain a relatively constant internal environment, explained by the stimulus-response model and the use of homeostatic mechanisms including feedback loops

Organising biodiversity

– classification of biodiversity, past and present, into taxonomic groups based on shared morphological and molecular characteristics, and naming using binomial nomenclature

Relationships between organisms within an ecosystem

– the beneficial, harmful and benign relationships between species including amensalism, commensalism, mutualism, parasitism and predation

– interdependencies between species as represented by food webs, including impact of changes to keystone species & the distribution, density and size of a population of a particular species within an ecosystem and the impacts of factors including available resources, predation, competition, disease, chance environmental events, births, deaths and migration.

VCE Biology Unit 1 Area of Study 3/Outcome 3

* some key knowledge is covered: techniques of primary quantitative data collection: fieldwork (quadrats, transects and field guides)

Program Details

Program Location Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary
Max # of Groups (group max 30)
Possible Start Times
Grade Level Year 11
Program Duration 3 hours
Program Type Excursion
Program Theme Biodiversity, Human Impacts, Living things, Marine
Cost per group Half Day $487