People to People
People to People
Bold text is taken from the P2P 'Schedule of Activities' document.
Italic text is taken from my own notes.
The Great Barrier Reef portion of this trip did not follow the 'Schedule of Activities' at all, to my recollection. If I remember correctly, we split off from the Las Vegas group -- possibly because the Townsville Aquarium couldn't accomodate all of us at once. At any rate, I believe we went to Magnetic Island first, while the other group stayed in Townsville for a few days, but all of the dates listed here are just guesses. Unfortunately, I don't have a more detailed itinerary for these days, as my intentions of maintaining a journal only lasted until around the time we left Kangaroo Island. Also unfortunately, I lost the waterproof disposable camera that I used on the reef, so the only photos I have of this portion of the trip I acquired at the photo-exchange.
Day 14: Fri, June 18 - depart Sydney to Townsville
Breakfast this morning will be served at the hotel. Following breakfast, a Thomas Cook representative will meet you at the hotel and assist with departure. Transfer by coach to Sydney International Airport for your 7:30 am flight to Townsville.
Sydney airport, going to Townsville
Arrived in Townsville 11 am
Townsville is Australia's largest tropical city. Being a focal access point to the Great Barrier Reef, it has a unique atmosphere that reflects the friendliness and relaxed way of life of a coastal city. With an urban population of over 120,000, Townsville is a city on the move. With over 300 sunny days a year and very limited rainfall, Townsville and its local areas provide a vast range of experiences for any visitor. Townsville also is the home of James Cook University, The Australian Institute of Marine Science, The Great Barrier Reef Wonderland, and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Each of these institutions have gained international respect for efforts toward tropical marine education and research, and you will participate in a number of exciting activities at each place.
Magnetic Island is Townsville's own off-shore tropical island. It is a granite-based island rising to 1500 feet at its highest point. Situated close to the mainland, it is only 5 miles or 20 minutes away by regular ferry service. The island is fringed by golden beaches and is home to a large variety of native flora and fauna, including a koala colony, rock wallabies, eucalyptus woodlands and mangroves. Magnetic Island is one of the largest islands on the Great Barrier Reef with about half of the island being maintained as a National Park. It is riddled with many walking tracks, spectacular coral fringing reefs and even shipwrecks that lie in shallow water just beneath the surface for all to enjoy.
Townsville and Magnetic Island combined are without a doubt the two premier locations in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere to accomodate any Tropical Marine Science Program.
Youth Science Exchange teams visiting the Great Barrier Reef in 1993 will participate in some form of research exercise. It is intended that the results will be of some use to ongoing research programs. Students throughout their visit will monitor a weather station twice daily, recording:
Colonial Gardens Resort
The Lakes, Woolcock Street
tel: (077) 25 2222, fax: (077) 25 1384
|Colonial Gardens Resort
(photo from Tripadvisor)
Day 15: Sat, June 19 - depart Townsville to Magnetic Island
(Day 17: Mon, June 21 in 'Schedule of Activities')
Following breakfast this morning, transfer to Magnetic Island.
Today's activities will include island familiarization. Students will also be given the list of elective projects to choose from.
Magnetic Island orientation
learning to play cricket on Magnetic Island
SAFETY ON THE REEF
Coastal environments deserve the greatest respect, especially from the newcomer. Students will become familiar with potential hazards of marine environments and be introduced to working in a "buddy system".
|Scans from my Barrier Reef workbook.|
|More workbook scans.|
|More workbook scans.|
NIGHT ACTIVITY: INTRODUCTORY NOCTURNAL STUDIES
The change in diversity and the adopted nocturnal behavior of coastal marine life is quite different to that of the day. Students will explore a given area observing and recording any changes between night and day.
Picnic Bay Hotel
1 The Esplanade, Picnic Bay
tel: (077) 78 5166, fax: (077) 58 1025
Day 16: Sun, June 20 - Magnetic Island
(Day 18: Tues, June 22 in 'Schedule of Activities')
Today students will begin to compile all necessary information to enable them to prepare for their elective assignment on Day 6.
MAP MAKING / AIR PHOTO INTERPRETATION
Aerial photographs are an excellent way of making a preliminary map of reef top features. The map can then be checked by looking at the reef itself and further by snorkeling over the top of it.
REEF CREATURE IDENTIFICATION
In order to identify the multitude of creatures on the reef, students will need to be able to classify them using certain characteristics and classification keys. Emphasis will initially be placed on appearance, movement and color of a creature, working toward scientific classification.
|More workbook scans.|
|Scans from a coral polyps leaflet.|
|Scans from a spawning coral leaflet.|
SNORKELING ON A SHIPWRECK
Many mariners have come to grief in the shallow waters around Magnetic Island. It is littered with the ruins of shipwrecks that lay just beneath the surface. Weather conditions determine what wreck can be snorkeled with the destination being decided on the day.
|snorkeling in a cove|
Day 17: Mon, June 21 - Magnetic Island
(Day 19: Wed, June 23 in 'Schedule of Activities')
Students will demonstrate their sensory awareness (other than sight) to learn about the environment and develop their trust in others. While blindfolded, students will be led along a safe track identifying various things using all other senses.
One elective assignment is to be completed by each student. Examples of assignments are as follows:
ANIMAL ROLL CALL
Students are to compile a list of all animals seen in a given area, classifying them into major groups when possible. An acurate map is to be produced including animal counts and sketches with explanations of any unidentified lifeforms.
|More workbook scans.|
One reef creature is to be selected and studied by the student. Observations are to be made as to how the animal has adapted to its environment through its structural, functional and behavioral characteristics.
MICROSCOPIC MARINE LIFE
With the use of a plankton net, students are to catch and identify marine organisms that make up plankton. The role that plankton plays in the food web and life cycles of marine organisms and the part played in the distribution of marine plants and animals will be investigated as well.
Day 18: Tues, June 22 - depart Magnetic Island to Townsville
(Day 20: Thurs, June 24 in 'Schedule of Activities')
OUTER GREAT BARRIER REEF VISIT -- KELSO REEF
The last day of the program will be spent at Kelso Reef on a 100-foot pontoon. The waters around Kelso Reef are always crystal clear, allowing you to best appreciate this mysterious world. Glass bottom boat, semi-submersible viewing of the reef, guided snorkel tours and free snorkel time will be available, ensuring quite a finale to your visit to the reef.
Students will also demonstrate acquired knowledge and skills by producing lists of marine animals and plants not encountered on Magnetic Island.
All elective assignments will be completed and handed in for review upon return to Townsville.
|staff at Magnetic Island:
Brad, Kim, Andy, & Mark
Day 19: Wed, June 23 - Townsville - aquarium
(Day 16: Sun, June 20 in 'Schedule of Activities')
Today's activities will include morning educational activities and lunch at the hotel before transferring to:
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF WONDERLAND (GBRW)
CORAL REEF AQUARIUM
The aquarium is the largest living coral reef aquarium in the world. It contains over 300 species of coral and 250 species of reef fish. In a separate tank, sharks and other larger carnivorous fish can be observed as can many specialized reef creatures in separate smaller tanks. A touch tank and state of the art audio-visual equipment help to make the facility a leader in entertainment, education and a tribute to marine technology.
diver in reef tank
Lucky the sea turtle
(feeding time in predator tank)
THE MUSEUM OF TROPICAL QUEENSLAND
A division of the Queensland Museum in which high quality gallery displays deal with the history of flora and fauna of Tropical Queensland. Actual-size models of ancient dinosaurs, displays related to famous shipwrecks, and a detailed collection of unique Australian animals, reptiles and insects are on display.
The highlight of the day will be an overnight "sleep-out" inside the aquarium. After dinner, students will begin a series of activity sheets about the marine life in, and the aquarium itself. Later that evening (approximately 11 pm), the students will participate in a "Reef Experience of a Lifetime" -- observing the main tank at night. With the aid of flashlights they will be able to observe nocturnal creatures on the reef and fish sleeping nestled very tightly in between coral branches. As an extra bonus, there will also be a diver inside the tank with an ultra-violet light to illuminate some of the wonders that the human eye might miss. The diver will also be able to communicate with the guide on the outside world to describe what he is doing and answer any questions. This will be an evening that only a lucky few will ever get the chance to experience!
|Scans from my Aquarium Activity Sheets.|
Day 20: Thurs, June 24 - Townsville - sightseeing
(Day 15: Sat, June 19 in 'Schedule of Activities')
Today will be spent taking advantage of some of the attractions that Townsville has to offer. It will include a visit to:
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE (AIMS)
AIMS is one of the leading centers in the world for tropical marine research. The Institute has established an international reputation in marine science and technology. Most projects being undertaken are principally associated with the understanding of coastal and reef processes and resources in tropical seas and the living marine communities of tropical Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
During their visit to AIMS, students will learn about and experience some of the most up to date methods of Research Engineering and Technology. With their guides, they will visit the Engineering and Technical facility and the Marine Science Section to observe several experiments and displays.
BILLABONG WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Billabong Sanctuary is North Queensland's most spectacular wildlife sanctuary, offering a unique chance to get very close to some of Australia's native wildlife. Animals that can be seen include: wombats, dingos, koala, echidna, and also the opportunity to see the rare cassowary.
Although Billabong Sanctuary has many native animals and birds for us to enjoy in their natural habitat, students will spend most of their time studying freshwater habitats. Physical conditions, regions, life in freshwater and conservation will be discussed and investigated to be used in a later comparison with saltwater environments.
me with bat
Jessie with bat
|Saltwater crocodile pen
Day 21: Fri, June 25 - depart Townsville to Cairns, then to Los Angeles
Before departing Townsville, all students will have their activity sheets, workbooks and assignments returned with individual or group counseling given as necessary. Mid-morning departure for Cairns.
Day 22: Sat, June 26 - Arrive Los Angeles, to DFW
BACK to Australia page
Leave LA on American Airlines 12:50 am. Arrive DFW 5:47 am. All of our luggage got sent to Las Vegas with the Las Vegas group, so the airline had to deliver the bags to us when they finally arrived in Dallas.
BACK to Australia page
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