Ecosystems at risk

Take your Year 12 Geography students into the largest stand of mangroves on the Parramatta River.

Monday - Friday, 9:15 am to 2:15 pm

Sydney Olympic Park Education Centre, Bicentennial Park

$805 per class of up to 30 students

5 hours

Bus drop-off area and all-day bus parking in P10f.

2024 Education Bookings Closed

Thank you for your support, we are fully booked for Terms 1 and 2, 2024.  We will no longer be delivering school excursion programs due to changes in our organisation.

About the excursion

Take your Year 12 Geography students into the largest stand of mangroves on the Parramatta River to assess how intertidal wetlands function, the human impacts placed upon them and the adaptive management strategies that are used to protect them at Sydney Olympic Park.

On their field trip, students conduct fieldwork tasks, including:

  • use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) 
  • vegetation transects
  • quadrant sampling
  • sketching land use maps 
  • using scientific monitoring equipment
  • observations and illustrations of mangrove tree and saltmarsh plant adaptations

Students will study the natural and human stresses placed upon wetlands and the management strategies used to protect them. In a session using a Geographic Information System (GIS), students learn about past and present land uses that impact the wetlands.

Learning content

Ecosystems and their management

  • Biophysical interactions that lead to diverse ecosystems and their functioning
  • Vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems:
    • impacts due to natural stress
    • impacts due to human-induced modifications to energy flows, nutrient cycling and relationships between biophysical components
  • The importance of ecosystem management and protection:
    • Maintenance of genetic diversity
    • Utility values
    • Intrinsic values
    • Heritage values
    • Need to allow natural change to proceed
  • Evaluation of traditional and contemporary management strategies

Case studies of ecosystems

Case studies of two different ecosystems at risk to illustrate their unique characteristics, including:

  • Spatial patterns and dimensions: location, altitude, latitude, size, shape, and continuity
  • Biophysical interactions, including:
    • the dynamics of weather and climate
    • geomorphic and hydrologic processes such as earth movements, weathering, erosion, transport, deposition and soil formation
    • biogeographical processes: invasion, succession, modification and resilience
    • adjustments in response to natural stress
    • the nature and rate of change that affects ecosystem functioning
    • human impacts (both positive and negative)
    • traditional and contemporary management practices

Learning outcomes

H1Explains the changing nature, spatial patterns and interactions of ecosystems, urban places and economic activity.
H2Explains the factors which place ecosystems at risk and the reasons for their protection.
H5Evaluates environmental management strategies in terms of ecological sustainability.
H6Evaluates the impacts and responses of people to environmental change.
H7Justifies geographical methods applicable and useful in the workplace and relevant to a changing world.
H8Plans geographical inquiries to analyse and synthesise information from a variety of sources.
H9Evaluates geographical information and sources for usefulness, validity and reliability.
H10Applies maps, graphs and statistics, photographs and fieldwork to analyse and integrate data in geographical contexts (including the use of GIS).
H11Applies mathematical ideas and techniques to analyse geographical data
H12Explains geographical patterns, processes and future trends through appropriate case studies and illustrative examples.
H13Communicates complex geographical information, ideas and issues effectively, using appropriate written and/or oral, cartographic and graphic forms.