Australia Expedition Day 6 and 7:Curriculum Development and Seminars

Day 6 kicked off with the crew traveling by City Cat (ferry) to the University of Queensland campus, where they met with Ian Tibbetts and Dana Burfeind. A range of issues were discussed, including development of a combined UQ-Cornell course in marine ecology. The plan for this course would see students come to Australia for 3 weeks during Cornell’s winter semester, spending 1 week in Moreton Bay (at the Moreton Bay Research Station) learning about estuarine ecology, 3 – 4 days at the UQ campus to take in southeast Queensland watershed management, and then 1 week on Heron Island learning about coral reef biology. We had previously attempted a class like this in 2013, but lacked enrollment from undergrads; this new effort will hopefully appeal to students in marine and environmental sciences looking for the quintessential Australian marine experience – watch this space!

Kalia and Elliot on the Ferry and at the UQ Campus.

Day 7 saw Ian, Kalia and Elliot travel back to the UQ campus to coordinate research equipment with Ian, before heading to various local shops to procure essential research supplies, including dive gloves and coolers. We also procured food for the time at Straddie – it’s a self-catering kind of place! After this, the team went to the Queensland Museum, where we obtained some good local guides for invertebrate biology and toured their collections.

Specimens on display of various phylogenetic orders of echinoderms and amphipods.

This evening, Ian gave a seminar to the Australian Marine Sciences Association Queensland Branch at the Ship Inn, a nice pub in Southbank. It was quite the trip down memory lane, since Ian had completed his honors project in Brisbane over 15 years ago!

Tomorrow, the team heads for our first real fieldwork…

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