On the Expedition
Spending a day out on the beach has never been so rewarding.
Rottnest Island, located 18km west of Perth, attracts over half a million visitors every year. With its pristine beaches, calm waters, bumper fishing and rich cultural history it is easy to see why Rottnest is a favourite holiday destination.
However, increasing visitor numbers also bring to life the risk of irreversible environmental degradation that in turn poses threats to the unique species of this island. Many of the human activities that make Rottnest the destination of choice need to be assessed, such as over used land and resources, over fishing and coastal pollution. This is where you come in!
Working as part of a small research team you will help scientists and environmental managers from Rottnest Island study the effects of increasing visitor numbers and climate change on the marine and land environments. Travelling mostly by bicycle you and the other student challengers will:
- Conduct beach surveys to determine the type and amount of marine debris affecting the coastline and its impact on wildlife
- Carry out targeted wildlife surveys on key bird and frog species to understand their current distribution and population size
- Help monitor seagrass and coral to assess the impact of local pollution and climate change
- Conduct ClimateWatch activities on tropical fish and land based wildlife
You don’t need any special skills to participate in this research, just a spirit of adventure and the willingness to make a difference.
We have a number of fully funded and paid for placements for students that attend public schools. If you fit this criteria please download the application form under the links header. Applications close July 23, 2012
Meals and Accommodations
Accommodation will be at the Rottnest Island Field Research Station with sleeping being a mix of bunk beds and single bed options At the research station there is a couple bathrooms and one large communal kitchen.
About the Research Area
Rottnest Island is 11km-long and 4.5km-wide with a mix of rugged coastline, secluded tropical beaches and calm bays. The island’s sandy white dunes and beaches are sparsely vegetated causing them to also be extremely fragile.
This A-class reserve is a haven for Western Australia’s flora and fauna including the unique quokka. Situated within the Leeuwin Current, the waters around Rottnest Island are home to a mix of both temperate and tropical marine species The Island generates its own power and water and is virtually car free, making bicycles the transport of choice. 18km west of Perth, the island is only accessible by ferry.
You will visit two field sites on Rottnest Island during the day. The primary mode of transport is on bicycles, with cycling distances averaging 6-8 km a day (maximum 15 km). Rottnest Island is mostly flat with a few short hills and the cycle pace will be leisurely, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the ride. If you do not feel comfortable on a bike, a car will be available for transport to and from the field sites.
Laboratory based work and the briefing will be conducted at the field centre.