Students who participated in the Independent Field Research Project for Biology and Ecology Field Studies were given the opportunity to showcase their research in the student journal Barna: Journal of Student Initiated Research. This course was part of a semester program that took place at Perth and Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Lectures and weekly meetings with each student allowed for the formulation of project ideas and project design, and students assisted each other in the field at Ningaloo Reef which meant they received exposure to a number of different research topics and research methods different from their own.
Ningaloo Reef is the longest fringing coral reef in the world, spanning 300 km, and was listed as a World Heritage site in 2011 due to its rich biodiversity. More than 250 species of coral and more than 500 species of fish have been documented from the reef. The town of Coral Bay is situated right next to the reef and provided an ideal study location for students to undertake their research. The marine environment included rocky and sandy intertidal shores through to densely populated coral reefs less than a few meters swim from shore.
Since 1947, CIEE has helped thousands of students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available. This particular Biology and Ecology Field Studies course has equipped students with knowledge on how to design and conduct an independent research project, how to problem solve and adapt to changing conditions in the field, and how to write a scientific publication.
Thank you to the students and staff for participating in the program and creating a successful and enjoyable experience. To the students, best of luck on your journey through research and discovery and we hope you had a unique and memorable experience in Australia!
Dr Kate Rodger