During early November 2011, we headed back into town to Carnarvon to meet up with Stuart Dijkmans, our local GIS support cartographer, to travel together north to Exmouth for training under the Ningaloo Turtle Program by the Department of Environment and Conservation. We had arranged to give 2 more presentations to local schools in Carnarvon prior to leaving for Exmouth.
The first presentation was on Thursday afternoon, 10 November 2011, at the East Carnarvon Primary School (thanks Stuart for helping to organize this one!). Once again we had a large turn-out of 60 students from Years 4 – 7 (10 – 13 years old), which we were very excited to see. The presentation went well and the students asked some great and very thoughtful questions about sea turtles and our work with them here at Gnaraloo. Based on the questions that were asked, we could be looking at the next generation of sea turtle researchers!
Our second presentation took place on Friday morning, 11 November 2011, at the Carnarvon High School. We presented to a science class of about 20 Year 8 and 9 students (13 – 14 years). We were pleased to be able to present in a science class to help relate what they are learning about in the classroom to what actually takes place in the scientific world. We also enjoyed being able to tell the students how we, the GTCP research team, made it to where we are today in our scientific careers. Hopefully, we inspired the students to keep working hard to get to where they want to be, and that if they enjoy the sciences, to pursue their studies so that they may experience some of the fascinating work that science offers in exciting locations all over the world (like working at Gnaraloo, yes we know we’re biased!).
So far, our community outreach program has been a great success. With 5 presentations completed locally in Carnarvon, we are hoping to give a few more to schools in Perth and down south when we head to Denmark at the end of the season to work in Gnaraloo’s environmental office. For now, we are inviting community members and school groups to come up to Gnaraloo either as volunteers (individuals or groups) or for educational field excursions (for groups) during the turtle breeding season to experience and participate firsthand with our ‘science in action’. At the moment, we are in contact with a high school from Geraldton, the Science Department of the Nagle Catholic College, who is planning to bring up a group of about 15 students to Gnaraloo during January 2012. This would be very exciting for the program as it would be the first school group to participate onsite with the sea turtle research at Gnaraloo since the program started in 2008! It is great to see the success of the community component of the GTCP and we hope this continues in future.
We would like to thank all of the students and teachers at East Carnarvon Primary School and Carnarvon High School for inviting us to come to your schools to give our presentations. It is our ultimate goal to make these presentations an annual event with interested schools and we appreciate the opportunity that you all gave us. We hope you learnt some new facts about sea turtles.
Don’t forget… NO GLOW, MOVE SLOW, and STAY LOW!
See you at Gnaraloo, Bobby