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Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

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Biology Depth Study

Year 11 - Biology depth study

Future of Minnamurra River 

Ecosystem dynamics / Biological diversity



Minnamurra River

Inquiry and focus questions

  • What effect can one species have on another species in a community?
  • How can human activity impact on an ecosystem?
  • How do adaptations increase the organism’s ability to survive?

Program overview

Students begin their depth study by researching the river ecosystems, adaptations for survival and potential impacts of climate change upon coastal ecosystems. Students are tasked with planning and designing an investigation, before conducting their field study in conjunction with the IEEC. Students may then complete their depth study using first-hand data and secondary sources of data and information to address the predicted impacts to the future of the river. Students are asked to develop a website-based communication piece that conveys their research findings and recommended mitigation strategies to a target audience.

Supporting resources

This 15 hour depth study focuses upon the future of Minnamurra's coastal ecosystems, addressing all seven Working Scientifically outcomes and components of Modules 3 and 4.  A five hour fieldwork day is integrated into the depth study, with supplementary virtual fieldwork for students unable to attend the excursion.  A sample assessment task is provided, assessing each student’s research against all Working Scientifically outcomes and the Module 4 Knowledge and Understanding outcome.

The depth study resource can be accessed via this link.

Fieldwork booklets will be printed and supplied by the IEEC and can be viewed here. 

Answers to fieldwork booklets (teachers only) can be viewed here

Key syllabus outcomes

Biology Yr 11

Ecosystem Dynamics 

  • BIO11-11 analyses ecosystem dynamics and the interrelationships of organisms within the ecosystem

Biological Diversity

  • BIO11-10 describes biological diversity by explaining the relationships between a range of organisms in terms of specialisation for selected habitats and evolution of species

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