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Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

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Biology Fieldwork

Year 11 - Biology fieldwork skills

Minnamurra River 

Ecosystem dynamics 

Inquiry and focus questions

1. What effect can one species have on another species in a community?

2. How do adaptations increase the organism’s ability to survive?


Key syllabus outcomes 

Biology Yr 11

Working Scientifically

This program focuses on all skills in the Working Scientifically process.

Knowledge and Understanding

Module 4 - Ecosystem Dynamics 

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


Program overview 

This series of lessons and corresponding fieldwork aims to assist students in acquiring Working Scientifically skills, including a practical fieldwork experience where students develop a question, plan and conduct an investigation in the plant communities along the Minnamurra River. Students continue working through the Working Scientifically skills by reporting on the results and conclusions they make. 

Prerequisite lessons

Ecological Fieldwork

Background information on ecological  fieldwork and techniques used to collect data

Practical investigation - school ground weeds 

A hands-on practical investigation on the weeds in the school grounds where students formulate an hypothesis after identifying variables and then use quadrat sampling methods to conduct an investigation. A simple  report is completed after processing and analysing the data. 

Fieldwork day preparation 

Preparation for the fieldwork day involves developing an investigation in preparation for the day.  Two relationships are presented; one is partially complete, while the other requires self-guided exploration. Students are expected to bring their prepared investigation with them on the day of the fieldwork.

Fieldwork day 

Students conduct a qualitative assessment of the coastal ecosystems on the Minnamurra River, before conducting quadrat surveys, reviewing their prepared hypotheses and conducting a transect experiment and collecting data on abiotic factors.

Post excursion lesson

Report Writing 

Students process and analyse data and prepare a report to communicate their findings. 

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