International Student Trips Powered By Discovery Education
Tylers Going Aussie

One Last Post

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wow! It is great to be home, but I miss Australia. What an amazing trip it was. I got to see so many awesome things in person that most people will never get the chance to see. And along the way I met some great people and made new friends.

Out of all the adventures we had: Moonlit Sanctuary, Great Ocean Road, Healesville Sanctuary, Uluru, the bush camp, the banana farm, Reef HQ, snorkeling on the reef, and the Australia Zoo, my favorite was the reef and the snorkeling. I especially liked following the parrot fish on the reef- cool colors, and the way it used its beak to scrape the dead algae from the coral was interesting. Thank you DSA for this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Throughout our trip there was one thing that I kept noticing. This was how much Australia does to protect the environment. It could be as little as making you put your room key into a slot to use the lights, or separating your trash into different groups - glass, recycle, or trash. It could also be on a bigger level such as the Australia Zoo working to protect tigers which have lost 96 percent of their population in the past 100 years. On our last night in Brisbane we had a group sit down to reflect on this. We each went around and had a chance to share what we might do differently to protect the environment. My response was along the lines of separating trash. I would start doing things the right way such as recycling everything that should be recycled and making sure all my trash gets into the can. After seeing 2 natural wonders of the world and the effects of pollution and coral bleaching, I think if everyone started to do these simple, little things we would all be better off and would still be able to experience the wonders of the world.

So, to anyone who reads this blog, next time the trash can is closer than the recycling can take the liberty to put your paper in the right can and you will have the feeling that you have helped protect our earth (after all, it is the only one we get and the only one that has baseball).

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hey everyone, I am little behind on blogs so I'm going to combine yesterday and today as one.

Yesterday we woke up very early but none the less excited to finally go on the reef. The fairy that we rode to orphius was named Challenger 3. Naturally we thought what happened to 1 and 2. Anyway upon arrival our half of the group that rode over first had the whole beach to ourselves. We had water fights, interveiws, and broke open a coconut. When the other group finally arrived we got a rundown on how we would chose a fish to follow and record its eating habits. After our meeting we got suited up and went to the reef. We followed two main species of fish the parrot and butterfly and found that the favorite food was dca or dead coral and algae. Then we came in for lunch which was not surprisingly another sandwich day. After lunch we headed back out to do some transets. A transet is when you lay a tapemeasure out and every meter mark down what was on the ocean floor. We were so tired after this that we went to bed.

This morning we woke up early again and went back to reef hq. Here we compiled our data that we had been collecting the previous day. Then since we had been working so hard we got some free time to go shopping. Since us boys did not care to buy shoes we split off and went strait for the good stuff at the sports store. Tomorrow we are at it again at the Austraila Zoo. Peace out.



Aquarium Adventure

Yesterday we got to sleep in a little. What a treat these days. We started off the day by going to the Reef HQ. By the way, I’m really tired from the so sorry if I miss some events.

Anyway, we started off by going to the theater to get an introduction to the Great Barrier Reef. Did you know the reef was formed was formed over 53 million years ago? Next we watched a power point on the ten main species of fish so we could identify them on the reef. I couldn’t remember all of them but I can remember the Gobi, Surgeon Fish, Lasses, Butterfly, Parrot, and Gropers.

After our morning tea we did some interactive activities that had to do with carbon emissions. In our experiment was put neutral water into a flask with PH detector in as well. Taking just 3 breaths and blowing into the water turned it from neutral to acidic. Based on these numbers think about it on a global level. Next was another interactive activity about food chains. We learned that if and part of a food chain dies out then the rest will die out too. An exception to that rule would be like sea grass dying out from rock beds, but not sand beds, then growing back when the rest of the chains died out.

Our day was concluded with a night tour of the facility were we meet a turtle with floating sickness which we found could have occurred from infection or consumption of plastic. We had a fairly early bedtime set because of the early wake up to catch our ferry. Well so long for now.

Wow What a Day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Every person on this bus is very hungry from all the events we've done. Our day started off with a wake up call that let us sleep in. We didn't get up till 6 =). Anyway our first activity was going to a banana farm. We were greeted by the farm owners with time for tea and crumpets. Mmmmmmmmmm good. Next we rode on the back of the tractor down to the feilds were the bananas were grown. We stopped at this one place and got to go on top of a waterfall. We learned some cool facts such as bananas are a type of flower. Duggan also got a chance to try one of the fresh bananas that had fallen one the ground.

Next we went into the factory where the processing is done. We all got a chance to preform some of the jobs in the factory. And then we were of again in a quest for Townsville. After about an hour and a half we stopped for lunch at the giant gumboot. This giant rain boot was built in dedication to the year 1950 when there was over 4 meters of rain that flooded the town. This boot was also built to attract tourism. They architects thought many people from all over Australia would come to see it but that never happened. After lunch we were back on our way to Townsville.

We arrived in Townsville around 5 or so. We went to Reef HQ first thing. It was here that we learned what we would do over the next couple of days on the reef. Some quick facts about the reef for you is that it is the size of 75,000 soccer fields, has over 1500 species of fish, and there are still at least 1000 undiscovered species on the reef alone. After we learned about our agenda, we were introduced to the clown fish that had his picture taken for the animators of "Finding Nemo." In fact all the animal picture except for the whales and sharks came from Reef HQ. When were out on the reef we have a chance of running into 3 types of shark: bull, great white, and tiger. But no need to worry. We have a 6 times more chance of dying from a vending machine falling on us and 15 times more chance of dieing from a cork hitting you. Once again no need to worry. Our next event was training. Although Alec didn't want even go I got him to have a really fun time trying on equipment and learning different moves. Well so long for now.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Yesterday we woke up bright and early. Well not really bright because the sun was not out yet. Anyway we crawled out of our sleeping bags and cleaned ourselves up. After a quick breakfast we made our way onto the 4 wheel drive coach. Although we slipped and slided a little it was not the same as coming into the camp. Next we made a quick switch over to a much nicer coach to embarck on our 6 hour journey. With some unexpected stops and maneuvers we got in to the cultural center at Uluru rock just in time. Once there we had one of the natives, Cassidy, show us some survival techniques. He showed us the various tools that men, women, and children use. the coolest were the spears that the men use. The men use a speacial tool called a spear thrower to add length to their arm to increase spear speed. Next we learned about traditional dot painting. The dot painting actually tells storys and is not just random. I made a painting of and optimistic sunrise. After we felt like little kindergardeners again we went back to our hotel for a BBQ. At the BBQ along with Ashlee, Shea, and Arron I had kangaroo. Off to bed.

Woke up very early this morning to go catch the sunrise on Uluru rock. None of us thought it was possible but suddenly the sun poked through. It provided us with some incredible shots. It must have been my painting. After the sunrise we got a very breif tour of the rest of the park. We learned that Uluru has not eroded over the years because it erodes from the inside out. After our "tour" we made our way back into town to grab some lunch and board the plane to Cairns. When we arrived in Cairns we were welcomed by heat and humidity. We got our bags and got onto the bus. After stopping for a quick photo op at the beach we arrived at the Croc Farm. We first went to see the exhibit with all of the crocs. We learned that the crocs sex is determined by the temperature of its nest. If its nest is 31 to 32 degrees celsius it will be a boy and any other temperature will be a girl. Next we went to see some various animals that included a toad, snake, walluby and koala.We all got to "hold" the koala witch was lucky because Queensland is the only state than allows you to even touch a koala. Yet again we had another outstanding BBQ and then off to see the Northern Quall. One different thing about the Quall is the female has to bulid up fat on its neck because during mating the male thrashes it around. After this we got back on the coach and headed for the hotel to try and catch some sleep. Well I've got to get to bed so see ya

Essential Programs Details

Duration 14 days
When May 25th - June 7th, 2009
Focus Marine Biology
Aboriginal Culture