On Wednesday, 26 February and Thursday, 27 February , the Year 9 Semester 1 Geography classes travelled to Toolangi State Forest. The purpose of the field trip was to gather primary data to extend and support the Year 9 Geography Course and in particular, the topic of Biomes and Food Security.
The girls worked in groups, conducting field work, and collecting data at different sites for subsequent comparison. The sites studied were mountain ash forest, temperate rainforest and an area of forest that had been logged recently.
The students observed and measured the effects of timber harvesting on a variety of environmental factors. Using appropriate technology and equipment, they recorded data on soil temperature, soil pH, air temperature, wind velocity and light levels. All data collected was taken back to class for analysis.
The data collected by the girls suggests that logging in a temperate forest environment has significant impacts on the environmental factors we measured in this type of biome. In turn, this has broader consequences in terms of the intricacies of the Toolangi State Forest ecosystem, the region as a valuable water catchment, habitat for significant species and the viability of the logging industry.
The field trip days were very successful. Students gained valuable insights into a much debated example of interaction between humans and the natural environment. They also saw and measured, first hand, the impacts that timber harvesting can have on a temperate forest ecosystem.
Students were accompanied by Year 9 Geography teachers, Bernie Daly, Rosanna Merriweather, Neil Thomas and Alan Anderson. Many thanks to Gemma Di Bari, who also helped out on both days.