Two Eurobodalla students, Pearl Mitchell and Georgia Poyner, are heading off next week to Tasmania to take part in a one-week marine biology course run by the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, with the local Nature Coast Marine Group providing financial support. Bill Barker, President of NCMG, said the application process was very competitive among year 11 and 12 students from all over Australia, so it says a lot about the two students’ enthusiasm and abilities that, of just 24 selected participants, two are from our area.
When talking about her expectations, Georgia said “I’m super excited at the opportunity to get to meet like minded people, explore new terrain and gain more research experience. I’m especially interested in finding out more on the urchin research done in Tasmania, as it is a current project that I’m involved in, in our area of the coast”. Pearl has a similar view, saying “I'm really excited to experience a taste of being a marine biologist and cultivate my passion for the protection of the ocean. It's a great opportunity to get out of the classroom and into a really rich and diverse ocean environment to apply marine biology techniques and theories that I have learnt in school.”
Both students are concerned to promote care for the ocean. Pearl said that, “for me, living so close to the ocean, I focus on plastic pollution and the impact on the marine environment. We must be aware of the fragility of the marine environment and how easy it is to damage it.” Georgia said that she loves the ocean, “ For me it’s where I get to do all the activities that I enjoy. I couldn’t imagine a world with a dying ocean. The human race has contributed to the current state of the ocean and it needs our help to recover.”
Bill Barker added that it is important that young people from our area have opportunities to gain from educational and cultural experiences that are usually more accessible from capital cities. The Nature Coast Marine Group is keen to support this, including through financial assistance. “Given that we all live so close to the ocean, it is important that we promote knowledge and awareness and also an attitude of care for its natural values.”
Above: Pearl Mitchell checks out the Potato Point rock shelf with Bill Barker
Above: Georgia Poyner ready for a night dive
Above: The sense of wonder under water
Keep up to date with the Nature Coast Marine Group via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nature-Coast-Marine-Group-208545802494036/