Learn in outdoor environments on field trips

Our students have the opportunity to develop field and equipment-based skills during fieldwork. Many of our students find fieldwork to be the most enjoyable and rewarding part of their study.

Some of the units we offer include field trips to regional areas of Australia.

Stanwell Tops field trip

Students catching insects at Stanwell Tops.

Offered in ecology units:

Ecology students have a three-day field trip to Stanwell Tops where they study different ecological communities, learn field survey techniques, and identify birds, plants, and terrestrial invertebrates. Students also practise graphing and data analysis daily.

On the final day, students design their own field survey to compare the distribution and abundance of organisms between two habitats of their choice. This project is then written up as a scientific journal article and used to assess the skills they have learnt over the unit.

  • Nocturnal mammal spotlighting (weather permitting).
  • Early morning bird watching.
  • Native flowering plants.
  • Beautiful water features (wetlands, rivers and waterfalls).
  • Getting to know fellow students and School staff.
  • Timing: 2.5 days during Session 2 mid-semester break (September).
  • Cost covers food and two nights accommodation.
  • Students must arrange their own travel to and from Stanwell Tops (approximately 80 minutes’ drive from the University’s North Ryde campus).

The field trip is compulsory for BIOL2410 and BIOL6410 students.

Kangaroo River field trip

Students conducting aquatic research in Kangaroo River.

Offered in aquatic ecosystems unit:

Students have a field trip to Kangaroo River – Shoalhaven Catchment, where they collect data and samples of fish and invertebrates.

Students compile a scientific report with the raw data collected and produce a catchment diversity profile.

  • Three days working in and around the beautiful Kangaroo River.
  • Hands-on learning how to collect fish and invertebrates and access river conditions across the Kangaroo River Catchment.
  • A fun team environment, working together in a fantastic part of the world.
  • Timing: Session 1, fourth week of March.
  • Students cover their own food and accommodation.
  • Students leave Macquarie University on the morning of Day 1 and return in the late afternoon of Day 3. All transport is provided.
  • All students stay at Glenmack Caravan Park in Kangaroo Valley in on-site accommodation or BYO tents. Students organise their own food and pay for their own accommodation.
  • Students are transported to sites along the Kangaroo River each day and collect environmental and biological samples for later analysis, returning to accommodation at the end of the day.
  • Students are expected to enter the river at most sites, so should bring clothes that can get wet.
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Last updated: 07 Jul 2022