HANDS-ON, FIELD-BASED BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY
This study tour provides students with a theme of applied biology & biochemistry using industrial & conservation based examples. We explore applications of micro biology & genetics within a series of field contexts. The aim is to relate the student’s understanding of facts from the classroom to their applications across the practical domains of research, production & ecological restoration. From this understanding, students can better identify where they see their own future career options.
The overall perspective is that of biodiversity of organisms within specific ecosystems & habitats & how these organisms function. From this biodiverse & interrelated perspective, we demonstrate the value of understanding cellular functions, physiology, biochemistry & genetics as we seek to research, understand & maintain these plant & animal resources. We can also be guided in our conservation efforts & managing carbon through being informed on the natural ecological processes which we study on this tour.
At this senior high school level, we believe that it is very important to add exposure to field situations as well as practical applications to the laboratory & classroom learning. The example of catchment management we study in Tauranga, is a global leader in environmental systems management - based on research – & provides students with the very necessary appreciation of biodiversity as an essential aspect of our future. Maungatautari Ecological Reserve provides a model where humans have effectively reproduced a complete 4000 hectare ecosystem, large enough to sustain a full biodiverse community.
These examples are introduced to give students models of unmodified, natural areas where the relationships between organisms is intact, the range of genetic material is vast & the changing conditions are slow enough for forms of adaptations to be studied & better understood.
This study tour allows the transfer of classroom learning into dynamic field sites that present the value of biodiversity & provide complete case studies of informed, positive human interactions with the environment.