A bit later in March, I went with my marine biology class on a field trip to North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island to lay on the beach all day do some experiments with ocean life (seriously though, we did do a lot of beach-laying, which was fabulous. I love the relaxed Australian lifestyle)! After a quick walk around Moreton Bay, where UQ has a private research station (super nice), we waded out into the water with a huge 50-meter net. With it, we caught different fish and stingrays! After that, the class was assigned to design and carry out an experiment in small groups, then present it to the class.
My awesome group and I decided to examine the mangrove crabs we found scuttling around the island and test them to see if their size had any effect on whether they were faster/slower to react to an incoming predator. After getting up at 5am (EEESH) the second morning of our Moreton trip, we collected crabs and brought them back to the station to test their speed when we imitated a predator approaching from above. As it turns out (in case you were curious) there’s no correlation, but it didn’t matter. We had a ton of fun making obnoxious bird noises in the research station to get our crabby friends to scurry to a makeshift shelter. Yay science!
After we presented the results of our experiment to the class, the entire group drove to the opposite shore of North Stradbroke Island for some bushwalking and swimming. Such beautiful views!
A tropical beachside classroom is the best kind of classroom. Take note, Madison. In the meantime, after returning to Brisbane from our weekend trip, I talked with my parents about spring break trip options. After chatting with them as well as my UW-Madison comrades, I decided to book a trip to a place I’d never in my wildest dreams think I’d be going…