5 activities where you can learn about nature during National Science Week

National Science Week is just around the corner. Here are our top picks for virtual environmental-themed events.

Every year across the country, National Science Week throws a spotlight on science and technology.

From 15-23 August you’ll be able to take part in virtual tours, webcasts, talks, DIY experiments, quizzes, citizen science and competitions, allowing you to discover and experience online and real world activities from home.

It’s a great time to learn about the natural world around us too. We’ve scoured the program and found these five activities that bring you up close and personal with some key parts of South Australia’s environment and animals (but be sure to check the program for more):

1. Swim with the Giant Australian Cuttlefish – Virtual Tour

An internationally unique marine phenomena – the aggregation of the Giant Australian Cuttlefish who come to breed – occurs from May to August each year, in the cold water of Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park near Whyalla.

More than 100,000 cuttlefish can been found along an 8 km stretch of coastline – an aggregation on this scale doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.

While visiting this site may not be possible for people for many reasons, this virtual tour will allow you to experience the next best thing and virtually swim with the Giant Australian Cuttlefish. Nature like nowhere else!  

Event details: The virtual tour is available to view throughout Science Week

2. Our Deep Blue Future: reflections from early career scientists

Dive in and join a panel of South Australian early career scientists as they explore our oceans and share stories of their science.

For an environment so unique and special, it comes up against many threats and uncertainties, including habitat loss, overfishing, pollution and resource exploration. So what can we do?

This panel brings together a generation of young scientists and students, who are looking at these challenges with fresh eyes and hope.

Event details: This event will be held online on 28 August, from 7-8 pm.

3. The Science and Citizens of the Coorong

The Coorong is a unique environment that forms part of the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland, a Ramsar Wetland of international importance.

Work to restore a healthy Coorong needs to be based on the latest science, as well as the experience and knowledge of Traditional Owners and the local community.

Watch a short film about the Coorong and the scientists and citizens helping to return it to a healthy system for all to enjoy.

Event details: This event will be held online on 25 August, from 7-8 pm.  

4. Herding Caterpillars

Entomological experts and enthusiasts from across Australia will deliver free short talks about the amazing world of caterpillars and butterflies and their survival in our environment.

The webinar will inform listeners of the long-established relationship between Lycaenid larvae, which have a specialised secretory gland that attracts, appeases and rewards ants.

Speakers include Emeritus Professor Roger Kitching AM, Mike Moore, Jan Forrest OAM and Gerry Butler.

Event details: This event will be held online on 20 August, from 6-8pm

5. Virtual Tours of Great Southern Reef Marine Life

We have all heard of the Great Barrier Reef but who has heard of the Great Southern Reef?

Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries is collaborating with universities, Indigenous communities, the Department for Environment and Water, marine parks, the dive industry and science communicators to tell the story of the Great Southern Reef and its inhabitants.

Event details: Events will be held throughout Science Week on a variety of topics as streamed video with commentary and Q&A sessions by leading South Australian marine experts.

Love learning about the environment? You might like to sign up to Environment SA News to learn more.

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