Field Course title

Sustainability and Conservation: Citizen Science and Service Learning in Australia

2018 CHANCE Australia Field Course Itinerary*

Itinerary map

Includes: All instruction and guide services; all meals and lodging as stated in the itinerary; all ground, water and air transportation within Australia; all entrance fees to National Parks and other sites; research and conservation activities; round-trip international airfare. Meals are included except where noted.

Does Not Include: Passport fees; Penn State mandatory United Healthcare Global insurance (~ $2.00/day); gratuities to guides, drivers, or transfer personnel; transportation to and from Philadelphia International Airport, Pennsylvania; excess luggage fees; laundry; telephone calls; and, any other expenses of a personal nature.

Itinerary Updated 01/20/2018

*Final destinations and events are subject to change.

Photos on this page are credited to AUIP.

Day 1 - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Kangaroos

Welcome to Townsville, Australia

11am

CHANCE Group flight QF0970 arrives at Townsville Airport, 11:00am. (See flight itinerary)

11:30am

Depart by coach from Townsville International Airport

12pm - 1pm

Casual group picnic lunch.

1pm - 1:30pm

Welcome and orientation

Health and safety orientation led virtually by AUIP staff member.

1:45pm - 2:45 pm

City tour

Member of Townsville Tourism group will conduct a brief walking tour to orient students to their temporary home in Townsville, Australia.

3:00pm

Hands on Wildlife Presentation with Jackie and Dan

Australia’s wildlife had a deadly reputation, with animals like the inland taipan, the most toxic snake on the planet, calling Australian home it is easy to see why. From snakes to crocodiles and even small spiders, it seems like all of the animals are dangerous. During Hands on Wildlife’s Dangerous Wildlife Orientation Program, students will discover which dangerous animals they may encounter in Tropical North Queensland, and more importantly they will learn what they should do if they do encounter these animals. Students will get up close and personal with some of these creatures in a safe and secure environment, and will be able to touch and hold some of our less dangerous animals as well.

6pm

Dinner: Grill'd Group Dinner

Accommodation: City Oasis Inn, 143 Wills Street, Townsville, Phone: 07 4771 6048

Day 2 - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Student swimming with Sea turtle

Townsville

7:30am

City Oasis Inn group breakfast

8:30am

James Cook University Australia Logo

Transport to James Cook University, School of Biomedical and Veterinary Science.

James Cook University School of Biomedical and Veterinary Science site visit - lab work and lecture rotation

James Cook University is one of the world's leading institutions focusing on the tropics, and is surrounded by the spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the Wet tropics, the dry savannahs, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Our unique location enables students from Australia and overseas to study in a diverse physical environment unparalleled elsewhere in the world. The Discipline of Biomedicine offers a world-class education by bringing together researchers in biology and medicine from across the northern region, whose research has implications for the prevention, detection or treatment of diseases relevant to Indigenous health and the tropical communities using a One Health approach. Animal facilities on the Townsville campus include a range of large and small animal housing, including capabilities for aquatic animals and post mortem suites. Students are also able to access state of the art PC2 laboratories, and we are the only regional University in northern Australia to offer high secure PC3 laboratory facilities.

9am - 9:45am

Welcome and introductory presentation on current research and partnerships with Traditional Owners

9:45am - 12:30pm

Group 1: Turtle lab work alongside JCU students

In the indoor ‘Caraplace’ we can house 48 little green sea turtle hatchlings – each in their own tank – where they can freely eat, swim and rest on a sub-surface platform. The facility caters for the needs of the turtles under near natural conditions, but it also enables us to study them close up, which is impossible to do in the wild.

A group of very dedicated and diligent volunteers give up a few hours of their time every week to look after the turtle hatchlings in the Caraplace. They are highly trained in food preparation, water quality monitoring, and operation of a recirculatory sea water system, feeding, handling, and grooming the turtle hatchlings. You will be given an opportunity to work alongside a trained volunteer to help care for these little sea turtles.

9:45am - 12:30pm

Group 2: Presentations by JCU doctoral students

The overarching aim of our research in the Turtle Health Research Team is to uncover information that can feed back into the processes of diagnosing and treating disease as well as population health assessments in the wild. These would be useful tools to save individual animals, but perhaps more importantly, could be used as early warning signs of deteriorating environmental health in an area where sea turtles live for an extended time. The majority of the research carried out in the team is done by Higher Degree Research Students. The study animals are mostly green sea turtles, but there is also a freshwater turtle health project and even a water dragon project because of Ellen’s interest in viruses and reptiles.

A group of students will talk to you about their research and you will have time to ask questions and interact with them over lunch.

12:30pm - 2:00pm

BBQ lunch with JCU students and colleagues

2:00pm

Transport to ReefHQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium

2:30pm

Reef HQ Aquarium Discovery Tour & Turtle Hospital

You will learn about the highly diverse and amazing reef communities found on the Great Barrier Reef and will visit Reef HQ Aquarium’s turtle hospital where sick and injured marine turtles are cared for and rehabilitated.

6:30pm

Dinner: Group dinner at City Oasis Inn

Accommodation: City Oasis Inn, 143 Wills Street, Townsville, Phone: 07 4771 6048

Day 3 - Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sea turtle swimming

Townsville

7:30am

City Oasis group breakfast

Coach transfer to Alligator Creek

Full day

Full day Field Trip with JCU and Traditional Owners

Full day field trip with traditional owners in the rainforest south of Townsville in Alligator Creek, which will be full of action for turtle spotting while walking the equipment through the creeks to get there. Visit these webpages to view research videos from the Alligator Creek site to get a sense of the day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzphZFINRyQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV8FBW2rOgI

Lunch: Packed picnic lunch with group groceries

Coach transfer back to City Oasis

6.30pm

Dinner on your own

Accommodation: City Oasis Inn, 143 Wills Street, Townsville, Phone: 07 4771 6048

Day 4 - Friday, June 29, 2018

Guided rainforest walk

Townsville to Hidden Valley

8am

City Oasis group breakfast

8:30am

Transfer from accommodation to James Cook University, School of Biomedical
and Veterinary Science; provided by Ross McLennan.

9am - 12:00pm

Group 1: Presentations by JCU doctoral students

(Additional lecture details to be added by Dr. Ellen Ariel.)

9am - 12:00pm

Group 2: Turtle lab work alongside JCU students

(Additional project details to be added by Dr. Ellen Ariel.)

Guide Ross McLennan

Ross runs a small, family-run tourism business 103 kilometres northwest of Townsville called Hidden Valley Cabins. The McLennan family have owned and operated the business since 1986. Because of its remote location, Hidden Valley Cabins has no town amenities and is totally self-sufficient. In December 2007, the retreat switched off its diesel generators and since then the entire resort’s electrical needs have been supplied by the sun, saving the resort up to 26000L of diesel and 78 tonnes of CO2 per year. Ross is very passionate about sustainability, the natural environment that he calls home, and finding ways to implement best practice into his business.

Please note: The schedule set out for your time at Hidden Valley Cabins is subject to change. Ross will keep you updated with any changes.

12pm

Travel by coach to Little Crystal Creek (travel time approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes)

Stop at a supermarket to purchase any items required for your stay at Hidden Valley. Please ensure you stock up with plenty of water as it will be hot and you will be hiking. You may also want to purchase snacks for the next couple of days.

The coach will then head north on the Bruce Highway to Paluma Range National Park.

Lunch: Lunch at Little Crystal Creek.You will have time to swim and explore the Paluma Range National Park. Picnic lunch provided by Hidden Valley Cabins.

Travel by coach to Paluma Village (travel time approximately 25 minutes)

Stops at McLallands Lookout and Witt's Lookout.

Guided rainforest walk

The group will take a rainforest walk following the Witt’s Lookout Trail for 3 kilometres. The walk takes in beautiful views of the coast and the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics. Your guide will teach you about the local plants and ecosystems.

Travel by coach to Hidden Valley Cabins (travel time approximately 45 minutes)

Fifteen minutes into the journey, the group will stop at the Eucalyptus Grandis Forest to learn about the shift in ecosystem types. These increasingly dry ecotones are used to explain the direct link between the primitive rainforests seen in the Wet Tropics and the dry sclerophyll forests and open woodlands that dominate the Australian landscape of today.

6:30pm

Dinner: Hidden Valley Cabins group dinner

Accommodation: Hidden Valley Cabins, 1 McLennan Road, Hidden Valley, Phone: 07 4770 8088

Day 5 - Saturday, June 30, 2018

Landscape view of forest

Hidden Valley

8am

Hidden Valley Cabins group breakfast

9am

Morning session to synthesize field trip data

12:30pm

Picnic lunch provided

Travel by coach to platypus spotting site (travel time approximately 30 minutes)

Platypus spotting

Australian Geographic recognises the area as one of the top five places to see
platypus in the wild.

6:30pm

Dinner: Hidden Valley Cabins group dinner

Accommodation: Hidden Valley Cabins, 1 McLennan Road, Hidden Valley, Phone: 07 4770 8088

Day 6 - Sunday, July 01, 2018

Sea turtle swimming

Hidden Valley

7:30am

Hidden Valley Cabins group breakfast

8am - 1:30pm

Travel by coach to Australian Wildlife Conservancy site (travel time approximately 20 minutes)

Service-learning with Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC)

AWC's reserves cover more than 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres), which represents the largest private conservation estate in Australia. Hidden Valley Cabins, AUIP and AWC have developed a partnership to do critical work on two of AWC's reserves, Mt Zero and Taravale. The day will be spent working on a range of activities, which may focus on physical activities and/or business assessment and monitoring.

Please wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Hidden Valley Cabins will supply gloves, tools, etc.

A picnic lunch will be provided.

1:30pm - 5pm

Travel by coach to Running River Gorge trailhead (travel time approximately 20 minutes)

Running River Gorge hike

The hike into the Gorge will take around 50 minutes. Once in the gorge you will have time to swim and explore the gorge. The walk out of the gorge will take approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Travel by coach to Hidden Valley Cabins (travel time approximately 20 minutes)

6:30pm

Dinner: Hidden Valley Cabins group dinner

Accommodation: Hidden Valley Cabins, 1 McLennan Road, Hidden Valley, Phone: 07 4770 8088

Day 7 - Monday, July 02, 2018

Woman trimming trees

Hidden Valley to Townsville

7:30am

Hidden Valley Cabins group breakfast

8am - 4:30pm

Travel by coach to Mungalla Station (travel time approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes)

Mungalla Aboriginal Tours cultural experience

Mungalla Station, 1236 Forrest Beach Road, Allingham, Phone: 07 4777 8718,
0428 710 907

Your tour will start with a cultural session introducing you to the Nywaigi Aboriginal culture. During the session you may be able to try your hand at traditional activities such as throwing boomerangs and spears. This is followed by a ‘Captive Lives’ session during which you will hear the story of the ancestors of the Aboriginal people from Mungalla Station and surrounding areas and how they were exhibited as cannibals and savages in the nineteenth century circuses and sideshows of Europe and America. After lunch, you will travel by coach to the old homestead site, where you will learn about James Cassady and his family, who were the first European settlers on Mungalla.

The group will then undertake a service-learning project to help with the restoration of the Mungalla wetlands, which is being cleared of introduced weeds.

This may include noxious plant control, monitoring water quality, birdlife and fish populations.

For this session, it is recommended that you wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. You must wear closed-toe shoes (no sandals or Tevas). You should bring water, a hat, sunscreen and snacks.

A BBQ lunch will be provided for the group today.

Travel by coach to City Oasis Inn

6:30pm

Dinner: Group dinner at City Oasis Inn
Accommodation: City Oasis Inn, 143 Wills Street, Townsville, Phone: 07 4771 6048

Day 8 - Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Snorkeler

Townsville

8am

City Oasis group breakfast

10:45am

Depart on foot to ReefHQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium

11am - 12:30pm

Introduction to the "Eye on the Reef" Rapid Monitoring Program

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's "Eye on the Reef-Rapid Monitoring Program" is the latest citizen science (community monitoring tool) that enables community members to participate in monitoring the health of the Great Barrier Reef. In this session students will learn about the monitoring program. This session will be followed by a snorkelling activity within Reef HQ Aquarium's Coral Reef Exhibition after lunch.

12:30pm

Lunch at Reef HQ Café

Today’s lunch will be provided by the Reef HQ Café and a dedicated seating area will be made available for your use.

1:15pm - 2:30pm

Rotational activities

For this part of the program, the group will be split into two smaller groups for
activities on a rotational basis.

Group 1: Snorkel within the Coral Reef Exhibit
Group 2: Managing the Marine Park Presentation

During this introductory lecture you will gain a fuller appreciation of the enormity of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, what challenges it is facing and how it is cooperatively managed, making it arguably the best managed natural resource on planet earth.

2:30pm - 3:45pm

Rotational activities continue

Group 1: Managing the Marine Park Presentation
Group 2: Snorkel within the Coral Reef Exhibit

Depart Reef HQ on foot for accommodation

6:30pm

Dinner: Group dinner at City Oasis Inn
Accommodation: City Oasis Inn, 143 Wills Street, Townsville, Phone: 07 4771 6048

 

Day 9 - Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Coral reef with fish

Great Barrier Reef

7am

City Oasis group breakfast

7:30am

Depart accommodation on foot for the marina

8am - 4:30pm

Great Barrier Reef excursion (8.5 hrs)

Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive, Townsville's most experienced marine tourism operator, will escort you to some of the best sites on the Great Barrier Reef. During the day you will complete a Reef Health Assessment under supervision of experienced dive crew and marine experts. Learn about the environmental impacts on the reef, and find out about some of the business practices local operations have adopted to minimize their impact on the environment. Discuss business operations and concerns with management of SeaLink Travel Group, one of Australia's largest tourism and transport providers.

What to Bring:

  • Wear swimsuit under clothes
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera, if desired

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, as well as tea, coffee, water and cordial will be provided, as well as a full-length wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins.

6:30pm

Dinner: Group dinner at City Oasis Inn
Accommodation: City Oasis Inn, 143 Wills Street, Townsville, Phone: 07 4771 6048

Day 10 - Thursday, July 05, 2018

Koala in tree

Townsville to Magnetic Island

7am

City Oasis continental group breakfast

8:30am

Depart accommodation for Billabong Sanctuary by coach

9am

Billabong Sanctuary

The Billabong Sanctuary is a leader in conservation; their excellent corporate management behavior ensures the long-term sustainability of the business and its lasting contribution to environmental causes. Billabong strongly believes that their holistic and passionate approach to conservation is the secret behind their success.

9:30am - 10:30am

Guided Sanctuary Tour with staff Rangers

10:30am - 12pm

Time to explore the Sanctuary and join Billabong’s regular public educational
sessions.

12pm

Group BBQ Lunch

12:45pm

A presentation on Australian dingoes and crocodiles

This experience with qualified rangers will showcase the positive role model Billabong Sanctuary provides through education to the wider community focusing on the life and history of dingoes and crocodiles. Crocodile feeding at 1pm

1.40pm

Coach transfer from Billabong to Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal

2:30pm

Sealink Ferry: Townsville to Magnetic Island

3pm

Coach transfer from Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal to Bungalow Bay Koala Village

Check-in to accommodation and free time to explore the surrounding area.

5:30pm - 7:30pm

Dinner: Magnetic Island Welcome Dinner at Barefoot Restaurant

Accommodation: Bungalow Bay Koala Village, 40 Horseshoe Bay Rd, Magnetic Island, Phone: 07 4778 5577

Day 11 - Friday, July 06, 2018

Participants snorkeling in ocean

Magnetic Island

7am

Bungalow Bay continental group breakfast

8am - 4pm

Reef Ecologic: Reef Management Strategies and Inshore Reef Restoration

The Coral Reef Recovery Program for Magnetic Island strives to engage students in a hands-on learning approach which will incorporate: environmental conservation education, community engagement, inquiry and action-based learning, as well as coral reef conservation efforts on the local fringing reefs. You will be undertaking lectures, data collection, and reef assessment in the water.

Note: You may be snorkelling in the ocean (weather dependent).

This is a citizen science reef rehabilitation project that creates a community-based learning environment to benefit reef health and provide education in coral reef conservation. You will be involved in an inquiry and action project, utilizing your knowledge of the environment and conservation tactics to create a healthy and sustainable reef ecosystem around the island. Following your work on the reef out in the field, you will engage in a media outreach project with the goal of educating the wider community about the status of the reef. As conservation studies are becoming more necessary and relevant in today’s changing climate and ecosystem, the team at the Coral Reef Recovery Program for Magnetic Island hope that the program will help guide you to think critically and inspire action within your own communities.

Please bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, swimsuit, a towel, water, and
snacks. A picnic lunch will be provied. You will be issued with a snorkel and mask, fins and UV stinger suit.

4:30pm

Dinner: Dinner on your own

Accommodation: Bungalow Bay Koala Village, 40 Horseshoe Bay Rd, Magnetic Island, Phone: 07 4778 5577

Day 12 - Saturday, July 07, 2018

Koala

Magnetic Island

8am

Bungalow Bay continental group breakfast

9am

Koala population survey project

You will be given the opportunity to take part in a field-based study, surveying koala populations on Magnetic Island. This work is an extension of a study conducted by JCU researchers in 2011 and will contribute data to enable ongoing monitoring of the population. The day will include a seminar on koala biology and ecology, a briefing on the survey methodology and a discussion of the previous study and the use of data collected. You will be immersed in the natural environment of the island while undertaking the survey in addition to having the opportunity to see koalas both in their natural habitat, as well as up close in captivity.

You will be riding a bicycle for a total of 5 kilometres at a steady pace. As the landscapes are based in Eucalypt woodland, you are required to wear long pants, shoes and ankle length socks for the morning activity. Please bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and 1 litre of water. A picnic lunch with be provided.

4:30pm

Dinner: Group dinner at Bungalow Bay

Accommodation: Bungalow Bay Koala Village, 40 Horseshoe Bay Rd, Magnetic Island, Phone: 07 4778 5577

Day 13 - Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sea turtle swimming

Magnetic Island to Townsville

8am

Bungalow Bay continental group breakfast

Please check out of your room and store you luggage before today's session.

Meet at the Education Deck by 8:25 AM with your notebook.

8:30am

Terrestrial Landscapes of Queensland

  • Introduction to the diversity of Australian terrestrial ecosystems; a journey from central Queensland to the coast
  • Similarities and linkages between arid environments, open eucalypt forests, grassland, rainforests, mangroves and reef islands
  • Plant and animal adaptations in the environment
  • Sensitive ecosystems
  • European impact: soil, plants and animals
  • Climate change
  • Magnetic Island ecosystems
  • Question and answer session

10:15am

Morning break

Please use this time to prepare for the Balding Bay hike. A picnic lunch will be
provided.

10:45am

Balding Bay hike

During this 3-hour hike you will progress through Magnetic Island National Park into the low wetlands area of Horseshoe Bay before climbing into the dry sclerophyll forests bordering the granite boulder habitats. Your guide will showcase some diverse habitats that are home to over 75 species of reptiles, mammals and birds found in the dry tropics.

Please ensure you wear sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses, a sunhat and sensible walking shoes. Please take water and your picnic lunch provided by Bungalow Bay. You will also need to take your swimsuit and stinger suit as there will be an opportunity to swim at Balding Bay.

TBD

Coach transfer to ferry terminal

TBD

Sealink Ferry: Magnetic Island to Townsville

TBD

Coach transfer to City Oasis Inn

7:00pm

Dinner: Group Farewell Dinner at Longboard

Accommodation: City Oasis Inn, 143 Wills Street, Townsville, Phone: 07 4771 6048

Day 14 - Monday, July 09, 2018

Bird on a branch

Townsville to USA

4am

City Oasis takeaway breakfast

4:15am

Depart for airport by coach

5:55am

Group flight QF0969 departs to the USA


Photos on this page are credited to AUIP.


Flight Itinerary

*Updated 03/25/2018*

Departing City Arriving City Departing Time Arriving Time Flight Number
PHL
Philadelphia Intl
LAX
Los Angeles
24 Jun 2018
5:45pm
24 Jun 2018
8:45pm
AA1997
LAX
Los Angeles
BNE
Brisbane
24 Jun 2018
11:20pm
26 Jun 2018
6:10am
QF0016
BNE
Brisbane
TSV
Townsville Intl
26 Jun 2018
9:00am
26 Jun 2018
11:00am
QF0970
TSV
Townsville Intl
BNE
Brisbane
09 Jul 2018
5:55am
09 Jul 2018
7:40am
QF0969
BNE
Brisbane
LAX
Los Angeles
09 Jul 2018
10:20am
09 Jul 2018
06:00am
QF0015
LAX
Los Angeles
PHL
Philadelphia Intl
09 Jul 2018
11:05am
09 Jul 2018
7:25pm
AA0658

Field Practicum Locations

Daintree Rainforest (wet tropics)

The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical seasonal forest, is a region located on the north east coast of Queensland, Australia. At around 1,200 square kilometres (460 sq mi), the Daintree is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian continent. Along the coastline north of the Daintree River, tropical forest grows right down to the edge of the sea.

Named after Richard Daintree, an Australian geologist and photographer (1832-1878), this tropical rainforest ecosystem is one of the most complex on Earth. Much of the Daintree Rainforest is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site, being listed by UNESCO in 2015 in recognition of its universal natural values highlighted by the rainforest.


Learn more »


Townsville

Located in the dry tropics region of Queensland, Townsville is adjacent to the central section of the Great Barrier Reef. One of its popular attractions is Reef HQ, a large tropical aquarium holding many of the Great Barrier Reef's native flora and fauna.

Learn more »


Magnetic Island

Situated 5 miles offshore from the city of Townsville, Australia, the island is a haven for wildlife. 54% of the island is Magnetic Island National Park. The island lies within the World Heritage Site - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
  

Learn more »


CHANCE Website Daintree Rainforest Townsville Magnetic Island