Tertiary Catchment Studies

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to a variety of wetlands, waterways and catchments in: Queensland and New South Wales; throughout Australia; and overseas.

All our programs are either tailored to support a chosen unit of study, or as specifically requested by our clients.

What we provide

  • Award-winning educators/ facilitators
  • Itineraries and Flyers
  • Curriculum-based work-booklets
  • All relevant equipment (supplying up to 150x students per session)
  • Example assessment tasks
  • Transportation options (we provide quotes to utilise our own buses for every excursion and can purchase all relevant flights relating to your program where applicable)
  • Pre/Post Excursion Activities (usually a PPP)
  • Risk Assessment (location specific)
  • Variety of field-work locations (where available)
  • Accommodation options (we provide quotes to utilise the most affordable and most appropriate accommodation to suit your needs)
  • Catering options (we provide quotes to utilise our own in-house catering service for every excursion (where available) and/or catering through a third-party provider

Tertiary (TAFE/University) Programs

Our Tertiary Education programs have been developed for specific units of study within a variety of Courses (e.g. Botany, Ecology, Vertebrate Biology, Environmental Science, Environmental Education etc.). We can also tailor programs upon request. By participating in a “Catchment Studies” program, students gain a comprehensive understanding and awareness of the importance of healthy waterways through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through a virtual waterway health assessment (incursions).

Trip Overview

All Tertiary in-class presentations and “Catchment Studies” field trips come with complimentary assessable work-booklets, which are tailored to the requirements of an institution. Our field trips allow for an in-depth, methodical and structured waterway health assessment. We also offer virtual waterway health assessments (incursions).


  • Beautiful walk through the wetlands
  • Identifying native and migratory shore birds
  • Using nets to catch invertebrates
  • Map-reading/comprehension
  • Monitoring waterway health using scientific equipment
  • Talk from a Dam/Desalination Plant officiary (where applicable)

More Information



  • Guided walk through the wetlands
  • Shore bird identification activity
  • Nets to catch macroinvertebrates with instructions to calculate their diversity
  • Equipment to measure the chemical properties of the water
  • Presentation on human impacts (observable in the natural environment)
  • Comparison of multiple sites with varying levels of human interference


  • An age-appropriate interactive PowerPoint presentation
  • Investigate ecosystem services provided by wetland plants with samples from living ecosystems to be passed around
  • Learn about the cultural value of some wetland plants (e.g. in art). A short craft activity is optional.
  • Undertake a variety of chemical tests on water samples taken from living ecosystems
  • Shore bird identification activities
  • Quiz (with prizes!) to assess comprehension
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness and knowledge of threats to water quality
  • An understanding of the importance of healthy waterways
  • Awareness of the impacts of human activities on catchments both locally and globally
  • Knowledge of local and largescale environmental issues affecting wetlands including habitat destruction, overharvesting, invasive species, habitat fragmentation and pollution
  • Learning of sustainable behaviours that minimise these issues
  • A sense of connection to and feeling of stewardship towards local catchments
  • An understanding of the complex processes involved in managing our catchments in a sustainable manner.
  • Experience in planning and conducting scientific field studies

Below is an example itinerary for a 1-day “Catchment Studies” excursion. All excursions packages include the necessary work booklets and equipment.

NOTE: We often run this program in small groups and with multiple site visits. In this case, each group conducts one of the 3 activity sessions at each study site (usually 3) in a round robin fashion. This adds travel time between sessions.

8:30      Tour group pick- Second Nature have a fleet of vehicles available to cater for any number of

passengers (within reason). We can provide transport to and from institutions and airports

9:00      Arrive at destination for Activity session 1 The site you will visit will be part of a much larger

network of creeks, rivers and dams.  During this activity, you will learn where your study site is situated

in the relevant catchment and what ecosystem services the wetlands provide to adjacent and downstream

settlements. You will then conduct a visual survey to assess the level of disturbance at your site due to

human behaviors.

10:00   Activity session 2 The types of macro invertebrates hiding in the reeds that flank the banks can be a

good indication of how healthy or polluted the waterway is. During this activity, you will use nets to catch

as many water bugs as possible in the hour available. SIGNAL 2 sensitivity gradings of the bugs captured

and identified will allow you to judge the health of the waterway.

11:00   Lunch at destination Great areas to take a break and enjoy the scenery

12:00   Activity 3 It is important to collect a wide range of reliable qualitative and quantitative data in any

scientific investigation. In this activity, you will use the equipment provided to measure the chemical

properties of the water at your site (for example dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.). This

will give a leg up to your evaluation of the health of the waterway.

13:00   Depart wetland site for nearby Dam or Desalination Plant

13:30   Activity 4 Receive a presentation on the concept of water security from the manager of a dam or

desalination plant in your region. You will learn about threats to water security as well as the strategies in

place to keep them at bay.

14:30   Depart Dam or Desalination Plant, back to institution or airport

15:00   Arrive back at institution or airport when required