Part of the Geography course for Year 11 and 12 students is to participate in fieldwork, which is what our Geography students have been up to recently.

Ms McCathie’s Year 12 General Geography class completed the unit on Fire Geography, where they undertook a guided walk with Mike from Nearer to Nature, and engaged in geographic fieldwork to examine the impacts of fire on both natural and managed ecosystems. Students discovered the difference between bushfires and prescribed burning, and why prescribed burns are critical for protecting life, property and the environment.

Students then examined the Parkerville fire of 2014 by exploring the prevention, mitigation and preparedness for this natural disaster in the managed and constructed elements of our environment. The class was also lucky enough to see a kangaroo and her joey just relaxing under a tree, near where they stopped for lunch.

At the end of the fieldwork, students had a clearer understanding of: how fire affects the geographical environment, how topography and land management affects behaviour of fire, the importance of prescribed burning, and how you can be prepared.

The Year 12 ATAR Geography class and Year 11 General Geography class completed the unit on Sustainable Forestry. Students engaged in field techniques employed by forest managers to determine sustainable timber harvests and treatment of strands to maximise production while maintaining or enhancing biodiversity. They learned about timber being a versatile and widely used fibre-based commodity, and in an increasingly interconnected world, decisions we make about production and distribution of this commodity can no longer be considered in isolation.

Ms Michael’s and Ms Barnes’s students also discovered how modern forestry practices can allow us to sustainably meet our timber needs, whilst ensuring that forests can still be enjoyed for many other purposes and how the decisions we make in our society may have global consequences.