An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

University biology students become ClimateWatchers

First year biology students at the University of Western Australia (UWA) now have ClimateWatch integrated into their course work.


Almost 300 biology students had a lab session in August where they got their first taste of ClimateWatching through exploring a trail on campus at UWA in Crawley or Lake Seppings for students at the Albany satellite campus.


Course coordinator and ClimateWatch Science Advisor, Nicki Mitchell said, “We are integrating ClimateWatch into our biology courses at UWA to help open the eyes of our students to what plants and animals are doing at different times of the year, and to demonstrate how this information could be used to better understand the effects of climate change on our biota. We also want to help ClimateWatch build datasets in Western Australia, and first year university students are perfectly positioned to make an important contribution.”


Program Manager Rich Weatherill said, "The trails were developed in collaboration with university teaching staff, grounds staff and local conservation groups who helped select key locations and shortlist ClimateWatch indicator species."


Over the semester students have to record 20 observations to pass their assignment and are not limited to just exploring the trails. "A number of students have been asking for suggestions of where they can go near Perth to see a good range of indicator species" said Nicki.