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Steele Creek Field Investigation and Research

Is Steele Creek Healthy? Your Brief: to produce a report that assesses the health of Steele Creek. You will conduct field work and research to determine if Steele Creek is healthy based on the data you collect. You will work in pairs to conduct field work, research and some parts of the report. You will decide which experiments and data you will include in the report as a pair and work individually to produce your analysis and conclusion. The report will include • An abstract that details how you went about answering the question “Is Steele Creek Healthy?” • A historical perspective of Steele Creek (and the Maribyrnong River) • A detailed definition of what makes a healthy creek and river system • Data collected • Analysis of data • Conclusion and answer to the question Assessment This is a graded assessment task (SAC). The criteria sheet for assessment is provided over the page. Read carefully to make sure you include all dot points to the best of your ability. SAC is due on: Progress check:

Criteria for Assessment: Is Steele Creek Healthy? Name: Partner:
VH Abstract (½ -1 page)





6 marks

• • •

Gives a brief overview of what the project is about by clearly outlining the process followed to answer the question which is easy to understand and concise Includes a hypothesis and prediction of the health of the creek

History: (½ page)

4 marks

Gives a Historical perspective to Steele Creek and its relationship to St Bernard’s Describes major events in the history of Steele creek and the Maribyrnong river including changes that have occurred due to increased settlement Explains techniques that are used to monitor river and creek health using correct biological terms Includes details about biotic and abiotic factors and discusses tolerance ranges of organisms Covers resource availability and requirements for health and survival

The Biology of Creek health (1-2 pages) 12 marks
• • •

Data (2 pages) 12 marks • Clearly presented results in an appropriate format

• •

that is easy to read ‘at a glance’ and if appropriate graphs and tables are used to show trends or patterns in the data Correct units and conventional terms are used to describe observations Includes a range of data eg. habitat survey, physical-chemical testing, macro-invertebrate numbers, plant surveys, soil testing.

Analysis (2-3 pages)
• • • • • • •

20 marks

Explains what the data tells us about the health of the Creek with reference to the biology Highlights any patterns and trends identified in the data and explains these Use of specific data to draw conclusions Identification of sources of uncertainty and error Evaluation of data collection and suggestions for improvement and recommendations for future tests

Conclusion (1/2- 1 page)

8 marks

A summary of all the important findings of your report Answers the question ‘Is Steele Creek Healthy?’ with reference to the most important data

Format 8 marks • A range of appropriate resources used to complete the task with a Bibliography • All language the students own with correct

spelling and grammar Total /70

Flora identification and abundance
Identification Kit Your Brief: To produce a short report on the plant species and abundance in the riparian zone between St Bernard’s and Steele Creek. Requirements: • Each group will need to produce a report that reflects scientific methodology • A plant identification sheet must be completed for each plant sampled while carrying out your quadrats. • A map of the areas sampled. • One report per group must be submitted.

Weed Field Study You must identify each plant counted with its common, botanical name and complete a ‘Plant Identification’ (student resources). The weeds counted and their percentage cover will be presented in a graphical format. Assessment: S or N This short report is due on:

DATA COLLECTION STAGE 1: HABITAT SURVEY Complete Habitat Survey Field Guide Determine the stream habitat rating score from the guide Map your results onto your catchment map Complete Stream Habitat Record – Sheet 1 Sketch your Stream’s cross-section on Sheet 2 Sketch a bird’s eye view of the stream onto Sheet 2 Take a series of photographs that show various aspects of the area you will be studying as a record for your report. Keep a record on Sheet 3 of each photograph taken to use in your report later on.

STAGE 2: SURVEYING AN ECOSYSTEM - Complete Soil Testing of the site (samples will need to be taken back to the lab and further testing performed there) - Calculate the height of trees located within your study area - Explore your site using both the transect and quadrat methods - Measure abiotic and biotic factors within your quadrats - Collect samples of the vegetation from your quadrats - Identify the samples collected from your quadrats - Complete the Flora Identification and Abundance quadrat sample table and quadrat grid including the calculation of percentage cover STAGE 3: PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL TESTING - Conduct both physical and chemical testing of the water collected from Steele Creek. Your testing should include temperature, turbidity, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, ammonia levels, Soluble phosphate and stream velocity - Complete the Phys/Chem Record Sheet STAGE 4: MACROINVERTEBRATE SURVEY - with the assistance of Waterwatch, conduct a macroinvertebrate study of Steele Creek - complete the Macroinvertebrate Data Sheet