The last half of the 20th Century has seen a greater awareness of the effects of anthropogenic impacts, and the need to minimise them throughout the fishing industry and wider communities.
In order to satisfy the demand of the fishing industry and the wider community for more information, SARDI Aquatic Sciences has created this website for retrieval of information, but also to include information about the important research carried out by the organisation.
Complementing these activities, SARDI Aquatic Sciences also undertakes the supervision and mentoring to tertiary undergraduate and postgraduate students.
SARDI Aquatic Sciencesí role in South Australia is unique. Being the premier aquatic sciences research and development organisation, SARDI is a major employer of graduates from local and interstate fisheries and aquatic sciences educators. Because of this, aquatic sciences is a popular location for students at all levels, to gain experience in fisheries research, aquaculture and ecological research.
Since its inception, SARDI Aquatic Sciences personnel have acted as external supervisors to over a hundred university Honours students, several Masters students and dozens of PhD students from local and interstate universities. Because of the unique facilities available only at the SA Aquatic Sciences Centre, many students undertake the practical aspects of their studies at the centre.
Local students have access to participate in research through the Summer Scholarships for tertiary students. For more information about Aquatic Sciences university student training activities contact, Chief, Aquatic Sciences.
Summer scholarships are designed to enable high achieving students to participate in research by undertaking a small research project, supervised by Aquatic Sciences Staff.
Each summer (December to February), SARDI Aquatic Sciences offers up to three scholarships to outstanding undergraduate science students from South Australian Universities to enhance and facilitate student development. As part of SARDIís alliance with the Fisheries Research Branch of DPIVic, these scholarships are also open to students at Victorian universities that have an affiliation with DPIVic.
The aim is to assist students in the transition from the university environment by giving them an idea of the range of activities and jobs they may be exposed to as a scientist. During the six-week scholarship, it is expected that the students will undertake a minor project including library research, experimental design and implementation, and preparation of a written report. Students will be based at SARDI West Beach, or in some instances at another SARDI Aquatic Sciences location, for the duration of the project.
Scholarships will be paid to the University Department through which students apply. A stipend of A$1500 will be paid to cover the studentís personal costs. It is expected that the University will cover the usual insurance costs for students. During the project, SARDI Aquatic Sciences will cover all field and logistic costs.
Applications will be called in September of each year, and students should apply in writing by the nominated date in late September through the Head of a relevant Department of their University. Applications will be assessed and successful applicants will then be notified in writing by mid October each year.
If you are a student presently enrolled in tertiary courses and are interested in taking part, please respond by contacting the Chief, Aquatic Sciences.
SARDI participates in many projects that enable the community to contribute to the monitoring of the local environment while raising the profile of aquatic issues within their community.
Many coastal-based community groups are looking for projects which will enable them to contribute to the monitoring of their local environment and at the same time raise the profile of aquatic issues within their local communities. Community-based monitoring projects are an excellent way of achieving this.
The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Aquatic Sciences, has identified community-based monitoring as an effective tool for promoting both the scientific work done by SARDI and, at the same time, raising community awareness of marine issues in South Australia by involving the community in a hands on participatory way.
Community based-monitoring provides a number of benefits. These include:
empowering the community with the ability to actively participate in the preservation of their local environment
creating partnerships between groups that otherwise would not have occurred (eg between researchers and residents, local environment groups, industry or educational institutions)
a cost effective method of collecting baseline environmental data that benefits not only researchers, but represents a powerful educational tool for raising community awareness
improve local management of an area, either by the direct participation of local shires or councils or through community pressure brought about by a better understanding of local environmental issues.
SARDI's commitment to community-based monitoring has been to dedicate a person to the role of a community based educator, who provides a focus for all enquiries, acts as a source of information and importantly, provides liaison between scientific researchers and community groups. The role of SARDI is to provide the following:
Involvement of a recognised research organisation such as SARDI also provides scientific validity and credibility to the monitoring results and importantly, a direct link to government management agencies.
Community-based monitoring is not part of SARDIís core business and hence, is reliant on external funding. To date, SARDI has received funding for several community-based monitoring projects under the Commonwealth Government funding programs such as CoastCare, FishCare and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
The Environment and Ecology Program has coordinated or assisted with several community monitoring and education projects with the aid of Commonwealth Government funding programs, FISHCARE (administered by the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and COASTCARE (administered by Environment Australia). They include the following:
Port Noarlunga Reef Underwater Trail - the establishment of South Australia's first underwater marine interpretation trail, involving input from major local interest groups in the design and long term management of the trail. SARDI coordinated and undertook the project with the assistance of a Community Liaison Committee of relevant stakeholder groups. A detailed report is available from SARDI Aquatic Sciences.
Ocean Litter Surveys - a project to quantify the type, amount and source of ocean-based litter washed ashore on remote beaches of South Australia. SARDI researchers were assisted by students and teachers from local area schools, local residents and members of local fishing industries. SARDI coordinated and undertook the project with this community assistance while managing the litter database and providing the participants with the results for educational activities. In 2007, this project was handed over entirely to the local community, and a web-based tool provided for data reporting and analysis http://www.reefwatch.asn.au/Robe/index.html (external link).
Reef Watch - a project to encourage recreational divers to conduct a long term monitoring program to measure the impact of human activities on popular dive sites close to metropolitan Adelaide and other nearshore reefs in South Australia. SARDIís role was to provide technical advice to community groups (i.e. SA Conservation Council) in the survey design and the selection of key indicator organisms/ species.
Contact the Conservation Council of SA (external site) for more information.
For more information, go to Reef Watch (external site).
The possibility exists to expand other community based monitoring projects to encompass other areas of importance or to include other interest groups. The impetus may come from the need for information from the researchers or a desire by a community group to become more actively involved in looking after their local environment.
Whatever the reason, the benefits are such that all possible avenues of community involvement should be pursued, for the benefit of all concerned.
For further information write to PO Box 120, Henley Beach SA 5022.