FISH SCHOOL’S IN AT REEF HQ
AS FAR as classrooms go, they don’t get much better than this.
Fifteen students from the Miami University in Ohio, USA, have been studying at Reef HQ as part of their masters degrees and got the rare opportunity to swim in the tanks and get up close and personal with the aquarium’s vast array of marine animals yesterday.
Professor Hays Cummins said the “tank swim” gave the students the chance to hone their skills before heading back on to the Great Barrier Reef to conduct “health checks”.
He said the study group had been learning about the reef and the communities living and working near it for more than a week.
“We have taken a day trip to Magnetic Island and gone on a dive trip at Lodestone Reef,” Prof Cummins ( right) said.
“The number of humpback whales out there was incredible.
“On the weekend we went ... across the Paluma Mountain Range to Hidden Valley and then to Mungalla Station ( near Ingham). This course is about the Reef but we also wanted to understand the connections between the people, the land uses and the sea.”
During their stay, the students have been sleeping on air mattresses at the aquarium.
Prof Cummins said the group would take their experiences from the trip back to the US and pass on what they learned to students and the public.
The group will head out on another dive trip today and assess the health of a reef.