Friday 19th February 2016

Today I headed out with the seed bank team James Wood and Natalie Tapson in search of very important native seeds to add to theTasmanian seed bank.  James and Natalie work on the SeedSafe project.  This project is a partnership between the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, the Tasmanian  Herbarium, and the Biodiversity Conservation Branch of Tasmania's Department  of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.  SeedSafe began as part of the Millennium Seedbank Project. The aim of this project is to hold viable, multi provenanced (original and authenticated) collections for the entire Tasmanian Flora.  It also can provide viable seeds to assist in reintroducing native plant communities into an area affected by fire, weed or pests.  

Thursday 18th February 2016

Well today was BOAT DAY! I normally appreciate boats from a far as I get quite sea sick, especially on open waters, but decided to take part in this wonderful experience as this is the first time Bush Blitz has surveyed aquatic material.. We left base camp around 8:45am and drove to the ferry terminal to meet the 'Penghana' from the Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre, and its crew Andrew, Claire and Steve the captain.  Andrew and Claire are teachers at the Marine Discovery centre who educate students from schools around Tasmania about the wonders of the marine world.  We also had two extra crew members on board to greet us, students from Woodbridge, Taylor and Imogen who had been invited to join our expedition for the day.

Wednesday 17th February 2016

Today had a different pace to it. Instead of heading out in the field I stayed back at base camp to work in the laboratory and video conference with my students at the Rock Central School.  The day started very much like yesterday, at 6:30am, breakfast and lunch prep before heading up to the lab.  The other teachers and scientists headed out around 8:30-9am to their designated plots around Bruny Island.  As you can see from the photos, each assigned group must record their details which include car registration, stat phone number, the allocated team members, location, check in time and expected time to arrive back at base camp.  This information is so important for the base camp supervisor to monitor the activities of each group and send assistance if needed.  

Tuesday 16th February 2016

Tasmania is an extremely beautiful and natural place, but honestly it puts Victoria to shame with four seasons in one day!  It rained for most of Monday night but we woke up to a promising morning.  My morning started around 6:15am where we needed to have breakfast, prepare lunch and leave for our allocated sites by 9am. Each Bush Blitz expedition, Scientists sample from standard sites.  These are known as SSS1 and SSS2 sites.  I accompanied Kevin Bonham, Abbey Throssel and Ari to the SSS1 site, located within the Mount Mangana forest reserve.  Many of the roads within the reserves are dirt tracks and the sampling sites themselves require scientists to walk into dense forest to complete their sampling work.  

Monday 15th February 2016

Arrival day on site.

Today we travelled from Hobart to North Bruny Island and settled into our base camp, located at Murrayfield Station, Bruny Island. Murrayfield Station is run by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) and is home to approximately 13 000 sheep.  The location is amazing as we have an spectacular view of the Tasman sea, located in Trumpeter Bay which is no more than 500 meters away.  

Sunday 14th February 2016

Hi everyone,

Well what a day!  Most of my day comprised of catching a number of planes to arrive in Hobart, around 4pm.  There I was greeted by our team contact, Bruce Paton (Earthwatch). First impressions of Hobart were 'amazing', 'picturesque' and 'inspirational'. The climate is what I would expect, but the habitat; just from driving from the airport to where we are staying is spectacular. There are trees that are as tall as 5 storey buildings, wide as a small truck and would be over 100 years old, so many nestled in the heart of Hobart centre. Many of them not native to Australia most likely planted by the first settlers and nurtured by the locals.