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1980 GOSP Unit 1 Oceanography classroom notes

This product is proudly Australian Made

ISBN : None allocated

Published Date : 01 June 1980

Product Code : 1980 Unit 1

Format : Free PDF for download

In 1979 Bob Moffatt Science Master at Gladstone SHS along with David Kopelke Principal Boyne Island Field Study Centre were successful in securing a Commonwealth Schools Commission Grant, (John Quinlan State Coordinator) of approx $16,000 to purchase a research vessel and marine science equipment to found the Gladstone Oceanography Studies Program (GOSP). 

This unit was produced from 1979 - 1981 and supported by Ian Matheson Regional Director and Peter McDonald Regional Inspector from the Central Queensland Regional office as well as Barry McGuire, Principal Gladstone SHS.

Members of the GOSP community committee included GOSP committee members, Kerry Dickson, Juleen Wall and Brother Colin (Chanel College).

Science staff members Ian Griffiths, Ann Kenny, Graham Mitchell, Greg Martin, Jenny Caldwell and Steve Hall all supported the ideas of a practical science course based on the sea as well as Jim Baker Science SM.

The units ran in year 11 and 12 under the draft Multistrand Science Syllabus and the students work was moderated by the Board of Secondary School Studies (BOSSS) panel in Rockhampton.

Later it evolved into the STAQ Marine Science series when Bob Moffatt was transfered to Benowa SHS in the Brisbane South region where he met Regional Inspectors Cyril Connell and Clive Allen.  

Teachers Information


Science Staff Gladstone SHS (Ian Griffiths, Steve Hall, Greg Martin, Ann Kenny, Graham Mitchell), L. Zell - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the foreword and other materials as acknowledged, Oxenhorn and Goldfield - Oceanography and Our Future, Globe Fearon Co (June 1, 1975), R Jenkins Oceanography FUSE Australia, ASEP Seashore Australian Government, M Bailey for typing and drawings, G Mitchell for illustrations as acknowledged, CSIRO Cleveland Division of Oceanography and Fisheries for consultation and advice.


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This booklet was written for the DRAFT Board of Senior Secondary School Studies 1981  Multistrand Science syllabus ECOLOGY topic as follows.

"Life on earth depends on a delicate balance of events. Each living thing depends for its survival on other living things, on the physical characteristics of its immediate environment, and on energy from the sun. Any disruption to this delicate balance may threaten the life of living things, including man. 

This topic should introduce students to the many interrelated factors which govern this delicate balance of nature. Students should become conversant with techniques to study the environ­ment and man's effect upon it. They should attain a working knowledge of the principles of ecology, through a detailed study of a suitable ecosystem in their own environment. Field work would necessarily form an important part of this topic.  In addition to basic ecological principles, various aspects of man's effect on this delicate balance e.g. pollution, use of technological controls, conservation, should be stressed where applicable."  BOSSS Draft Syllabus 1981.

Project developers

The program was lead by David Kopelke, Principal of the BIFSC and Bob Moffatt, Science Master at Gladstone SHS and assisted by a regional committee from the local Special school and Catholic High School.

Program activities

The boat was used to collect plankton samples from Gladstone Harbour and Boyne River as well as acting as a safety boat on Reef Trips to North West and Masthead Islands.

The schools commission grant also allowed the purchase of a set of field microscopes, plankton net, water quality monitoring equipment and materials to trial navigation and construct coastal studies wave modelling equipment.

Water samples were collected and analysed with EPA water testing kits.  Dissolved oxygen was very tricky and very hard to do as the equipment was new.  We had better success with nitrates, pH and salinity.

The program laid the foundation for the STAQ trial Marine Science units in 1981-1982.


Chapter 1: Studying the oceans

Chapter 2: Method of Oceanopgraphic Study

Chapter 3: Exploring the deep

Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Seawater

Chapter 5: The sea in motion

Practical activities

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