Monitoring Climate Change On Your Doorstep
Students from Falmouth Marine School lead a project on Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth last week, assessing the effects of climate change on local shores.
The investigation to assess the biodiversity of the species on the rocky shore as well as the impact of global warming was organised in conjunction with pupils studying Applied Science A-level at Falmouth School.
Since the world of environmental science has been dominated by talk of climate change and its potential effects on humans, students from Falmouth Marine School decided to see its effect on other creatures. Students on the Marine Biology & Ecology National Diploma (ND) and Marine Science Foundation Degree led the investigation for the pupils along with help from specialists from the marine environment industry.
The day was a great success with good weather and everyone getting involved and enthusiastic. The group conducted a Phase 1 habitat survey which included a 20 minute species search to find out the abundance of common indicator species of climate change. The investigation will contribute to a National Project lead by the Marine Biological Association - Marlin with the aim to map and identify changes in species around the UK.
Allison Wing on the first year of the Marine Biology & Ecology ND said: "We were really surprised to see how many organisms were about in the winter compared to our visit in October. It is really interesting to see how organisms are changing."
Louise Hockley, tutor and course manager on the Marine Biology & Ecology ND, who led the investigation, commented: "The investigation was a great success. The students gained a ‘hands on' approach to identifying the diversity of species and how these are changing on our local coastline."
This collaborative work between Falmouth Marine School and Falmouth School will allow students to not only widen their experiences but also lead to opportunities for work and study in this area in the future.
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College commented: "It is great to see students getting involved in national projects as well helping school pupils. It is important that young people learn about these global issues and get involved in a hands-on way in the industry that they will one day be a part of."