Experiencing Tasmanian marine life first-hand

A RANGE of scholarships is giving nine year 11 and 12 students the chance to become an Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) marine biologist on Tasmania’s east coast.

IMAS is offering four Tasmanian and five interstate students free enrolment to its six-day course ‘XAS101: A Practical Introduction to Temperate Marine Biology’ during the April school holidays from 18-23 April.

Students who wish to apply will need to demonstrate a keen interest and/or experience in the marine environment, socio-economic or geographic disadvantage.

The course includes five-days on Maria Island and one day in the classroom.

Course coordinator Dr Scott Ling said the program allowed year 11 and 12 students to experience university-level units alongside their pre-tertiary studies.

“This program is a fantastic opportunity for students from all over Australia to experience marine science first-hand,” he said.

“They get a veritable eco-tour of eastern Tasmania, but are also taught how to collect scientific data in the field.

“The students develop keen skills of observation and an eye for detail. It is fantastic to see them get out of the classroom and do science by making observations and asking questions from first principles.

“Many of the students who received this opportunity have thrived in this environment and have gone on to the IMAS degree program at the University of Tasmania, which is ranked as one of the best places to study marine science globally.”

The innovative teaching program was recognised in 2016 with a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Enhancement of the Student Experience.

XAS101 is offered with a HECS waiver and will not attract any extra tuition fees.

Successful completion can be used to contribute one unit (12.5 per cent) to a University of Tasmania marine science degree.

To receive a scholarship application pack, visit the IMAS website.

Scholarship applications close at midnight on Tuesday 27 February.

Fee-paying places on the course are also available and will be offered to those who narrowly miss out on scholarships.

Caption: Students dive off Maria Island thanks to a range of scholarships currently being offered by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.