GREAT BARRIER REEF
// Outlook Report 2014
Figure 4.3 changing experiences of aesthetic values
Over the decades, developments in technology have changed the ways people experience the Reef’s natural beauty. Experiences based on panoramas of islands and beaches (such as that depicted in the left-hand image taken in the 1950s), have been augmented by those in glass-bottomed boats and observatories from the 1960s, and then by underwater experiences — most recently including opportunities for high quality close-up photography. Source: 1950s–1970s: National Archives of Australia 36, 1990s: Ken Anthony
4.4.3 Scientific heritage values
The Reef has been an area of scientific exploration, discovery and monitoring since the voyage of the Endeavour in 1770 with Joseph Banks on board — the scientist credited with introducing the western world to eucalypts, acacias and banksias (the genus named after him). Subsequently, naturalists and geologists on European voyages through the Reef plus amateur naturalists collected, recorded, reported and interpreted the natural environments of the Reef.38 The work of these observers and collectors contributed to early scientific understanding of coral reef ecosystems and their geological origins. Examples include Joseph Jukes on the Fly during its survey of the Great Barrier Reef from 1842 to 1845. On islands such as Lady Musgrave and Lizard and reefs throughout the Region, Jukes closely studied and described the structure and biodiversity of coral reefs, wondering at their complexity and origins. Later in the century, fisheries scientist William Saville-Kent became a key figure in early Reef science. With the starting point of the commercial potential of the Reef, he collected and recorded hundreds of Reef species and advocated for teaching marine biology and establishing research stations.39 Also important to scientific understanding of the Reef was the Great Barrier Reef Expedition to Low Isles in 1928–29 when a party of scientists led by C.M. Yonge conducted a 10-month investigation of the Reef environment — the first detailed scientific study of the Reef covering geography, biology, geology and coral taxonomy.40 Since these early scientific undertakings, the scientific significance of the Reef’s environment has increased through ongoing research in tropical marine ecosystems, development of a network of research stations along the Reef, creation of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and establishment of marine science programs at various universities. Many ground-breaking scientific advances have happened in the Region. Examples include research about: mass coral spawning41; larval dispersion42,43,44; and water quality45,46. For coral research
Map of Low Isles by the Great Barrier Reef Expedition, 1928–29. Low Isles has historical scientific significance as the base for the Great Barrier Reef Expedition undertaken in 1928–29, the first detailed scientific study of the Reef environment.