Reef HQ Aquarium links up with Malaysia

Published: 24/04/2012

University students in Malaysia will experience the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet this week.

Reef HQ Aquarium's Education Team is doing a live underwater link up with students at 14 different universities using the latest in reef videoconferencing technology.

Reef HQ Aquarium Director Fred Nucifora said the event represented an important expansion in the centre's outreach program.

"Most of the reef videoconferences we've done to date have been for primary or high school students," he said.

“This will be one of the first times that our Reef Education Team is delivering a reef videoconference aimed at university students overseas.”

Mr Nucifora said the Malaysian students were all in their first and second year of biology, marine biology and zoology studies.

"This means the level of content we deliver will be quite different to what’s delivered to school-based audience," he said.

“All of our Reef Education Team hold marine science degrees and are experienced environmental educators so they are well-qualified to present these sessions.”

Reef HQ Aquarium - the national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - last year conducted about 160 videoconferences to 5800 students around the world.

Mr Nucifora said the cutting edge technology broke down geographical barriers to educational opportunities.

“This technology has allowed us to take reef education to every continent on the planet, except Antarctica,” he said.

“It allows people to speak live to a scuba diver about the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, and it enables us to educate people worldwide about this unique ecosystem and the need for its protection.”

Thursday's (26 April) reef videoconference is being coordinated by Polycom Australia to showcase the potential for videoconferencing in education.

Name: GBRMPA media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846