7 Feb 2023
It’s an eco-experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world, and researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast are hunting for Australia’s most eager field-tripper to join them.
The University has launched the Best Field Trip in the World competition, in which five Year 11 or 12 students will win the chance to join world-class scientists in some of the most Instagrammable places on earth.
Images available for download here. Link to video here.
The prize is a four-day adventure in April featuring crocodiles, koalas, virtual reality, fine dining, rugby league, surfing, cultural immersion, science in scenic places, a five-star hotel and a corporate box.
The adventure stretches from Brisbane, through the Sunshine Coast and north to Fraser Coast and K’gari (Fraser Island).
UniSC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global and Engagement) Alex Elibank Murray said the university’s five campuses spanned some of the world’s most stunning and educational landscapes, making it a field-tripper’s paradise.
“It’s a real-life UniSC student experience, because our students get to complete work integrated learning as part of almost every degree we offer,” Ms Elibank Murray said.
“Our campuses are located across three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (of only five in Australia), the only place in the world where three biospheres are connected.”
A biosphere is globally recognised an ‘international site of excellence’ where people live and work sustainably alongside active conservation and sustainable development.
Queensland’s reserves stretch 222 kilometres from the world’s largest sand island at K’gari, through coastlines and waterways to the sub-tropical rainforests and mountains of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.
“This competition will give five lucky winners the chance to not only immerse themselves in the scenery and activities, but to meet some of the scientists, sportspeople and innovators making an impact in the region as well as visiting the special creatures that live here.”
Entrants must submit a 60-second video entry that answers the question: What do you hope to gain from this experience?
The winner will engage with UniSC researchers leading the way in their fields – from Professor Peter Timms whose is driving Queensland’s development of a vaccine for koala chlamydia, to Dr Javier Leon whose drone work is changing the way we understand beach changes.
Dr Leon said a highlight of his research work was to engage the next generation of environmental researchers out in nature, particularly the beach, where he’ll be using drones and helping lead a one-on-one surf lesson at Noosa as part of the field trip.
“Noosa is home to one of the world’s most loved surf beaches, and I love being able to bring students to such an incredible place to get hands-on geography lessons,” Dr Leon said.
UniSC Honours student Pablo Fuenzalida, who conducts field research on sea and land, said being out in the field was important for fitness, wellbeing and for absorbing lessons.
“It doesn’t feel like a job when you get to work at the beach on Noosa or K’gari,” he said.
“Whether you’re collecting rubbish or counting crabs or measuring waves, being there and seeing the ecosystem around you paints the whole picture for a project… and I love being outdoors.”
Students at UniSC have reported some of the country’s highest satisfaction levels – rating it the best public university in Queensland, and among the nation's top two in surveys for Quality Indicators for Teaching and Learning.
The university also topped Queensland in the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking for 2022, and secured a top-5 global position for ‘clean water and sanitation’, one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals that drives research efforts at UniSC.
“Globally, sustainability is increasingly impacting how we make development and business decisions, and we reflect this at UniSC where we’ve embedded sustainability across our campuses and programs, particularly through Sustainable UniSC,” Ms Elibank Murray said.
The Best Field Trip in the World Competition is open for entries from 9am Monday 6 February to 11.59pm AEST on Wednesday 15 March, 2023. Terms and conditions apply
‘Only place in the world’ with three biospheres side-by-side2 Nov 2022
Queensland houses the only stretch of three continuous UNESCO Biosphere Reserves out of the five in Australia and more than 700 in the world – and all are UniSC campus locations.