Hawker College's winter visit

Conducting Landscape Function Analysis near Peter’s Pond

Conducting Landscape Function Analysis near Peter’s Pond

Despite being the coldest and most blustery winter day of the season so far, Hawker College’s Year 12 Biology students from Canberra forged ahead with their visit to Mulloon Creek Natural Farms last week to learn about the work of The Mulloon Institute.

Through freezing rain showers and sleet, the students and teachers began the day discussing landscape function in the context of biology, followed by conducting Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) along transacts at the floodplains near Peter’s Pond and at the step diffusion site on sloping country.

Landscape Function Analysis measures attributes of how functional a landscape is based upon ground cover, patches and interpatches, and soil surface attributes. Students measured and assessed 10 soil surface attributes (vegetation, litter, compaction) for each of the transact patches and interpatches, in floodplain and hill country, to determine the level of stability, infiltration and nutrient cycling, which then equates to a landscape function score. This internationally recognised monitoring method was devised by esteemed CSIRO scientist David Tongway AM.

Floodplain LFA Biology6-600px.jpg

Lunch at the Barn brought a reprieve from the weather, with Research Coordinator Luke Peel discussing the Natural Sequence Farming Pilot Project, the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP), as well as the scientific monitoring of hydrology, soils, flora and fauna, and results-to-date from initial baseline monitoring of fish, aquatic invertebrates, frogs, birds and vegetation.

Even with snow falling nearby on the Great Dividing Range, the teachers from Hawker College expressed enthusiasm in bringing their students back to Mulloon Creek in 2020 as part of their ongoing annual field visits. We hope it will be warmer for them next year!

If your school is interested in taking part in tailored field trips to Mulloon Creek Natural Farms to learn about the landscape rehydration and regeneration work being undertaken, we are able to tailor trips to suit your school’s curricullum and educational learning outcomes. 

Please contact our Science Officer James Diack via james@themullooninstitute.orgfor more information.