Eco-Logic Winter 2012 Newsletter

In this Issue
Ecologic goes digital!
Split the Penguin
A new geology session at Point Addis
Activities for your classroom
A Win for Marine Parks – but more support is needed!
Creature Feature: Common Ringtail Possum
Staff Profiles
EcoWeeds Crew

An extra layer of wool is needed down the coast this time of year, and an extra few mm of rubber if you are going in the water!

This Dolphin Vertebrae was just sticking out of the sand, so Pete picked it up (Eco has a license to collect dead stuff!)– now your class can see it on your next beach treasure session!

Ecologic goes digital!

LIKE us on Facebook to receive information about what is going on down the coast throughout the year, for information about new sessions and for teaching resources. We will post pictures of amazing finds from our environmental sessions, weird and wonderful stuff that washes up at the beach and anything else interesting that happens along the surf coast – which is a lot!

Split the Penguin

Split the Penguin was found with an injured leg and malnutrition at Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary during an Eco-Logic Rockpool Ramble.

He was picked up and rehabilitated by our local Wildlife Rescue Team.

Split is doing great now and was released to hopefully join up with his Philip Island mates.

Good luck Split!

‘The Alien Head’ – Fossilised Heart Urchins inside limestone from Pt.Addis.

A new geology session at Point Addis

We have introduced a new geology session into Eco-Logic’s available activities. Aimed at early to middle high school years (Year 7 to 10), students are introduced practically to the concepts of geological change over time; including continental drift, fossilisation and sedimentation deposits, and sea level change.Pt Addis is an amazing location for this session as the students have the opportunity to go and find fossils from millions of years ago, which connects the theory to the real world, and immediately makes palaeontologists of them all!

Activities for your classroom

Meet Louisa the Little Penguin, play the board game ‘Save Me!’about species protection, or learn about local climate change.

It’s always good if the fun activities we do with your group on the Surf Coast can be consolidated in the classroom with easy access, hands on activities. Now Ecologic has teamed up with the local Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee to produce web based activities which can be downloaded and printed for your classes. The project is aimed at primary and secondary students and there are also puzzles and brain-teasers. Prepared by our own teachers on staff, this project is a terrific resource to help you to embed your practical experiences into the VELS and VCE curriculum.

Check it out on

Win for Marine Parks – but more support is needed!

You may have heard federal environment minister Tony Burke announce a series of marine parks around Australia’s coastline. Eco-Logic commends this decision to protect these amazing environments.
In Victoria, Marine Protected Areas are still under pressure. The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) has opened submissions up to the public regarding the functioning of Marine Protected Areas. Eco-Logic has sent in submissions to help ensure the value of Marine Protected Areas is known to the decision makers.
This is a copy of the submission Eco-Logic Staff member Peter Crowcroft sent to the VEAC about why he wants Marine Areas to be preserved and even extended to cover more of Victoria’s amazing coastline.

Dear VEAC,
For the past 6 years I have been working closely inside marine protected areas, specifically the Pt. Addis Marine Park and the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary on Victoria’s Surf Coast.

My role as an environmental educator involves taking groups of schoolchildren of various ages into the marine parks for Rockpool Rambles, Beach-combing and other environmental interpretation activities. During these activities participants learn by experiential education just how fragile and unique these coastal environments are. I explain that a very high proportion of the animals they will see during their activity are found nowhere else in the world, i.e. they are endemic. When framed in this context participants of all ages can appreciate why we need parts of the Victorian Coast protected for species conservation.

Over the years thousands of students have heard this message, and have been inspired to care for our coastline, and respect Marine Protected Areas throughout their lives.

Not only are the Marine Protected Areas exceptionally useful teaching and learning tools for engaging students in environmental studies, they offer physical protection for vulnerable species and provide breeding grounds for commercially and recreationally significant fishing species.

Not only should the current Marine Parks and Sanctuaries be preserved, park boundaries should be extended to cover a higher percentage of the Victorian coastline. This would take considerable leadership but would absolutely be a positive outcome for all marine and coastline user groups.

Peter Crowcroft

Creature Feature: Common Ringtail Possum

Pseudocheirus peregrinus is a small arboreal (tree dwelling) marsupial common from the rainforests of Cape York to the southern temperate forests, and many urban gardens in between. It is one of the few Australian marsupials to be successful at colonising human environs.Although it almost exclusively eats eucalypt leaves in its natural habitat, the comparatively palatable rose buds and fruit tree leaves are greatly favoured in the urban jungle. Running through the canopy or along powerlines with agility, ringtails use their prehensile tail as a balancing appendage and use it to grip branches while they stretch out for hard to reach leaves. Once acquired, a ringtail will rip off the leaf, grip it with the front paws and smell it. If it passes the sniff test it is rapidly and thoroughly chewed, 4 times a second.Eucalypt leaves are so nutritionally poor caecotrophy may be used to get the most out of every leaf (the re-ingestion of scats!).

Staff Profiles

Sophie Small has been a recent and amazing addition to the Eco-Logic team. An avid environmentalist, Sophie has had incredible experiences protecting Australia’s environment. Currently working with Conservation Volunteers Australia as a team leader, Sophie is helping young people develop the skills to look for work in the conservation and land management field.

So Long Justin – Thanks for the good times! Our very own rockstar Justin Carter has left Eco-Logic after many years of amazing environmental education. Many of you will remember Justin’s enthusiastic and booming voice from your sessions with us. He has headed over to California to further his music career, and his band Carter-Rollins will soon be playing a festival in Japan supporting Donnavan Frankenreiter! You are a legend Justin and we wish you all the best in the States!

Focus on Climate Change –Staff Member Pat Kirkby in Vietnam
For the past few years Pat has been working for an organisation called ‘Journeys for Climate Justice’. Most recently Pat has been on a not-for-profit project in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam – one of the most vulnerable places in the world to climate change! Pat is working with grass-roots communities to raise awareness of climate change, and promote appropriate response measures to help them to adapt and improve their resilience in the face of climate change.
Well done Pat, you are an inspiration!

EcoWeeds Crew

Many schools have participated in the Dune EduAction program, a free activity where students give something back into the environment during their school camps by removing environmental weeds and planting indigenous species. Eco have now put together a team of staff that will be doing this on a more permanent basis – the Eco-Logic Weeds Crew! We have a contract to remove the invasive tea-tree at Pt. Roadknight, and will soon be available to assist private residents who are concerned about the weeds in their garden but might not have the time to remove them. It is a bad time to be a weed on the surf coast!