News & Events

The Big Dig 2013

20th August 2013

Heart Morass Restoration Project, Sale.

Maratus pavonis - Jumping spider - Found-20/8/13 - Heart Morass

Students from Sale Secondary College undertook a Big Dig at the iconic Heart Morass Wetland Restoration Project, near Sale, Victoria.
Students sampled leaf litter and soil and using berlese funnel traps have extracted small invertebrates from their litter samples. The conditions were wet and the morass was beginning to flood. I think the wet ground had an impact on the number of invertebrates we extracted using the traps. Students still collected five samples of ants for DNA sequencing and some other interesting arthropods, including one of my personal favourite Jumping spiders, Maratus pavonis. Thje Big Dig is an engaging and challenging science project that connects fieldwork with classrooms as students attempt to analyse data collected using digital microscopes. Students also endeavour to collect ant specimens for DNA analysis as part of this project.

Students in Shepparton will commence a Big Dig on the banks of the Goulburn River in October. The project has been going for three years with some 500 student participants across five locations around Victoria.

The project has been made possible with support from The Sidney Myer Fund and we gratefully thank them for their assistance.