Summary of Expedition Fiordland: putting the eco in ecosystem | NZ teachers, enrol in this LEARNZ virtual field trip

« Back to field trip chooser

Summary Page: Expedition Fiordland: putting the eco in ecosystem
Term 3 starting 21 September 2020.



Log In | Enrol

On the wild and remote Fiordland coast is a place so geographically isolated, it is one of the least modified parts of mainland New Zealand. That place is Tamatea / Dusky Sound. It has a long and fascinating history: long ago Māori hunted and fished in the area and Captain Cook landed there in 1773; New Zealand's first conservation reserve was set up here in the late 18th century by our first conservation ranger, Richard Henry.

Not far from where you live will be a natural ecosystem. Is it a forest ecosystem, a grassland ecosystem or a marine ecosystem? You are also part of a human ecosystem: is yours a rural or urban ecosystem? Every ecosystem has living parts like plants and animals and nonliving parts such as weather, earth, water, sun, soil, climate and atmosphere.

On this field trip you will join a group working hard to help turn Tamatea / Dusky Sound into one of the most intact ecosystems on Earth. At the same time, you will help create a 'bio bank', a source of endangered native species that can be sent to pest free locations throughout New Zealand.

Your adventure in the deep south will give you ideas on how you might work to restore an ecosystem near your place.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • The unique natural and cultural history of Fiordland
  • How ecosystems work: the difference between healthy and unhealthy ecosystems
  • Figuring out the differences between marine and forest ecosystems
  • The formation of Fiordland
  • Special Tamatea / Dusky Sound creatures such as mokomoko/lizards, and pekapeka/bats
  • How a 'biobank' works
  • Controlling predators with smart technologies
  • Explore how anyone can contribute to the Predator Free 2050 Programme
  • Islands as sanctuaries
  • How tourism can be a valuable partner in conservation
  • Track etiquette and following environmental care codes

During the field trip you will:

  • Follow Andrew on twitter during the journey
  • Fly by helicopter to join the MV Flightless
  • Check your own equipment clothing and footwear to make sure you're not carrying weed seeds or pests
  • Join a small group of volunteers in restoring Fiordland's ecosystem
  • Sail on board the 27m Flightless, an ex NZ Navy vessel
  • Take a closer look at flora and fauna and use technology to help you identify species
  • Choose a native species and explore its role (its 'job') in the ecosystem
  • Go ashore and stand where Captain Cook shared the first breath with local Māori and cruise where he cruised in the Resolution in 1773
  • Visit the hut and bird enclosure sites of conservation pioneer Richard Henry
  • See examples of how everything is interconnected and how small changes can impact upon all living things
  • Look at the affect tourism is having on Tamatea / Dusky Sound
  • Spot signs of unwanted animals and plants: stoats, rats, possums, deer and plant pests such as gorse
  • Check tracking tunnels, pick up trap data and motion camera cards as well as set your own traps on Long Island to become part of the Tamatea Restoration
  • Get to know the people making a difference and the work they do.

After the field trip:

  • Identify a local natural ecosystem
  • Learn about what threatens your local ecosystem
  • Make a statement about the importance of your local ecosystem. Find out what others think.
  • Do some research to find out how a local ecosystem near your place came to be the way it is. What do you think it was like before humans arrived? What action might be needed to restore it to that pre-human condition?
  • Plan a visit to your local ecosystem
  • Find out if there are people working to help restore your local ecosystem. Can you get involved?
  • Find out about options for volunteering on conservation projects
  • Investigate qualifications and careers in conservation

The LEARNZ Team think that joining NZASE and staying connected through NZ Science Teacher will help you become a better teacher of science.

Teacher comments

"It linked to our sustainability unit. We liked it because we felt we were there, and the scientists connected with us". Rebecca Bishop from Gladstone School

"Great info from fantastic experts guiding us through a real conservation/science issue. Fitted perfectly with our term unit on Native Plants and Animals". Christopher Wratt from Hanmer Springs School.

"Well planned, organised, interesting, and good interactive stuff for the students". Susan Dane from Elm Park School.

Go to more comments about our conservation field trips.

Where you will go

The south-western corner of the South Island is dominated by steep sides of snow-capped mountains, deep lakes, and ocean-flooded valleys called 'fiords'. The steep terrain, high rainfall and dense forest makes the interior of Fiordland almost inaccessible. That's why your journey starts by helicopter from the small town of Te Anau. You will fly across Fiordland National Park to meet your home for the next 3 days: the 27m MV Flightless an ex Navy vessel. Along with 12 others, you will explore Tamatea / Dusky Sound and its islands, sleeping and eating onboard Flightless.

Learning Areas/Levels

Health and Physical Education: Personal Health and Physical Development Levels 2-4; Mathematics and Statistics: Number and Algebra Levels 2-4, Statistics Levels 2-4; Science: Living World Levels 2-5, Nature of Science Levels 2-5; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-4, Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 2-4, Continuity and Change Levels 2-4; Technology Levels 2-4

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, live tweets on twitter, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences on our enterprise-level Zoom platform scales to enable multiple teachers to manage students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a school assembly or wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View some of over 1,000 teacher comments in testimonials. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

    Not Registered with LEARNZ? Are you a New Zealand Registered or Provisionally-Registered Teacher on the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand website? Register free with LEARNZ Now.

    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Getting Started.

    Teachers - Lost your password? Recover it here.

Field trips:

Previous | Next | All


PLD about this field trip? Go to Webinar Schedule and Recordings.

New to LEARNZ? Go to Getting Started.

moe Logo

puresalt Logo

Andrew the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Andrew, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: adaptations, biodiversity, changing values, citizen science, citizenship, community involvement, conservation, data, data gathering, ecology, ecosystems, environment, environmental action, environmental impacts, Fiordland, food webs, future focus, guardianship, habitat, human impacts, kaitiaki, kaitiakitanga, life cycle, monitoring change, national park, native birds, native plants, native species, people and the environment, perspectives, pests, restoration, science, scientific research, sustainability, threatened species, tracking tunnels, values, viewpoints

View the LEARNZ Events Calendar