The Shark Bay Science Weekend began at Monkey Mia resort with 'Science Talks on the deck'. Approximately 80 people from the Shark Bay Shire, Monkey Mia and Hamelin Station Reserve came to listen to some of the latest science research occurring in the Shark Bay region.
As the sun set over the Indian Ocean Steve Nicholson – Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaw) District Manager for the Shark Bay Marine Park – introduced the night. DPaW have been hosting the science talks for many years and this was the first time they've been held at Monkey Mia and organised by Bush Heritage.
Nic Polybank (Executive Assistant Manager, RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort) welcomed guests and talked about the importance of protecting the natural assets of Shark Bay. The RAC recently purchased Monkey Mia and is keen to emphasise the natural environment of this World Heritage area and expand the access to information for staff and guests on the science and conservation aspects of the area.
The introductions were followed by an overview by Mike Rule (DPaW) on the conservation status of the World Heritage area and some of the monitoring by DPaW. Several researchers working in the area then presented their results. The night concluded with a presentation by Erica Suosaari (Bush Heritage Research Fellow) on the work occurring at Hamelin Pool.
Bush Heritage's involvement in the annual science talks provides a way of collaborating with our regional partners, forging new working relationships and engaging the general public in our approach to science.
Getting people engaged in the science happening in the Shark Bay region raises the awareness about the natural environment and the importance of conservation research. Good science leads to best practice conservation and management. Bush Heritage looks forward to more collaborative opportunities like this in the future.
The Shark Bay Science Weekend was supported in part by Inspiring Australia and National Science Week.