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Coastal processes (physical geography) field trip

A Professional Learning Opportunity

Experience this physical geography field trip for teachers.  You are invited to either Sandy Bay or Georgetown, to walk with physical geographers Dr Chris Sharples, Dr Vishnu Prahalad, Dr Melinda McHenry and university students. Enhance your understanding of the coastal landscape and its complex interactions with natural and human systems and dynamics.  Attending teachers can use the field trip as a basis for excursion-planing for their classes.

Teachers will be emailed a short hand-out a week before the trip and provided with a hardcopy in the field.


  • Suitable for teachers of Geography 8-12. Environmental Science Year 11/12
  • Expected duration of 2-3 hours excluding travel
  • Offered face-to-face in Hobart or Georgetown only at times listed
  • Transfer from Launceston to Georgetown included
  • The field trip is free of charge

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Main topics covered will include:

  • Sites and features of landscape evolution and change, including erosion and deposition
  • The impacts of anthropogenic structures, activities
  • Management decisions on the coastal landscape

Questions considered:

  • How have coastal processes affected human uses of the area?
  • What responses have humans made to the impact of coastal processes?
  • What recommendations would you make regarding future management along this coast?
  • How effective are these responses?
  • How have humans impacted on the natural landscape?
  • What are the key management, planning or environmental issues relevant to this landscape?
  1. Apply basic physical geography field techniques relevant to the study of coastal processes
  2. Reflect upon and discuss issues of human influence on landscape and possible management strategies
  3. Collect field data related to coastal landscape change
  4. Create a sketch map


Coach transfer to and from Launceston is available upon request

Sandy Bay

Participants are required to travel using their own preferred means.

Please wear suitable clothing and closed footwear with hard soles. Please come prepared for possible wet weather.

Dr Vishnu Prahalad, Lecturer in Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences

Vishnu is a Geographer with research interests including saltmarsh and wetland ecology, science communication, community engagement, environmental planning and management, systems thinking, and political economy. His has worked on coastal and wetland conservation in Tasmania for over ten years, closely collaborating with a range of government and non-government agencies and local groups. His publications include ‘a field guide to the plants of Tasmanian saltmarsh wetlands’, atlases for saltmarshes for all three regions of Tasmania, the ‘saltmarsh matters’ citizen science app and several other science communication materials.

Dr Melinda McHenry, Physical Geographer and Learning and Teaching Strategist in Geography, Planning & Spatial Sciences

Melinda is a Physical Geographer with a background in landscape ecology and management, and soil science. She primarily devotes her time to research, postgraduate supervision and leadership in geoconservation and natural resource management.

Melinda spends a lot of time in the outdoors in Tasmania and enjoys sharing her passion for practical environmental management with others. Melinda focuses her teaching and extension on rural and remote education, and has a specific interest in equipping rural students with geographic information technologies. An example of this can be found on the utas_geoheritage Instagram page.

Dr Chris Sharples, University Associate in Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences

Chris specialises in coastal geomorphology, with research experience spanning all areas of environmental management, conservation and biodiversity, physical geography and environmental geoscience.

Long Beach, Sandy Bay 9 March 2021 2-5pm Available
Long Beach, Sandy Bay 10 March 2021 2-5pm Available
Long Beach, Sandy Bay 11 March 2021 2-5pm 1 space left
Georgetown Foreshore 11 March 2021 2-5pm 1 space left

Register now