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Day 1 - It all Begins!


Monica Lilley

Where do I even start! Yesterday I flew to Cairns where I met the team of other teachers, Earth Watch coordinators and two scientists from a company called BHP. This morning started early, leaving the comfortable hotel by 7:30am to drive the long drive to our base camp in Rungulla National Park. With a few food pit stops, lots of wallaby and cow crossings and tedious bumpy dirt roads, we made it to base camp around 5pm, and boy was I in for a big surprise. The base camp included around 20 scientists, our very own helicopter about 9 4WD's and a humungous amount of equipment.

My evening flew by with all the exciting surroundings and people I was trying to take in. We set up camp, ate a delicious dinner and met the crew, including various scientists, park rangers, traditional owners, a pilot and chef. We were lucky enough to go out to an insect trap that had been set up at camp. One of the etymologists, Chris taught us loads about insects and introduced us to some of the critters they had attracted. We had to wear hats when looking at the trap, as the light used has very high UV, so if we stood too long in front of it without protection it would burn the retinas in our eyes and we would also get sunburnt! One of the moths we looked at secreted a smelly frothy substance when it was threatened. It's scientific name is Amerila rubripes. Can anyone guess what it's common name is?

I am really excited to learn lots from the various zoologists, botanists, traditional owners and spend some more time with the the etymologists as well. If you have any questions for any of the scientists, myself or other experts I am with, post them below.

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