Although we still have about a week left in this amazing country we are beginning to wrap up our 4 credits of our senior seminar HPS class. This has consisted of amazing experiences, group discussions, classes, daily journals/reflections, and even a couple quizzes. Today was a day to fulfill our 2 undergraduate research credits. Over the past two weeks we have been discussing and brainstorming different research topics as well as reading about research design from Creswell. We were split into 4 groups named after each place we have visited: Brisbane, Byron Bay, Fraser Island, and Cairns. Each group was allowed to choose their own topic of interest.
We spent the day at an off campus James Cook University location, which ended up working to our advantage because it was only a 5 minute walk from our hostel. However, that was the only thing that worked out in our favor throughout the day. We were escorted to the collaborative learning area where we found ourselves in a classroom looking setting with plenty of space (first time in a while). Unfortunately wifi is a gift rather than a given in this country and today we were not so lucky. We quickly learned how difficult it was to collect or even find viable data as we all took turns with access to the internet. However, being the adaptable students we are, and with lots of guidance from Dr. Strong, we focused on proposing mixed methods approach (a combination of quantitative and qualitative) had we the time to conduct our own experiment. Although this was initially very difficult, we made the best of it and learned how much research questions change during the progression of research.
The following are each groups respective research questions:
Brisbane- How often and how long do parrotfish comparatively interact with specific species as a competitor, predator, and in symbiotic relationships?
Fraser Island- How have available food sources on Fraser Island impacted Brumby health?
Byron Bay- How do Teleost (visual hunting fish) predators respond to defensive pattern displays by cuttlefish?
Cairns- How do Wrasse in the Great Barrier Reef react to the introduction of human snorkelers into their habitat?