SERF Field Trips

Bring science to life! Introduce your students to our unique living laboratory at the Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF) to complete their Biology Unit 3 mandatory practicals.

QUT Young Accelerators, in partnership with the Institute for Future Environments, is supporting schools with facilitated day visits to assist in the completion of their Biology Unit 3 mandatory practicals. Students will complete their mandatory practicals on one of QUT’s real-world research sites, Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF).

The visit

Schools can choose one of three options for their day visit –

Option 1 – Mandatory practical skills & data analysis

  • Students will learn and implement a range of ecological sampling techniques to complete the mandatory practicals from Unit 3 (topics 1 & 2)
  • Students will evaluate sampling techniques of the day
  • Students will be introduced to and apply data analysis techniques to identify relationships in the data and test for statistical significance of the effects

Option 2 – Combined Mandatory practical skills & student experiment data collection

  • Students will learn and implement a range of ecological sampling techniques to complete the mandatory practicals from Unit 3 (topics 1 & 2)
  • Students will collect data to support completion of their own modified IA2 Student Experiment

Option 3 – Student experiment data collection only

  • Students will collect data to support completion of their own modified IA2 Student Experiment

Prior to the visit we will provide further resources and information.

Most of the equipment needed for the mandatory practicals will be supplied by QUT. Further information about the equipment will be provided prior to the visit. Schools can also bring their own equipment.

A QUT Student ambassador will also be onsite to facilitate your field trip.

About SERF

The Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF) is a living laboratory for research and teaching across ecology, urban planning, agriculture, engineering and more.

The property was generously bequeathed to QUT in 2009 by the estate of renowned Queensland entomologist Dr Elizabeth Nesta Marks AO. Managed by the Institute for Future Environments (IFE), the 51-hectare property is located in the Samford Valley.


Schools can book a day visit between Monday 22 February to Friday 26 March 2021.

The site can facilitate up to 70 students per day. You can book multiple days if you have more than 70 students.


9 am to 2.30 pm


$375 per day per school.

A deposit of $150 is required on confirmation of booking. This includes a non-refundable deposit of $100 that confirms your school’s commitment to the booking and a $50 equipment security deposit.

The deposit amount will be deducted from the final charge* and the school will be invoiced the remaining amount after the visit.

Schools are responsible for their own transport arrangements to and from the site.

*QUT has a commitment to aspiration and inclusion and aim to support students from low socio-economic, rural, Indigenous and Pasifika backgrounds. Fees subsidies may apply for widening participation schools. Contact the QUT Young Accelerators if you have any questions.

Curriculum Links

Biology Unit 3 Biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life

Students will collect data using sampling methodologies to support completion of the mandatory practicals from Unit 3.

Topic 1: Describing biodiversity 

  • Mandatory practical: Determine the species diversity of a group of organisms based on a given index such as Simpson’s Biodiversity Index.
  • Mandatory practical: Use the process of stratified sampling to collect and analyse primary biotic and abiotic field data to classify an ecosystem.

Topic 2: Ecosystem dynamics

  • Mandatory practical: Select and appraise an ecological surveying technique to analyse species diversity between two spatially variant ecosystems of the same classification (e.g. a disturbed and undisturbed dry sclerophyll forest).
  • IA1: Data test - data is available to assist with the formulation of this assessment.
  • IA2: Student experiment - students complete the primary data collection and then create a research question to modify the experiment.