Experience Ecology in Action

Considering a career in conservation, environmental management or natural science?

The EcoQuest Education Foundation offers an exciting opportunity to attend a 5-day field ecology course.  

Experience Ecology in Action’ is for year 12 and 13 students. It is aimed at providing a greater understanding of ecology needed at level 3 biology and environmental sustainability, and to prepare students interested in pursuing biological and environmental sciences at university and other tertiary institutes.

At the EcoQuest field centre, you will learn about the projects our experienced faculty lead and you will partake in the practical field work involved in conducting our research. 

EcoQuest’s research has real community and conservation outcomes. 

Why you want to Experience Ecology in Action with us:

  • Partake in hands-on learning in a vibrant, sustainable community. 
  • Experience first-hand how scientific research is conducted in a real-world setting.
  • Experience a university setting in a pressure free environment.
  • Stay at our beautiful field centre in Whakatīwai. 
  • Visit the diverse ecosystems the Wharekawa coast has on offer.  
  • Be looked after. We are very experienced with looking after people well while they are away from home. 

Accommodation & Catering

This course takes place at the EcoQuest Field Centre, situated on the western shore of Tikapa Moana the Firth of Thames, in Whakatiwai (one hour southeast of Auckland). 

EcoQuest has established a vibrant sustainable learning community. Since programs are residential, students and some staff live on site. 

Student accommodation is in shared cabins (2-3 students per cabin). The large wharekai (literally the eating house) is our main communal building which doubles as a classroom and dining room. This building is situated to make the most of the open space and sun, and students often spend time outside on the large deck. 

Catering includes dinner (4), lunch (5),  breakfast (4) + snacks and we can accommodate different dietary requirements (Vegetarion, Vegan, Gluten Free, Allergies).



Course Dates

26th to 30th April 2022 - 5 days/4 nights with up to 20 students per course

Likely pick up Hamilton, Manukau and Thames (arranged once enrolments confirmed)

Research Projects

Endemic long-tailed bats

Discover the ecological niche of our native bats and partake in field work using bat detectors. You will practise spectrogram data analysis and gain instruction on how to report this information.

In-shore wetlands, shore-bird conservation, and climate change

Visit the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre and learn how the centre assists global protection of the species that migrate across the globe. Observe the diversity of migratory shorebirds that spend our summer at the Pūkorokoro Miranda bird hides. Learn about how climate change is impacting migratory shorebird habitat, bird species and local people.

Freshwater Ecosystems

Take part in monitoring of our freshwater ecosystems using native fish and invertebrate abundance. You will learn about the diversity, life cycle and ecological traits of our native fish species. How to use fyke nets and minnow traps to catch native fish for identification, and how to sample and identify freshwater invertebrates.


About EcoQuest

The EcoQuest Education Foundation Te Rarangahau Taiao was established in 1999 as a Registered Charitable Trust and is registered with NZQA as a Category One provider. Our Vision is to be 'Catalysts for Sustainability through Education and Research'.

EcoQuest has a long-standing partnership with the University of New Hampshire. If you are interested in the programmes we would normally be delivering to international university students, you can visit our international program website here: www.ecoquest.org

Blog Posts

Building a Nation of Curious Minds

We are excited to have the opportunity to bring science alive through place-based learning with students/ākonga from the Te Kauwhata College in the Waikato, Whakatane Intermediate and Te Kura o TeRead more

Shellfish Survey Wharekawa Harbour

Members of the EcoQuest whānau whānui joined staff for several days in February, for this years' shellfish survey -  our 13th year running!  Wharekawa is one of many hot-spots where the HaurakiRead more

Students still 'buzzing' after Waitakaruru School Camp

Last week the Kea Class from Waitakaruru School spent a couple of days on Science Camp at EcoQuest. The energy, generosity and caring for Te Taiao and for each other that the students, teachers andRead more

Avonside School Science Camp

During the April school holidays we had the pleasure of hosting a team of year 12 & 13 students and their teachers from Avonside Girls' High School. The great energy of the group, and theRead more

First Science Taster Programme a winner!

EcoQuest enjoyed the last working week of 2020 hosting our field ecology program for senior high school students. Our first Experience Ecology in Action summer program brought year 12 and 13 studentsRead more

Kayak Bird Survey

Just over a week ago, our Ecology team took on an exciting new endeavour in the North Island: surveying birds from tandem kayaks in the northern Tauranga harbour.  This was a great success. In justRead more

Further Information

If you would like further information use the Contact Us button below or call (09) 232 2501.

Or if you would like to take part register your interest below.

Expression of Interest

Enter your details below to register for this course. Once details have been finalised we will contact you with full enrolment details.

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Thank You. We will be in touch to confirm final dates