Marine Science

Origins of the Marine Science Program

The Marine Science program was developed and led by Ms Tracy Brothers (2002-2021), who won the State Teacher's Science Award.  The program was placed in the top 10 programs in the state in the "Beyond the Classroom" awards, and the program itself was presented at one of the first STEM conferences in the state by ASHS students and later at a STEM conference in Esperance.


Students involved in the Marine Science Program have featured as winners in a variety of Science-based competitions over the years, includes:


  • Science Talent Search Competition in the Investigation category
  • 60 Second Science Videos
  • Earthworm Award (2006)
  • BP Science Awards


Mr  Brendan Goggins has taken over the helm of the Marine Science program in 2022 with the same passion and enthusiasm for science education and the marine environment.


What Does Marine Science Involve?

The Marine Science Program is an academic extension program mainly for Year 9 and 10 students.  Students develop transferrable research science skills and gain an appreciation of biodiversity and human impacts on the environment.   They are involved in identifying areas of research, designing investigations, and gathering first-hand data in the field. Students work collaboratively to digitally collate and analyse data and compare it to documented research.  Communication is of primary importance to all branches of science, and students are exposed to real seminars by presenting their projects to universities in Perth, the Department of Primary Industry and community groups in Albany.


Over the last 20 years, students have been engaged in seine netting techniques to collect data on the biodiversity, biomass and age structure of fish species in Oyster Harbour and the Kalgan River. Students have studied changes in fish populations over time and look for patterns linked to changes in environmental conditions.  ASHS now has one of the largest long-term databases for fish populations in the country, and this data is, in turn, utilised by the Fisheries Researchers.


Students have opportunities to engage in shorter-term projects, which change over time. Projects may be linked to local environmental issues, for example, dune erosion, plastic pollution and monitoring coastal salt marsh biodiversity. Students may also be involved in assessing new scientific techniques, such as sampling biodiversity using baited cameras.


Marine Science Upper School Pathways

Students in this program usually enter at least 2 ATAR Science courses, Biology being the main one with either Chemistry, Human Biology or Physics.


Beyond high school, many of our past Marine Science students have entered science-based university courses and careers.  Some examples include:


  • Research scientist in Antarctica
  • Kings Park Botanical Biodiversity and Conservation Centre researcher
  • Biotechnologists in America
  • Conservation biologists and environmental scientists in Australia
  • Continuing study at a post-grad level in solid state physics, writing environmental policy, cryopreservation
  • Environmental disaster management in London
  • Teachers, both locally and around the globe
  • Computer programmers and data scientists
  • Health professionals, including sports scientists, nurses, art therapists, pharmacists, doctors, radiologists
  • Marine Scientist in the WA Museum
  • Exploration geologist
  • Working with indigenous rangers


How do I get into the program?

Places in the Marine Science Program are limited, and selection is based on:


  • demonstrated academic ability, particularly in MESH areas but we also look at Digitech and Physical Education, including swimming ability
  • historical regular  attendance
  • results in NAPLAN
  • results in an open-ended Marine Science Test
  • teacher recommendations
  • level of interest shown by the student if interviewed


When does the program happen?

Every week, students have a double period of Marine Science. This may involve field work, data entry or project preparation. Once a month, all students go on a whole day netting excursion on the same day as Marine Science periods.  Students will miss three classes each month and are expected to organise with their class teachers work to catch up on.


Will it cost anything?

The main cost is the Term 4 Marine Science Camp, where students present their projects and engage in other activities, including bike riding and snorkelling trips to Rottnest. This is around $400 and covers food, accommodation, transport and entry to venues such as Scitech.


For further information, contact the school on 6821 1700 or email


Brendan Goggins, Marine Science Coordinator or


Nicky Thompson, Science Head of Learning Area



@ 2023 Albany Senior High School