In Brief

Coming in 2024: 

The Bush Blitz TeachLive partners are currently planning the next round of exciting opportunities.  Please check back for updates about the 2024 program.

7 days (minimum of 5 school days)

Future expedition dates and duration are estimates only.  

Please check the terms of each expedition for eligibility

No cost!

Bush Blitz TeachLive is a fully funded professional development opportunity with all costs associated with travel, food, accommodation and teacher replacement included (up to a maximum of 6 days)

Important Notes

Due to the remote and rugged Bush Blitz sites, limited facilities and current safety protocols, it is important that you are comfortable with:
  • being in the field for 8 hrs per day while walking over sometimes difficult terrain;
  • being transported via helicopter and for long distances in 4WD vehicles, often over bumpy terrain;
  • not having access to toilets while in the field; and
  • sleeping in a tent and limited access to facilities such as showers (cold), power, internet and phone reception.

Accommodation and field environments will vary for each location, so it is important to review the specific details for an expedition before deciding to apply.

ABOUT BUSH BLITZ TEACHLIVE 

Bush Blitz is a national partnership between the Australian Government, BHP and Earthwatch Australia that aims to discover, document and describe the unique flora and fauna of Australia. It is the world’s first continent-scale biodiversity survey providing the knowledge needed to help protect Australia’s biodiversity. www.bushblitz.org.au.

Bush Blitz TeachLive is an exciting and unique professional learning opportunity for teachers to participate as research assistants alongside leading scientists on Bush Blitz expeditions. They learn hands on scientific research skills while helping to document plants and animals and potentially discover new species.

While in the field teachers share the experience with their students through virtual lessons (crossing live to their class via video calls and other online tools) and regular blog posts on Bush Blitz TeachLive website (https://www.earthwatch.org.au/Blogs/teacher-blog).

The interactive nature of the Bush Blitz TeachLive program is an engaging way for teachers to improve their web-based teaching skills, learn current scientific research techniques, work in a team with world-class scientists and other teachers and learn more about unique Australian environments.

Watch the videos below to see the experiences of the teachers who participated in Bush Blitz TeachLive in the ACT in 2018 and Little Desert in 2019.

 The Bush Blitz TeachLive program seeks to:

  • Educate teachers and students about Australia’s biodiversity and the importance of conservation.

  • Inspire students to pursue further studies in STEM and geography subjects by exposing them to real and exciting scientific research in an Australian context and building their core skills and knowledge in science and biodiversity conservation.

  • Inspire and build confidence of teachers to be scientific role models for their students.

  • Increase the quality of STEM/geography teaching through building teachers’ scientific knowledge and research skills, and providing them with a transformational experience that motivates them to pass on this knowledge and skill to their students.

  • Encourage teachers to share their Bush Blitz TeachLive experience with their schools and wider communities, through implementing biodiversity and conservation projects or activities.

* To be eligible for Bush Blitz TeachLive expeditions, you must be an Australian primary or secondary teacher currently based in an Australian school.  Eligibility criteria may vary between expeditions, so please refer to the details provided for each expedition.

The Bush Blitz TeachLive team are looking for a committed but diverse range of teachers to assist scientists on the 2023 Bush Blitz TeachLive expeditions.

Bush Blitz TeachLive provides the opportunity to broaden teacher knowledge and experiences beyond the classroom. You do not need to be STEM or geography trained nor an experienced teacher, you just need to be passionate and keen to share your experiences with your school community. We particularly encourage teachers who might benefit from participation. These could include early career teachers, teachers with limited experience in teaching the STEM disciplines, experienced teachers who are keen to improve their fieldwork skills in order to instruct their students and/or teachers that want to actively demonstrate to their students the biodiversity of Australian ecosystems.

  • To be eligible you must be an Australian teacher currently based in the indicated eligible states and/or territories for that expedition.
  • If you have previously participated in Bush Blitz TeachLive, you will be ineligible to apply.
  • Education providers outside of schools (such as environmental education providers) may also receive lower priority, as the program requires teaching “live” direct to a class.

Selection for Bush Blitz TeachLive is a competitive process.  Applicants are assessed for their eligibility and enthusiasm, plus their commitment to fully participate in the program.  The number of applicants can be very high, depending upon how many states and territories are open for applications for a particular expedition.

We encourage teachers to let their personality shine through and to think carefully about their application responses, so that they have the best chance of being considered.

ASTA will seek confirmation from shortlisted applicants’ school Principals to ensure that the school understands the requirements and supports their teachers’ application, prior to offering them a place on an expedition.

See the “How to apply” information provided on each expedition page for specific details about the application requirements and selection criteria for that expedition.

The final selection of teacher participants is at the discretion of the selection panel, which includes representatives from Bush Blitz, Earthwatch Australia and ASTA.

A fully-funded place on a Bush Blitz TeachLive survey includes:

  • Travel  reimbursement for getting to and from the Bush Blitz 
  • Accommodation in the field
  • All meals while in the field
  • Teacher replacement costs* 
  • Training in field research methods
  • Training in website content management
  • Detailed briefing materials prior to the expedition
  • Bush Blitz TeachLive merchandise.

* Only standard school days during the stated expedition period, and where teacher replacement costs are actually incurred, are eligible for school reimbursement, up to a maximum of 6 days.  Distance or remoteness may mean that some participants need to travel on school days at either end of the expedition period, which are generally not eligible for teacher replacement costs.  In such cases, teachers should make private arrangements with their school for those additional days.

This program will require a dedicated commitment by teachers. These commitments are described in greater detail on each expedition page.  Briefly, successful applicants are expected to commit to the following:

Pre-survey commitments

  • Group induction and web training seminar.
  • Available laptop.
  • TeachLive planning with the school.
  • Acquire the necessary IT skills to livestream or record.
  • Reasonable physical fitness.

During-survey commitments

  • Fieldwork participation both daytime and evening.
  • Daily web blogging.
  • Teaching “live” online.

Post-survey commitments

  • Prepare 3-4 lesson plans. 
  • Written reflection about your experience.
  • Implementation of a biodiversity-themed project at your school.
  • Ongoing evaluation of the Bush Blitz TeachLive program with Earthwatch Australia.

Detailed information about how to apply is provided for each separate expedition, as these may vary from time to time.

Generally, you will be asked to

  1.  submit a recorded video “pitch”, and
  2.  complete a written application form via Survey Monkey.

What the participants have to say….

After each Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition, our teacher participants are asked to submit a reflection about their experience.  Below are the most recent submissions from Bush Blitz TeachLive King Island.

Coco Chen

BushBlitz TeachLive was a life-changing experience both personally and professionally. As we work with expertise from different fields every day, we are exposed to a wide variety of species collection and cataloguing that proved to be invaluable to the local biodiversity recovery and discovery program. Who knew that an isolated ecosystem such as the ones presented on King Island would have such a diverse range of plant and animal species?

As an avid conservationist, there is nothing more invigorating than to be involved in the discovery potentially new species, never known to mankind. Seeing the trapping methods and strategies that we taught students in the classroom come alive in the field not only strengthens personal knowledge, but it also provided a refreshing outlook for my professional identity as a Biology teacher – the sense of relevance and potential to inspire further good in the future generation.

The scientists, specifically the Tasmanian herbarium crew, are beyond inspirational. Their deep knowledge of their subject areas, collegiality, eagerness to share their passion, when compounded with their kindred spirits and passionate ecological views of the world, resonate deeply with me as if we were part of the long lost instruments from the same orchestra. Each scientist embodied the best of the human character: integrity, resilience, persistence, wisdom, generosity, compassion and care for the world. They live and breathe the sciences, each carving out a little piece of history that aligns with their collaborative or individual mission, and they will not stop until it is done.

When the world feels doomed with nothing to look forward to, these scientists and their infectious way of living provide a silver lining and hope for the future, for our collective future, as the best of us are working hard to preserve, conserve and promote what is left on this beautiful world. Hope and life-long friendships, therefore, are the two treasures that I will forever be grateful for, and one day maybe I can instil this in the students I teach too.


Terry Ann Currie

Years ago, a colleague forwarded me information about the Bush Blitz Teach Live program. I was new to teaching and not yet confident enough to apply for a position as one of 5 teachers to accompany a team of scientists. As I got confident in my teaching abilities, I decided to be brave and apply. To my utter joy, I was accepted. 

As COVID hit we were not sure if the program would run. After waiting with fingers crossed, we were told that our expedition had to be cancelled.As the next few years went by, I thought I had missed my opportunity. Needless to say, when I was contacted to see if I was still interested, my answer was a resounding, YES! Our destination was to King Island in the Bass Strait.

Arriving at King Island after some minor delays, I had the opportunity to get to know leaders from the Bush Blitz team, Earthwatch, our teaching team, and the intrepid scientists. I was new to most of the kinds of field activities that we were to take part in however I was keen to learn new collection techniques that I could bring back to my school. Starting with Dr Simon Grove, I learnt about how to use a malaise trap and nets for flying insects. 

The fascinating thing I took away from this experience was that, when collecting insects, they fly upwards to escape which was helpful to predict their behaviour to make catching them easier.Entomologist Zoe who studies ‘true bugs’ and their evolutionary link to carnivorous plants was excited to talk online with my class back at school. Zoe’s area of expertise was very relevant to our school setting as we often have ‘stink bugs’ in our playground. Students found it fascinating that ‘true bugs’ suck the guts out of their prey. This just made science a whole lot more interesting.Amazingly, being outside all day collecting species was not quite as exhausting as being in the classroom so I was able to head out with the team to set moth traps at night. The teams set 3 specially designed bucket traps with lights that attract moths within a designated area and then set out the cloth collection point where we were to monitor and collect. We were slightly concerned that the windy conditions would make it challenging for moths to land on the white cloth so after spending time without much to show, a collecting bucket was put in this spot ready for us to return in the morning. Did you know that moths have scales? My imagination was piqued. All I could think about was dragons – moths are the dragons of the invertebrate world.

A range of other collection techniques for invertebrates kept us busy for days. Then there were the vascular and non-vascular plant scientists. Collecting the specimens with these scientists was somewhat easier as the plants don’t move as much as invertebrates. Though some of the most fascinating were miniscule plants that were very challenging to locate. However, it wasn’t until I was able to look at mosses and lichen magnified that I was able to truly appreciate the beauty of non-vascular plants. I learnt that to accurately identify these you had to look deeper than the external features. We had to look at samples under the microscope and identify features at cellular level to begin to categorise correctly.

This experience has been incredible. I was able to see the links between the deep academic knowledge necessary for scientists and their joy at being in the field to collect specimens. All of the scientists on the expedition were excited to head back to the museum. The ten days in the field would keep them busy for months, if not years. My recommendation – be curious, give it a go.


Lee Hribar

Bush Blitz King Island proved to be an enriching experience, reinvigorating my approach to teaching science. Learning how to collect spiders – and discovering the abundance of spiders on bushes, along with encountering a live peacock spider was an amazing experience which I was able to share with my Year 8 class in Canberra! It was nothing like I imagined beforehand when I signed up for the ‘spider man’! 

Dredging a creek for freshwater invertebrates revealed an unexpected abundance of snails, highlighting the local ecological richness, even in a somewhat degraded landscape. 

Discovering carnivorous plants by the roadside (which I’d never seen wild before) added an interesting dimension to our expedition. Sharing these encounters to my classes facilitated a practical understanding of biodiversity and a deeper appreciation personally of the huge numbers and range of species of organisms literally underfoot.

Collaborating with taxonomists from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery deepened my knowledge and appreciation of species classification, breathing new life into my Year 7 Science curriculum planning in particular. And it was inspiring to learn about the meticulous planning behind each Bush Blitz, the cooperation between a range of public and private organisations, which again underscored the complexities of cataloguing this country’s amazing and disappearing biodiversity. 

This expedition highlighted the significance of immersive field experiences in cultivating a genuine understanding of biological classification.


Samuel Winckel

On embarking on the Bush blitz expedition to King Island I found myself drawn to the insect and spider species. Collecting and cataloguing was a profound journey that seamlessly blended adventure with scientific exploration. As the Bush Blitz team traversed the diverse ecosystems of the island, from dense forests to coastal habitats, the sheer variety of arthropods we encountered was awe-inspiring. 

The meticulous process of documenting each species required patience and attention to detail, fostering a deep appreciation for the intricate web of life that exists within this seemingly isolated environment.Beyond the scientific gains, the expedition provided a unique opportunity for personal growth. Working closely with fellow researchers, I witnessed the power of collaboration and the collective pursuit of knowledge. 

Navigating the challenges of fieldwork, from unpredictable weather to the intricate behaviours of the studied species, cultivated adaptability and resilience especially to leeches. This experience not only expanded my scientific understanding but also instilled a profound sense of responsibility towards the conservation of these often-overlooked inhabitants of King Island.

The scientists from the Tasmanian Museum exhibited an unparalleled depth of expertise in their chosen research area, elevating the expedition on King Island to a level of profound understanding. Their wealth of knowledge not only encompassed the taxonomy and ecology of insect and spider species but extended to the intricate relationships these organisms share with their environment. Their keen observations and nuanced interpretations revealed insights into the island’s ecosystem dynamics that surpassed mere data collection. 

The scientists’ commitment to sharing their wisdom and fostering a collaborative spirit among the expedition team enriched the experience, creating an environment where intellectual curiosity flourished, and each discovery became a stepping stone to a broader comprehension of the natural world.


Emma Dukker

King what? friends asked, King where? they said,
From the mainland, don’t fly to Tassie, stop halfway instead.

King Island, a hidden treasure, full of so many gems,
Not the hard crystal ones, but those with many legs.

Teeny tiny critters, stop and have a look,
Careful where you walk, for what is underfoot.

Freshwater invertebrates swimming really fast,
In the field observing them, ensuring they will last.

Tracking biodiversity, Bull kelp, stink bugs and moss,
With teachers and scientists, ensuring these species won’t be lost.

Now to pass on knowledge, time for us to share,
Ensuring that in the future, the next generation will care.

Thank you BushBlitz Teach Live for a life changing experience.

Contact Us

Phone : 0428 219 438
Email : [email protected]
Post :  PO Box 334, Deakin West ACT 2600

Our Partners

Copyright © 2024 | ABN: 87 902 882 824

The Australian Science Teachers Association acknowledges the First Nations peoples of Australia as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and future and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.