2007 International Science School

4 July 2007

Taronga's penguin colony had a temporary population boost today to raise awareness of the International Science School, which began in Sydney this week.

The extra members were popular television scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Antarctic researcher Dr Rhian Salmon, who were introduced to the Zoo's Little Penguin colony and talked with keepers about the impact of climate change on the penguins and other polar species, such as Leopard Seals.

Dr Karl, a regular speaker at the Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS), is raising awareness and prompting discussion on vital environmental challenges and the world's fragile polar eco-systems. He is joined at the ISS by prominent researcher and Education and Outreach Coordinator for the International Polar Year, Dr Rhian Salmon.

The ISS is a free science school run by the Science Foundation for Physics at the University of Sydney. This year's ISS has the theme of ecoscience, and the high school students attending from Australia and around the world will focus on studying the impact of global warming and other environmental challenges that face many species.

Whilst at Taronga, Dr Karl and Dr Salmon learned about Taronga's latest precinct the 'Great Southern Oceans'. The new precinct will showcase an entire ecosystem, the 'Great Southern Oceans' and the precious but sadly threatened wildlife it supports.

Between 2007 and 2009, thousands of physical, biological and social scientists from more than sixty nations will study the polar regions as part of a large internationally-coordinated research effort known as the International Polar Year (IPY).

ISS 2007 students will learn about the 125 year legacy of IPY and urgent present-day topics including shrinking snow and ice, polar-global connections, and the impacts of change on Arctic residents. Addressing these critical issues requires an interdisciplinary approach to understanding land, air, oceans, people, ice, and space and the animals affected by this change.

Notes to Editors:

  • The 140 talented year 11 and year 12 ISS students are from Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, UK and the USA. Indigenous science students attend the ISS as part of its Indigenous Scholars Program designed to increase indigenous students to participation in science.
  • The ISS aims to encourage participants to pursue careers in science and related areas. Feedback has shown that since 1962 many former ISS students go on to become experts in the field that they studied at the School - great news for green science.

Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy

Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861

Email: 08310a0d2a6f3913273b141737062c075c011e0c5a2947