Narrabeen-Collaroy Beach Survey Program

Teaching Resources

High School

This Coastal Management Study Guide is designed to assist teachers to engage students (target ages 11 – 16 years) in the complex issues of Coastal Management, with coastal erosion as the “attractor”. Background information spanning topics such as ‘the dynamic coast’, ’what are the issues’, ‘managing for the future’ and ‘how do we measure coastal change’ is presented. A broad range of fully developed independent and guided student activities are provided for use inside and outside the classroom, including hands-on experiments, analysis of media reporting, and role-playing.

This Guide targets Australian High School STEM curriculum areas (Years 7–10) of Physical Sciences, Human Society & its Environment (HSIE), Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences and Maths. More broadly, it is anticipated that the Guide’s educational themes and activities will provide a useful and stimulating resource in any classroom where ‘living at the coast’ can provide a launching point into diverse areas of secondary school STEM education.

The full Guide is freely available in two formats: pdf for download and eBook for online viewing.

© 2017 UNSW Sydney, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner or form for commercial purposes or outside of an educational setting. This guide was first published in July 2017. The UNSW-OEH Project Team acknowledges and thanks Refraction Media for content development and layout.


This open-access paper published in ‘Oceanography' consists of student workshops focused on learning how to use beach profile data to investigate how beaches respond to wave forcing during storms and over climatic cycles. The workshops are primarily aimed at university undergraduate students and can be easily adapted, for which we provide some suggestions. The workshops utilise the 40+ years of beach monitoring data from the Narrabeen-Collaroy Beach Survey Program. While the dataset is focused on an Australian site, the workshops are designed to teach generic skills in processing and analyzing beach profile data. The development of these teaching resources is a collaboration between Macquarie University and UNSW.

Gallop, S.L., M.D. Harley, R.W. Brander, J.A. Simmons, K.D. Splinter, and I.L. Turner. 2017. Assessing cross-shore and alongshore variation in beach morphology due to wave climate: Storms to decades. Oceanography 30(3):120–125.