Eco Explorers

The School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway has launched Eco Explorers

Eco EXPLORERS is a science outreach project designed and delivered by Dr Michel Dugon and the School of Natural Sciences, with the participation of the Discipline of Zoology and the Discipline of Botany and Plant Science.

Eco EXPLORERS aims to deliver training sessions in the fields of ecology and biology to both pupils and teachers of Primary and Secondary educational institutions across the West of Ireland. This includes an introduction to biodiversity through live exotic animal and exotic plant displays, classroom introduction to evolutionary biology, ecology field courses, botany / zoology field courses and genetics lab-based activities. These activities take place directly at the schools, on the field, and occasionally on the NUIG campus. 

Eco EXPLORERS is a non-profit venture. However, we do charge the schools a fee to cover the cost of the lecturing and the material used during the course.


Activities/Courses available:

Activities starting November 2013:


  • Aimed at: Leaving Certificate and/or Transitional year pupils (can be adapted to suit Junior Certificate pupils) 
  • Ecosystems studied (to choose from): Rocky sea shore - Woodlands - Bogland - Freshwater
  • Duration: 3 hours fieldwork + 3 hours class data analysis (6 hours total)
  • Study of abiotic factors: pH, temperature, wind, rainfall, soil composition, light exposure 
  • Study of biota & trophic chains: Identification of major plants and animals (min. 5 of each)
  • Surveying techniques: Use of transect lines – quadrats – pitfall traps – catch-and-release traps
  • Data analysis: Specimen identification, ordering data, percentiles, charts
  • Material provided to pupils:  Soil testing kit, portable weather station, surveying tools, tweezers, gloves and printed booklets.
  • Cost of activity, including material for 30 pupils: 450 euros



  • Aimed at: primary and secondary level pupils
  • Ecosystems: Rocky shore – Woodlands – Bogland - Freshwater
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Topics covered: Plants, animals and fungi identification, importance and complexity of natural ecosystems.
  • Nature treasure hunt: gather all 10 requested items using identification keys and win a prize!
  • Material provided to pupils: Identification key booklet, prize for treasure hunt.
  • Cost of activity, including material for 30 pupils: 230 euros



  • An exciting introduction to evolution and biodiversity using live exotic creatures
  • Question and answer session with an evolutionary scientist specialist of reptiles and venomous animals
  • Aimed at: primary and secondary level pupils
  • Duration: 3 hours (possibility to accommodate 3 to 4 groups of 30 pupils within 3 hours)
  • Wide variety of organisms: Live exotic invertebrates, reptiles and exotic plants 
  • Topics covered: Ecological importance of shown organisms, defence systems: bites and stings, predation strategies & mimicry, introduction to evolution
  • Material provided to pupils: Live organisms in secured terraria / plant collection.
  • Cost of activity, including material for 30 pupils: 230 euros 


Bug Hunters - School Sign Up Form
School Name *
Address *
County *
Phone Number
Your Email Address *
Preferred month for school visit

If you are interested in learning more about this please contact Grace McCormack at


Eco Explorers 3 

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