Students undertake a wide range of practicals, field investigations and experiments in the Jock Marshall Reserve. The lake and grounds have been used extensively by the Faculty of Science. Practical activities include biodiversity comparisons, leaf breakdown in aquatic systems, research techniques and methods in biological surveys and aquatic food chains and food web investigations.
The Reserve coordinates science experience programs and tours of the grounds and facilities for external departments and secondary education groups, including PrimeSCI! and the John Monash Science School.
Students are given the unique opportunity to participate in a program that focuses on water chemistry and the impact of urbanisation on water composition. High school students are invited to the JMR to carry out their own supervised science research project, giving them a vital taste of real world science in the field.
The biological water filtration system established in the JMR in 2005/2006 is particularly suited to this project. Storm-water run-off from the nearby residents halls is redirected via extensive underground pipes into the reserve where it distributed across a natural wetland before entering the lake. Students gather water samples from several collection points and use dip nets and waders to collect water bugs from sampling piers in the lake. Further analysis by the students of the water and identification of the collected bugs are achieved in the Environmental Education Centre.