Lifesearch provides a fabulous opportunity for students, groups and individuals – to discover the animals and plants living in the Biosphere Reserve. The more we know about our natural world, the better we can manage and protect it for the future, one of the core objectives of the Man and the Biosphere program. There are prizes for the school, individual and team/group that record the most sightings during Lifesearch. Hands on learning in the outdoor classroom Lifesearch is a fabulous way for students to learn about biodiversity and to conduct a biodiversity audit in school grounds or in neighbouring reserves. It's an opportunity for students to learn about their own environment, acquire new knowledge and skills and make a meaningful contribution to biodiversity data. By adding student observations to the Atlas of Living Australia students will be able to attach meaning and purpose to hands-on learning. There are prizes for schools in two categories: 1. Lifesearch: awarded to the school which makes the most Lifesearch observations – so get out there and observe the animals and birds in your area! 2. The Birdsearch Shield: for the school which makes the most bird observations during Lifesearch 2017. Our inspiration In 1912 thirteen-year-old Harewood Lyall, who lived at Harewood Homestead, Tooradin, carefully noted down his bird-watching observations in a notebook. This notebook inspired the first Western Port Biosphere Birdsearch event, which was held in 2012. Schools participated in the program and competed for the Biosphere Birdsearch Shield. The Shield has been awarded each year since 2012. In 2014 we expanded this concept to Lifesearch, which aimed to document the whole span of biodiversity within the Western Port Biosphere.