An ACT teacher hopes a new species of spider will be named in her honour after she discovered it on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.
Leslie Carr, a science teacher at Maribyrnong Primary School in Kaleen, travelled to Queensland as part of a teaching correspondence program with no intention of making a discovery.
Thirteen species of spiders were discovered on the Olkola people's traditional lands during the expedition, along with rare fish and orchids.
"The spider specialist travelling with us discovered 12 of the spiders but I found one of them despite knowing very little about spiders," she said.
"There is a long technical process involved in naming a species but I am keeping my fingers crossed they decide to name it after me."
Ms Carr, who continued to teach her students online while in Queensland, said although the spider was potentially dangerous she was happy to pose with it.
"They can be dangerous but the specialist taught us they had no reason to bite unless they felt threatened, so I had it on my hand and wasn't too worried," she said.
Ms Carr was travelling with five other teachers and more than a dozen scientists as part of a research collaboration between the Australian government, BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia.
Since 2000, the Bush Blitz program has discovered more than 900 new species, located 250 threatened species, and recorded 12,000 plants and animals in areas where they were previously unknown.
"The program allows teachers to go on an expedition and then communicate back with their students at the same time," Ms Carr said.
"I was posting blogs online and the students would post their own questions for me, so I would go out and find the answers for them."
Ms Carr said she had applied for the program in 2014 but was knocked back with up to 50 teachers applying for just five positions.
"Science as a human endeavour is something we are supposed to be teaching our students and what better way to do that than keeping them in touch with the trip," she said.
"They are the next generation who will have to protect and care for the environment so it is important we get the message out to them early in their lives."
Earthwatch Australia deputy chief officer Cassandra Nichols said including teachers in the project allowed science to be taught in a more interactive way.
"This Olkola expedition is the third time we have involved teachers in a survey through the Bush Blitz TeachLive project and it was a huge success," she said.
"The excitement of the teachers has been tangible and they're passing that enthusiasm for nature straight back to their students through blogs, Skype and communication forums."