We have been celebrating Sungei Buloh’s anniversary as a reserve since 1997. This is the first year I’m away but with good reason (talking about marine trash in Brunei).
The Toddycats presence has been coordinated by Dr Joelle Lai of the Raffles Museum of Buodiversity Research. Her first gig was Festival of Biodiversity. It’s a really great feeling as she was initiated into the mud at no less than Mandai mangrove in 1998!
And because she’s in charge now, I managed to finish marking before the 6th of December, Buloh’s birthday, and mine!
And this photo and the others streaming in on Toddycats LINE are a great birthday present!
It’s lovely seeing this fresh, capable faces at the reserve all set and ready to engage visitors. On the line up (there are 20+ of them signed up) are newbies who will be given OJT by their seniors with a single station. Accuracy is an important issue with us, and speaking accurately about few things is possible!
Some old fogies, from when we conducted the walks in the 90s, are with them and it’s lovely to see this inter-generational interaction!
I’m cheering in my heart in Brunei – Hooray for Toddycats, The Next Generation!
Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve celebrates her 20th anniversary this Saturday with numerous events lined up, including the Raffles Museum Toddycats who will be part of the bog bash!
This year will be the biggest bash ever, so some 20 Toddycats are signed up to educate and entertain visitors with stories from the swamp. They will bring along museum specimens and tell tales of form and function and conduct walks.
In addition to swampy stories, there will also be these events organised for the public: Trash Bin Painting, Face Painting, Origami, Journey (Exhibition), Flora & Fauna (Exhibition) and a Nature Hut launch.
Update: Fri 06 Dec 2013 – All set to go!
Amidst the mad rush of exam preparation, I needed to send the Practical Exam Briefing slides to Full-Time TA Amanda Tan. She uses a PC at work and I would usually export my presentation to Powerpoint and be resigned that I could no longer work with Keynote during a collaboration.
I am now using Keynote 6 and I recalled the claim of iCloud collaboration with pc users! That was exciting to hear and I wanted to see how easy it was in reality.
So I looked for “share” in Keynote 6 and emailed Amanda the iCloud link, which she opened on her desktop pc browser. She could edit the slides! So it was true – conversion to Powerpoint was no longer required. The iCloud version she was viewing could be edited on her pc browser.
She got to work to prepare for the briefing she was to conduct the next day. She kept it simple with the standard plain black background and there were no problems inserting images.
A day later and an hour into my lecture, the students were enjoying a five minute break to recover. I LINE-d Amanda for the slides which she had edited and she sent me the link for that iCloud version.
At 5.30pm, I was done and she was ready.
I pulled the browser tab the link had opened on my desktop screen over to the presenter’s window being projected in the LT. We selected full screen mode and then discovered the remote control presentation pointer worked – click and it was advancing slides!
All systems go!
I had just two grouses – we could not use the strong and clear Blackboard theme which I like using for announcements. It seems it is no longer a default offering.
Secondly the original Keynote 6 file on my desktop would no longer open. It declared a newer version of Keynote was necessary! Since the updated version was on iCloud, I simply downloaded that, and all was well once again.
Problems are to be expected with a beta. And Apple’s previous attempts at cloud integration have not been impressive. So Keynote 6′s simple, practical capability to work with a pc user is such joy.
Mr Bats is experiencing bliss!
With the approach of dawn, cats get active once again.
Sent from my iPad
Ten years ago, I blogged my thoughts about cycling in Singapore. There issues and small, hopeful signs of change.
In the past few years, I have seen the momentum on this issue build, and quite suddenly too.
Yesterday, I went to the 10-year old Cycling in Singapore blog to make a feeble stab at updating it with recent news. Instead I wrote a hopeful piece, “Cycling in Singapore is evolving, so expect joy and expect growing pains!“
More than a decade of waiting has been frustrating of course, but we would have our fellow citizens to experience the joy of cycling and the relief from dense urban living. Of course the latter is partly why we are seeing this change.
I am certainly thankful for what is going on now.
It is still too dangerous to advocate cycling to NUS for newbies, but some alternatives are emerging. I can see safe routes gradually being integrated into our infrastructure. Yes it’ll be a long wait but shorter than what I as prepared for.
Or as another cycling advocate put it, in my lifetime please!
A lot of research has gone into city cycling over the decades which has become increasingly relevant as we crowd into cities all over the planet. The research has been illuminating and a book which summarises many ideas is “City Cycling,” edited by John Pucher & Ralph Buehler. MIT Press, Oct 2012 [Amazon link].
We need to read more books like this, experience places which have implemented ideas in order to ride on the strengths of ideas, observations and techniques.
Thanks to Chu Wa for introducing this to me!
Many lament the loss of cat names for OS X, with Mavericks for 10.9 not half as exciting anymore. I’m not too concerned, since I have had Mr Bats since 2004 by the side of my Mac, and sometimes on it.
The table lamp was rustled up to avoid the glare of room’s fluorescent light on his eyes. And in the process I learnt it is a much better table lighting method for myself too.
What got me through three feverishdays, yum-yum!
NUS Deltares Weekly Talk
Carbon policies such as REDD+ are doomed for coastal conservation
By: Asst. Prof. Dan Friess
Date: Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Time: 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Venue: E1-06-05, No 1 Engineering Drive 2, National University of Singapore (map)
Coastal ecosystems – and the crucial ecosystem services they provide to millions of people – are under threat globally from a myriad of pressures. There has been a recent move to financially incentivize the conservation of imperiled coastal ecosystems by paying to conserve the huge "blue carbon" reserves held by mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrasses. The large amounts of money involved in the carbon market could revolutionize coastal conservation funding.
Using case studies from around the world (including Singapore), this presentation describes some under-recognized stumbling blocks to successful REDD+ implementation in coastal habitats. In particular, external stressors such as transboundary pollution, ocean acidification and sea level rise reduce ecosystem integrity and service provision. Such stressors occur outside a protected area and can not be easily mitigated by REDD+ without significantly increasing scale and transaction costs. This presentation describes a framework for considering external stressors, including mitigation and adaptation measures that will increase the success of ecosystem service policy interventions.
About the speaker
Dr. Dan Friess is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography NUS. Dan is a wetland scientist, and his lab’s research is focused on the role of physical processes in determining the stability, management and restoration of mangrove ecosystems. Current research projects relating to ecosystem services includes an assessment of mangrove carbon stocks in Singapore, and estimating the vulnerability of Southeast Asia’s mangroves to sea level rise. Dan was previously a postdoc at the Singapore-Delft Water Alliance. For more information, visitwww.themangrovelab.com