Dan Rittschof and the Duke University Urban Tropical Ecology field course, 2005-2008

Dan Rittschof has had a long association with Singapore and NUS, dating back to the early 90’s. I first met him at a seminar in which he talked about the hundreds of fiddler crabs in the inter-tidal habitats at North Carolina.

Amongst his many activities is an annual field trip with the small Urban Ecology class from Duke University. Each year I take the students to the mangrove at night in a conspirational exercise with Dan. The experience provides a dramatic contrast to the things the students have seen in the rest of Singapore. It has always been fruitful, as was last night.

Here is a roundup of most of the blog posts. We might need this for something later on. My favourite is “Bucket Boy.”

Duke University: Department of Biology: Graduate Level Biology Course 216. Sojourn in Singapore: Urban Tropical Ecology. The mix of human ecology, tropical diversity, disturbed habitats and invasive species in Singapore. How Singapore maintains and enhances the quality of life of its citizens while radically modifying its environment. Research on politics, management or biology. Travel to Singapore required. Taught in Beaufort. Consent of instructor required. Instructor: Dan Rittschof. 3 units.





Mandai Mangroves with Dan Rittschof’s Urban Ecology class

20 Mar 2008 – It was time for my annual trek with Dan’s students to introduce Mandai mangroves. Some tales later, for I must go crash now. And then there are students reports to read when I wake…

Dog-faced water snake

Episesarma singaporense

Selatium brocki

Mangrove huntsman

A huntsmen spider up on an Avicennia sp. tree

Dan pondering; we had the students lead them out after that

Students figured their way out under watchful eyes

The Traffic jam at Woodlands Road stretched past Kranji MRT

Briskwalked out to Kranji MRT and just in time for the bus too!

Regrouped at the Woodlands Road junction – had to check I still had everyone

Mission accomplished with no casualties…