LSM1103 Biodiversity can be a tough course for both students and staff as it covers microbes, botany and zoology in just 13 weeks over 50 hours comprised of 26 hours of lectures and 24 hours of field and lab work.
I have the zoology gig and have the pleasure of introducing students to major animal groups. They learn a little about their biology and learn to identify differentiate groups. And during lectures and their practicals in the field and lab, we try to initiate discussions.
The course content is never static, as there is always something to update and tweak. Invariably I am up the whole night before a lecture, working on my material. Often, this is softened by the company of Mr Bats the cat.
Yes, I can’t use Barnes (or Ruppert, Fox and Barnes) anymore!
It’s not just lecture material that gets tweaked. This month, we are on a hunt for portable tables!
During LSM1103 Biodiversity Changi Beach Practicals, various groups of students are immersed in the sea to take their turn at the beach seine. This allows them to discover the greater diversity of marine fauna otherwise hidden by the tide.
The excited students examine the organisms, discuss the identities and species biology, before TAs return the lot back to the littoral zone.
Each group also shares their (relatively) rare finds with others at the base station further upshore. This is always a crowded session over a bunch of small tanks and often we are also battling time as all this is done, including travel time from and to campus, in less than four hours.
So we figured, a couple of portable tables would solve the problem by creating space around the tanks, enhance visibility of the sea creatures and facilitate the TA’s job of introducing students to these marine organisms.
We were alerted about the existence of portable tables at the Giant in Vivocity by Cai Hongxia. So Weiting, the Full-Time TA currently in charge of LSM1103, made a mental note to check it out on her next galavanting session. She came back to say the table she examined folds into a case ,but is quite heavy. Well, since we do use a trolley to get our gear to the beach, that might still be manageable.
Well, this was merely the first candidate, and it’s apparently a little unsteady. We’ll be on the lookout for others. Holler if you see something suitable, jiggle the top to see if its stable and send us photos with the specs as well!
Galavanting Weiting halts long enough to measure a candidate table!
Candidate table no. 2
The Changi Beach cat who observed our practicals in 2007.
He’s here as comment-bait.