Post-exam activities for undergraduate students

Sent to LSM1103, LSM2251, LSM3261 students in AY2011/12 Sem 1.

Dear students,

I have listed some post-exam activities you might be interested in. These will widen your exposure in a way we can’t achieve in class.

Once you take that first step, you will find yourself amidst motivated individuals and groups who are part of an active natural history community in Singapore.

LSM3261 students have been invited to a post-exam dialogue session in late December or January. Check your email or the module’s IVLE announcement for the link.


Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman

Field assistants for honours students:

Our honours students need help with small mammal work, wild pig and otter surveys, measuring trees and other help in the field. This is a great way for undergraduates to gain exposure to field work and learn about nature areas in Singapore and how science is conducted in the field. This is pretty much how I got started, following a researcher in the field.

The honours students will contact you once you register.

Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve Anniversary Walk
(Sun 04 Dec 2011):

My friends and I, all veteran guides, conduct this pleasant morning walk every year in celebration of the wetland reserve’s anniversary. It is suitable for all ages and we share stories about wildlife, ecological adaptations and our adventures in the field.

There are only 28 places left right now, so sign up soon if you intend to go.

Wildlife exhibitions with Raffles Museum Toddycats

Raffles Museum Toddycats are volunteers on a mission to educate the public about wildlife and ecosystems in Singapore. Since 2002, they have been mounting guided exhibitions with specimens from the Raffles Museum and the Department of Biological Sciences teaching collection at LS Lab 7, much like the LSM1103 Biodiversity and LSM3261 Life Form and Function practicals – except that this is conducted in public spaces like shopping centres!

Each volunteer attends a pre-event training session of about two hours in order to man a station. The next exhibition session is at Geylang East Library on 10 Dec 2011.

LSM3261 students would be great for this – after your first exhibition experience, you can pretty much just turn up to perform at future events, even after graduation! This is being led by Xu Weiting (LSM3261-2008) and Fung Tze Kwan (LSM3261-2009). The exhibition at Geylang East Library exhibition will feature 10-min talks by our current and former Hons and UROPS students and games for kids. It is an important and easy way to contribute to nature education in Singapore.

Nature guiding with Raffles Museum

This is another excellent field programme and is highly recommended – the Raffles Museum Education team will train you to be ready to conduct four guided nature walks for the public per year. This is a great way to become field-savvy and discover biodiversity in Singapore! This field experience is invaluable and it means getting up and close with Singapore’s biodiversity. It is very suitable for the first years.

The International Coastal Cleannup Singapore team has announced a programme for Year-Round cleanups for the beaches at Tanah Merah East in 2012. They are recruiting volunteer Site Buddies interested in managing cleanups three times a year. See:


This group of students address animal welfare issues through student education, surveys, managing strays in NUS and working with local animal welfare groups. They have been responding to emergencies and just rescued a dog from being put down recently and are helping to manage stray cats in NUS.

I am the staff advisor for this group which is led by Ong Say Lin, one of our senior students. Next semester they intend to organise the third animal welfare symposium.

Be informed

  1. Habitatnews, – there are numerous other opportunities to learn from the natural history community; just see Habitatnews, a nature/environment blog I have maintained since 2004.
  2. The NUS Biodiversity Crew, – this blog has carried the news about the activities, research and reflections of staff and students (your lecturers, supervisors, TAs and more) from the Environmental Biology group of the Department of Biological Sciences. I’ve maintained this since 2008.
  3. Ecotax – – This is a mailing list I started in 1998 which highlights technical seminars mostly held during office hours in NUS and elsewhere as well as job opportunities at labs and various relevant agencies. We have an amazing flow of visitors right at our doorstep and there certainly are more opportunities for biodiversity-related careers these days, than ever before.
  4. WildSingapore News by Ria Tan. – the very interested ones amongst you should already be subscribed to this prolific news service, like I am.