Happy Teacher’s Day

CivetGirl rounded up my Otterman Holt crew, requisitioned greetings from absentees and had me thinking the “lunch meeting” she had written in to my Google Calendar was to celebrate Civet Poop Girl’s birthday, who was similarly duped.

So I was harried from my NUS Cat Cafe meeting to a surprise teacher’s day part. How nice! And an otter book I had not seen, also very nice! And then a bunch of funeral celebrants whom I prodded into telling me stories. And then there was ice-cream cake!

Then I was too relaxed to work anymore. Sigh, how nice.

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Girl Power!

Amanda Tan and Xu Weiting, Full-Time TAs with the Department of Biological Sciences, pulling a seine to evaluate a patch of sandy shore for a biodiversity practical. We were smiling then but are not sure it’ll be worth bringing first year biodiversity students down to Changi Beach this year – not while the usual patch of shoreline is inaccessible due to improvement works. by NParks. Pity, for it is one of the most memorable field experiences of the first -years.


Pulau Ubin’s Sensory Trail closed, Aug – Oct 2012

I was on Pulau Ubin today for a recce trip in preparation for my LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment class – 175 undergraduate students will visit the island over the next two Saturdays to observe birds and habitat diversity. Recce trips are a necessity for familiarisation and to take note of changes, which are common place in busy Singapore.

As it turns out, we were stopped in our tracks around the corner of the Sensory Trail as the trail had been boarded up – and at either end. I conveyed the bad news to the ecology class and their TAs just now and thought to share it here just in case you were planning a trip there like we were.

Nothing was amiss during an earlier recces of the island for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and someone I asked today who should know, wasn’t sure if the Jalan Ubin access was blocked (it was). The sign indicates ‘improvement works to [the] Sensory Trail’, so this looks to be something urgent – I see the guided tours there have been cancelled. I must have missed the announcement.

Anyway the ecology class will go on, although with the loss of alternative routes, some degree of overcrowding might result at certain locations. Meanwhile, the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore can either skip the site this year, or shift the date to a year-round cleanup in October if the site is not ready for The Independents on 29th September 2012.

We’ll see.

Pulau Ubin Sensory Trail closure

“Rescue, Rehabilitation and Responsible Animal Care” at the Animal Welfare Symposium this Sat 25 Aug 2012


Email I wrote my students in the first year biodiversity module, second year ecology module and third year life form and function module:

"Dear students, 

the student group NUS PEACE is holding an Animal Wefare Symposium at LT24 this Sat 25 Aug 2012. It is organised around three themes: Rescue, Rehabilitation and Responsible Animal Care/Pet Ownership and features an admirable group of people who work selflessly for the betterment of animals in Singapore. 

To register, please go toL http://www.tinyurl.com/NUSPEACE-AWS2012

This symposium is a great way to learn about the issues which most are poorly informed about, at a venue right at our doorstep. 

The organising group, NUS PEACE, consists of a bunch of undergrads from all corners of NUS, and include some of our very own life science students. If you are interested in joining them, see: http://blog.nus.edu.sg/nuspeace/

Hope to see you there!



Young NUS lecturers and students take to the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

There is a bumper crop of groups from NUS taking to the shores as part of the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore.

Raffles Museum Toddycats, although my outfit, is being led by a recent honours graduate,

  • Raffles Museum Toddycats (20 pax) at Berlayar Creek, 29 Sep 2012 (new site), led by Fung Tze Kwan
  • NUS staff & students led by Environmental Science and Engineering Students’ Club (60 pax) at Lim Chu Kang East mangrove, 08 Sep 2012 led by the student committee
  • ULS2204 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (30 pax) at Ketam Beach, 15 Sep 2012 led by David Bickford
  • Geography Society (30 pax) at Chek Jawa, 08 Sep 2012 (new group), led by Dan Friess
  • GEK1515 Environmental Biology (?200pax) at Ketam and Noordin beaches, 08 & 15 Sep 2012 (new group) led by Joelle Lai

Ria Tan of WildSingapore gets it right!

Ria has published her annual post in support of the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore at her Wild Shores Singapore:

wild shores of singapore: Angry about litter on our shores? Learn more, DO something!

What’s phenomenal about this is this – Ria Tan manages WildSingapore which involves not just publishing and maintaining the news, events and photography sites, she also keeps it personal by writing her Wild Shores of Singapore blog in great detail.

All the while she runs her independent marine surveys to document biodiversity on our shores and helps to coordinate larger efforts like the Mega Marine Survey of Singapore and public education efforts like Naked Hermit Crabs and the Festival of Biodiversity Singapore. It’s a long list and I’ve never written it all up as yet.

In her ICCS post, she know exactly what’s going on, and highlights the wildlife talk then points to the registration for independent volunteers, the recruitment for coordinators, explains the background to these cleanups, and suggests following the mailing list, blog and twitter accounts, ending with links to local and international marine litter news. Concise, detailed and accurate.

102boss-III-NUS_LT27-24sep2011[kpinto] | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Ria Tan received her second Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium Award in 2011 from Tan Chuan-Jin

She know’s why she is doing all of this – for a better Singapore and planet. She refused any attempt at award nomination, but the community has its own process and she was celebrated with the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium Award twice, in 2003 and 2011.

Meanwhile, in all of the modules that teach in at NUS (LSM1103, LSM1303, LSM2251, LSM3261, LSM4262, MW5202), I suggest they subscribe to WildSingapore News.

I’ve stopped carrying name cards since 2006. At at every wildlife talk I give, I simply end by pointing the audience to WildSingapore.com and the simple message, “Explore, Express, Act”.

That will help you find everyone.

ICCS Briefing-27aug2011-small.pdf (page 155 of 177)