Two emails about the haze to my LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment students

Tuesday 15 Sep 2015

“Dear ecology students,

as per MOH and NUS guidelines, please be informed to suspend your field trips if haze pollutant levels are greater than 100psi. You can monitor haze conditions by checking NEA Haze webpage and the Air Quality Index webpage or by using the MyENV App on iTunes or Google Play.

A typical field trip lasts at least 3-hours which I consider “prolonged exposure” which we are to reduce in conditions above 100psi. Furthermore, if you have respiratory-linked medical issues, or are already experiencing discomfort, you should be resting.

If hazy conditions persist or are predicted to persist into late September and October, I will inform the class about alternative plans for the symposium.

FYI, in a similar vein last night, Organisers of the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore were advised to suspend their cleanup events this Saturday. Read the post to appreciate the reasons and see the MOH poster you can circulate.

Meanwhile, please read the guidelines and be informed, and protect yourself, friends and family.

All the best!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi aka Otterman”

Tuesday 22 Sep 2015

“Dear ecology students,

there have been very few mornings with haze pollutant readings safe enough for you to work in the field. AQICN.org predictions suggest haze levels will remain high during Recess Week. There is also little expectation of the haze clearing until the monsoon arrives, probably in mid-October.

I have thus decided to cancel the LSM2251 symposium project work this semester.

I will design alternative practicals for your practical sessions and decide how to reallocate the CA weightage. If you have borrowed equipment from the lab, please return it by the end of Week 7.

This decision was not easily made. After some extensive examination of the literature, predictions are not available about the persistence of the haze or of actions on the ground in Sumatra. Furthermore, scientists have warned of severe short and long-term impact from fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter in the environment (PM2.5).

While we have been looking forward to your independent exploration of ecology, we must prioritise your health.

Meanwhile, see what some Singaporeans are trying to do about the haze: webreathewhatwebuy.com

All the best, and stay safe,

Cheerio!

Sivasothi aka Otterman”

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