Purpose of NatureScouter

This blog will address mainly two issues - Nature and Scouting.

The purpose of Nature blogs is to educate and promote the awareness of Singapore’s and global environmental and conservation issues to the public and the Scouting community. The Scouting-related blogs serve the similar purpose by promoting the World’s largest youth movement and its activities to the public.

This blog was created thanks to the persistent demands of all my dear friends to blog, and on my 25th birthday, this blog was born.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Coral Workshop

Despite being a Science student all my life, I never had the chance to study pure biology. Almost all biology knowledge I had was either self-read or learnt from others who taught me through field trips. So when the chance of attending a coral workshop came, I would never give it a miss.

The workshop was organized by a colleague of mine, Luan Keng, in Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research. Just in case, anyone who doesn't know yet - I've gotten a job as a Education and Public Relations Officer at Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research in National University of Singapore. Special thanks to Ria Tan who recommended me. Also to the people who have encouraged me not to give up in my area of interest. And last but not the least, Scouting which gave me the experience and expertise, which possibily landed me the job.

Those who attended were volunteers with Semakau and Naked Hermit Crabs, most of which I already knew. We started off with a lecture on the biology and knowledge of corals, by Jani - a coral expert. It ain't a breeze... lots of new terms and knowledge. A little daunting at first but soon it became more relaxing.

After the 'lecture', we were treated by Luan Keng to a feast of pizzas. Not forgetting the egg tarts and puffs we gotten during the tea break. And also the wonderful salad by Oi Yee, another coral expert who ,if I'm not wrong, used to work as a lab officer.

After the lunch we also had some time to mingle around and talk about corals and ways to ID them.

We were then to do our practical of looking at the specimens and testing ourselves. It was crazy... To me all corals look the same. In the field, I simply tell others things like, "This is a hard coral." Full stop. Soon I need to tell people that this is a Montipora, Acropora, Faviidae etc... Try it yourselves with the following and you will know what I mean...


Not easy eh?

We even have to peek in the microscope to see the difference for some of the corals...

We then all sat down for a screening of photos taken by some of us during our field trips. While going through them, we had to ID them. Some were easy, judging from the way we started chanting 'Acropora' and 'Faviidae', often to a halt when faced with something not familiar. Haha...

Now I've to prepare for the field trip on X'mas day to Kusu Island... It will be a coral madness day...


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