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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


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News about NUS' Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore - Archives

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Mon 15 Aug 2005

Coastal Ecology Workshop at Changi Beach

Category : education

10 Aug 2005 - Raffles Museum organised its first full-day ecology workshop for a group of 22 students from Raffles Institution's Gifted Program. Led by a goby expert from NUS, Zeehan Jaafar and workshop coordinator, Wang Luan Keng, the group explored the rich diversity of Changi Beach through beach combing and seining from the early morning.

The students overcame their initial hesitation about entering the water, and were soon enjoying the use of seine nets for a quick survey of the marine life in the water column.

Later they combed the beach, observing the special adaptations for living in specific zones, and some specimens were brought back by the students to the university for preservation and identification.

Amongst the specimens lay a surprise - Stalix sp., a new record of jawfish from Singapore.

And a rare porcelain crab turned out to be a new record for Changi! Raphidopus ciliatus Stimpson, 1858 (Family Porcellanidae) was previously only known from the deeper waters of Kallang basin. The student who had collected the specimen was asked to donate the crab to the research collection, and proudly presented it to A/Prof Peter Ng, international crustacean expert and Director of the Raffles Museum. That prompteda freenzied search by each and every student in the hope of a new and exciting find!

After learning about preservation methods and the curation of intertidal specimens, Peter Ng also gave an interesting presentation on the biodiversity of seashores of Singapore. Later Zeehan brought the students on a guided tour of the museum's Public Gallery, and engaged in a fiery Q&A sesssion.

At the end of the workshop, the tired students were pleasantly surprised when awarded each with a certificate of attendance.

See the photo album for more photos.

Workshop assistant Eunice Tan kindly compiled feedback. This is what they said:

Seining: 14 students said they enjoyed seining the most because:

  • It is the most fun
  • It was a unique hands-on experience
  • Interactive
  • We got to wade in the water
  • I have never tried something like that before
  • Catch interesting sea animals
  • It was something new and interesting

Workshop: 20 students said the workshop has increased their knowledge and interest in nature and science because:

  • Science can be so fun and educational.
  • Lots of interesting facts presented in an engaging way.
  • Increased knowledge in animal preservation and knowledge of marine life.
  • It has provided me with fun information and has whetted my appetite for knowledge.
  • I am more interested in marine animals.
  • Taught me a lot more about marine life.
  • It shows that new species can be found so there is more interest.
  • The basic techniques taught would help in research skills, etc.
  • It is very educational.
  • Very hands-on which increased interest and also stimulated thinking.
  • I know how to preserve and catch sea animals.
  • I learnt many things and it showed me that nature in Singapore was not as hopeless as I thought.
  • FUN.
  • In animals, preservation and marine life.
  • I understand better.

For workshop enquiries, please write to Wang Luan Keng or visit the webpage at: http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/workshop.

Thanks to Wang Luan Keng for this report, Eunice Tan for the workshop photos and Tan Heok Hui for the photo of Stalix sp.

Posted at 1:58PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,