Monday, December 31, 2012

Crabby rain at Pasir Ris Park Mangrove

For the last fieldtrip of the year, I decided I shall do away with intertidal shore and reef.  Actually, it was not a planned fieldtrip. After reading about Ria's recent visit to the Pasir Ris Park's mangrove at night, I wanted to visit it. Having done a few guided walk at this place with the Naked Hermit Crabs and visited the place myself a few times, I have not actually seen a mangrove at night.

So I spent the last two days of 2012 at the Pasir Ris Park magrove with my friend. Two days because we started late at night on 30th December and ened on 31st December early morning.
Night Time is great for close observation of animals. They hardly move and you are able to get real close to them.

As we entered the mangrove, I spotted a pipefish and a juvenile dog-faced water snake emerging from its hole in a small stream nearby.
Juvenile dog-faced water snake (Cerberus schneiderii)

My work attachment at RMBR

While my colleagues are already enjoying their long deserved holidays, I set aside two weeks of my holidays for a MOE Teacher's Work Attachment programme. I have chosen the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) for my work attachment programme.

My work attachment period was 3 - 14 December 2012.
I chose RMBR as it was one of the places which I was interested to find out how specimens, after collected from sites, are processed, preserved, document and kept in a biodiversity museum. Furthermore, the work description posted for this organisation allows me to work with the available specimens to create educational materials.

However the museum's gallery was closing soon in view of the big house moving to the new Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, set for completion in 2014. There was not much of a need to create educational materials at the moment.

I spent my two weeks of work attachment in the wet collections section of the museum, helping out Siong Kiat, the wet collections' curator. Wet collections refers to specimens (mostly marine animals) that requires storing in preservation liquids such as ethanol and formalin (formaldehyde). Majority of the specimens I worked with are stored in 75% ethanol.

Here's the blog post from RMBR about my work attachment stint with them.
Image capture of the blog post.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

NParks annual volunteer appreciation day

Today is a special day as the National Parks Board (NParks) is having her annual Volunteers Appreciation Day this morning at Hort Park. This event was also organised in celebration of International Volunteer Day, which fell on 5 December.

Some of the volunteers from the Naked Hermit Crabs spent this special day sharing the beauty of Chek Jawa to our visitors while some others attended the appreciation event. Read about the happenings at Chek Jawa here.

I was unable to attend the event today as I was guiding at Chek Jawa.
However there are news reports from the media and National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan posted an entry in his work blog.

I am one of the 3 volunteers to featured in Minister's blog post and I quote a portion of his entry.
"Ms Heng Pei Yan – a teacher– participated in the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey early this year.  Despite the risk of getting stung by marine organisms and having to trudge through knee-deep mud, she was undeterred and gamely participated in the survey simply because of her passion for nature."

The following are the links of the coverages of the event that I have found:

Media reports:
Channel NewsAsia [8 Dec 2012] - NParks sees healthy increase in volunteer numbers
AsiaOne News (SPH) - NParks volunteers honoured at inaugural event
Straits Times [8 Dec 2012] - More people volunteering at National Parks
The Sunday Times, pg 21 [9 Dec 2012] - Hats off to park volunteers

Blog posts:
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan - Giving back to nature
WildSingapore News

Social media:
NParks (Facebook) -

You can find out about how you can be a volunteer with NParks through their volunteer webpage.

Wild boars, hornbill and an unusual gathering of fiddler crabs at Chek Jawa

The Naked Hermit Crabs held our last guided walk at Chek Jawa for year 2012 today!

There were a number of interesting sightings at Chek Jawa today.
Upon arrival at the entrance of Chek Jawa, 3 wild boars came out of their foraging activities to meet us.
One of them approached us real close and started sniffing around without any fear. 
Wild boar sniffing at me
This can be disturbing as it could lead to unwanted accidents to members of the public if they were to start screaming and acting aggressive towards the wild boar.


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