May 3, 2009

Seagrass Watch workshop: Level 2 classroom session (3 May 09)

Another morning start for the Team, this time for the Level 2 classroom session of the Seagrass Watch workshop.Siti, Wei Ling, Shufen and I get to be classroom participants too!Hassan is all ready for the session, with detailed notes penned in from the previous classroom session!

Today, Len covers a refresher on seagrasses.
Including the sexy bits about seagrasses! I didn't know that for some seagrasses their pollen travels beneath the water surface.And that for some seagrasses, male and female flowers appear in different plants.We also learn some new Big Words such as 'meristem'.We had tests in between the sessions!

Then it was off to do plant ID and pressing!
It's not easy counting them veins.
Siti takes on the manly task of pressing the humungous Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides).
Len gives us marks on how well we do the labelling. Not many of us got full marks. Oops.
Meanwhile, Hassan and Hannah have snuck off to get Other Plants from the sale of orchids and plants downstairs.

We also had a session on checking data sheets for errors. It sure made us appreciate how important it is to be careful and correct and complete when filling up the data sheets.
Then it was time for a scumptious lunch organised by Wei Ling. Thanks Wei Ling!

After the good break, Len shared with us lots of stuff about GPS.
All of it is totally new to me. I'm quite impressed with all those satellites whizzing about and giving us free information that we can use to learn more about our natural heritage and protect them.We have a hands on session to try out using a GPS. And Len and Rudi have set up a treasure hunt using the GPS. They snuck off during lunch to set it up! In my team, we didn't manage to find any points. Alas. We blamed it on a technical error. But everyone else had success and found the secret alphabets at eight locations and worked out the secret seagrass word. That was a really fun session.

Then Siti conducted a discussion of our monitoring work during which reviewed some of our work, and we decided on some new directions.
All too soon, it was time to end.
On behalf of the Team, Siti presented Len and Rudi a small token of our appreciation for their patience and sharing. It's a copy of the Red Data book, that participants today inscribed with their comments as well.
Len and Rudi are off to Indonesia to conduct another workshop! They make a brief stop over in Singapore on their way back and we hope to show them Labrador then.

Thank you Len and Rudi for a most enjoyable and enlightening workshop!

Thanks also to everyone for helping out: Kevin and Shufen for rushing to get laptops, Wei Ling for the splendid lunch and all the logisitical arrangements for the room and transport, and Siti for preparing all the presentations too.

And everyone for coming today! Chay Hoon, Hannah, Kah Ming, Cheng Puay, Marcus Tay, Marcus Ng, Jocelyne, Andy, Helen, Adelle, Michell, Nor Aishah, Gaytri, Richard, Sheryl, Mohd Rozaimi, Chun Fong, Kevin, Hassan, Anuj.

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