|| October 2005 saw the follow-up to the
workshop in March, with a smaller group of
participants coming back for a week's workshop at the Universiti
Kebangsaan Malaysia campus near Kuala Lumpur. We had Hans Morelis
back, this time with 2 days to expand on ideas about "Quality
in Education" and Arlyne Johnson of the WCS Lao Program led us
through more detailed work on the teaching modules developed by the
Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP). Details
of the workshop are here.
|| I did get up to
Ulu Baram in August, but it was a rather messy trip, with local
holidays, flooding rivers and cancelled flights. To make matters
worse, a toe I damaged crossing one of the rivers became infected.
Still, I had taken a couple of books along and managed to catch up
on some of my reading.
|| On the way back
from New York, I made it to one of the Battle
Proms Concerts. My sister and her family organize several of
these each year, but this is the first time I have had the
opportunity to go to one. These outdoor concerts feature classical
pieces like the 1812 Overture and the Battle Symphony, but with real
guns firing instead of the timpanist banging a big drum, as happens
in the concert hall.
|| For the last two
weeks in June I was in New York for a statistics and study design
workshop. This was pretty intensive, so our time was split between a
blacked-out lecture room and a windowless computer lab! The
twice-daily "commute" - a stroll through the Bronx
Zoo - was a necessary break, and we did get some good meals in the
nearby "Little Italy" part of the Bronx. Hard work, but
very useful. Back in Kuching at the beginning of August I did a 2+
days run-down of what had been covered for my colleagues there; some
of those materials are on the WCS
Malaysia web site.
|| In April I
managed a two-week trip to the Baram area, again split between a
week in the forest with John and a week with Kelawing visiting
longhouses, this time the Kenyah longhouses along the Baram river.
In addition to the usual update on what WCS is doing in the area,
Kelawing had prepared more information on WCS as an international
NGO and on wildlife in the Bible - the people here are all
Christians, a mix of Catholics and Evangelicals. We rounded off the
sessions with a game to demonstrate the interconnections of the
plants and animals in the forest ecosystem.
|| The main event
for March was a workshop
in Kuala Lumpur for Malaysian universities and employers to discuss
the future of undergraduate education in nature- and wildlife-related
subjects. WCS Malaysia Program was heavily involved in organising
this, and it was preceded by a frantic two weeks of preparations -
getting out invitations, arranging speakers, etc. We got a good
range of stimulating talks, including several from overseas, and the
discussions were good. The main problem was the need to pack
everything into one day! Then from KL to Singapore for a two-day
camera-trapping workshop which WCS organised for Singapore National
Parks and those research institutions which work there.
|| February began
with the Chinese New Year festival, a major holiday in Malaysia,
which this year coincided with the Muslim new year. Once again I had
a superb view of the Kuching firework display from my 8th floor
balcony! After the partying, I had to catch up on admin work and
meetings before getting back to the forest for a week, this time to
the Long Lellang side. We walked across to Long Sabai on the Tutoh
river to meet the folks there and to recruit people to work with
Yenny at her survey site in the Tutoh catchment.
Early in January 2005, Samling were presented with the Certificate
of forest management by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council
for their SFM unit in Upper Baram. After that, I made a two week
trip to the area, first joining John on his transects in the
Protection Zone on the slopes of Murud Kecil mountain. The terrain
here is particularly steep and rocky, and the trails are hard work.
After a week with John, I joined Kelawing for a journey up the
Selungo river to the Penan villages, to keep them informed of what
we are doing. Also on this trip I helped Samling to set up their
weather station at Kelesa, which is identical to the one at Long
Lellang, so we will be able to compare the climate on each side of
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