Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Fri 16 Apr 2004

Phylogenetic Garden

Category : Singapore Naturalist

Nestled next to the Public Gallery of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research is a garden. No herbs, spices or ornamentals, but instead local plants reflecting phylogeny. This means planting to reflect an increasing scale of evolutionary complexity.

There has been more than one attempt to populate the garden, resulting in a mess. I had to wrestle this area out of NUS with the promise that it would eventually serve a larger number of people. It was previously a shortcut between IMCB and NUS Science. That promise has yet to be kept and I'm tired of waiting.

A quick recce last week revealed that significant lessons can already be extracted. So on Wed 14 Apr 2004, I set a group of Secondary 2 RGS students to do exactly that. Two of them were guides for the Sungei Buloh Anniversary Walk programme and had approached me about a topic for a service learning project.

They have started mapping the area, photographing, cataloguing and identifying individual plants, and figuring out plant phylogeny. They have five Wednesdays to begin make some sense of it all and it seemed like a smooth beginnning. The experience will serve to introduce them to local plants and phylogeny, and initiate use of the Phylogenetic Garden by visitors and gallery demos.

To enhance the returns, its time now to pull in botany-inclined mentors: to provide the students more exposure and mentors with the expereince of supervising them.

Posted at 7:16PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .