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 *

Thu 01 Apr 2004

Old sins have long shadows

Category : mangroves

During a field project, if you don't sort out your problems and doubts immediately, they will catch up with you when you are writing up.

It's been an agonising week, and more so for my two field student researchers. They submit their reports tomorrow and are prepared for an all nighter yet again. My plans to get them to present completed projects orally to the lab on the 26th of March is obviously in shambles!

Our recent discussions have made my eyes roll right out of my sockets. I've wanted to clutch my head or beat it against the wall. Of course you have to keep your act together, like the Apollo-13 astronauts.

However, the students are learning a lot - and I don't just mean about shrimps and horseshoe crabs although they have unearthed intriguing information. The stress helps the thought process and I am learnning plenty as well. This is, in fact, a good preamble to my active research days ahead. If I survive tonight and remember to apply what we learnt together, I'm good to go.

In other project work, I have applied these lessons - constant evaluation and adjustment. During the heady days of research, public education, technical and societal feedback submissions over Chek Jawa mainly in 2001, I never stopped thinking. Every woken minute since I first saw the area, was filled with planning, working out details, contacting people and coordinating, and then checks and balances would fill every other available moment. It was stressful but it helped me navigate some very murky waters.

I think all our biology students should take on "Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Science" (UROS). It'll help them in the most unlikely situations in future.

But I must say they made a pretty good baseline map for present and future research. I'd no idea if they would be able to do it. Despite some problems, the map they produced exceeded my expectations of their ability.

Posted at 12:40PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .