Envirofest – debrief, blog posts and photos

Hi everyone,

thank you for your great effort at Envirofest, it was really exciting to see you introduce biodiversity to the regular crowd – they’ve mostly not read anything online and the knowledge acquisition curve was as steep as Vigilante Drive!

Blog posts and photos
See: http://envirofest.wordpress.com/
With more to come later, on this blog.

Our manpower strategy
A few of you were anchors who took long shifts and I salute your energy. A few of you a did 6-hours while the majority punched in for 3-hour shifts (and a little in the heat of the event!). This combination was highly effective ; we maintained a flow of fresh faces, voices and energy and the anchors ensured continuity. It was marvelous seeing all of that energy!

A few others played supporting roles which was very helpful. I’m sorry we only thought of fans on the SECOND day. Guess that on the first day, Dinesh and I were preoccupied with the arrangement of groups at booths. Anyway now the fans are part of our arsenal!

All in all there were 38 of us helping out – a conservative estimate had us talking to more than 2,000 people. This equals the intense 3-day Museum Fest record from 2002 – where we had a smaller frontage.

Of the dugong and biology students
You can see from the photos in that post and the links in the 2002 event that we have used the dugong foetus for eight years and counting. We have since abandoned the need for a backdrop – too much work. Instead we just plop the specimens on a table and go. It’s the guide talking that makes the difference.

This year’s Envirofest also saw the return of the biology students with a vengeance. Their background in biodiversity, zoology and ecology allowed them to hit the ground running. However, it was interesting to see that the non-biology veteran volunteers had a stronger local and practical grasp of the subject as a result of their experience and long immersion in the community.

The one thing I wished I had remembered to do is to ask each volunteer to get to know the people, role, methods and motivation of the other groups at Envirofest. There were many wonderful people there that day. Working together in a non-crisis situation reflects their commitment to the issue of public education.

Further learning
We might have cornered the market on exhibition manpower but obviously have to work on improving delivery (we are didactic) and building field experience to supplement stories over time.

Well that’s something to look forward to.

Links to photos and blog posts are listed on the Envirofest blog.


– N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman


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