Author Archives: otterman

Introducing the #SG50interns: Lynn & Sankar will change the world!

Joelle and I are ecstatic to have two interns to torture in this special year of SG50! Thanks to NUS’ Provost Office who egged us on, we now have two young firebrands to amplify the nature and environment education potential of our undergraduates and extend the number of opportunities for the public to discover their natural heritage. They are, in essence, going to unravel the bottleneck caused by our teaching, research and administrative roles.

At our first meeting, we had Lynn and Sankar warmed up immediately by getting the first Kent Ridge Walk off the ground, had recruitment initiated for a workshop for new guides and then they dived into supporting the Himalayan Mutt Project through a talk in NUS and sales of merchandise in collaboration with NUS PEACE.

In the midst of the flurry of learning the tricks of the trade, they were made to pen their introductions which we are happy to feature here. This also serves notice to the the world at large that if they come knocking at your door (or email), realise that Toddycats have a much more efficient mechanism this year – fuelled by the NUS Toddycats’ #sg50interns!

Wish them happiness!

SG 50 Intern – Lynn Ng

20150210 sg50 Lynn

About yourself

Hello! I am Lynn, a recent graduate with a firm interest in animal welfare, I was a in NUS PEACE for two years and have frequently helped plan and organize road shows, fundraising events, and symposiums. A large part of my undergraduate life was actually spent away from campus, and you may have instead found me with a foot stuck in mud in Costa Rica, netting damselflies in Munich, marking Lyssa zampa in parts of Singapore, or just scurrying around hugging unwilling dogs and cats.

What you are looking forward to
One thing I am definitely looking forward to is working with a great bunch of enthusiastic individuals all eager to make a difference in Singapore. Apart from gaining new knowledge and perspectives, I also look forward to the exciting challenges of planning and organizing outreach activities in order to pique interest in more people! More importantly, I look forward to Singapore having a great environmental outreach scene this year, and to finally seeing those dinosaur fossils for myself!

What you can see happening in the next few months.
I can also definitely see myself becoming really busy planning for a flurry of events in the months to come. But more importantly, apart from an impending backache and headache, I also see the next few months to be so full of activities that it will be a great year for nature enthusiasts to come together in this significant 2015. The revival of the Kent Ridge Heritage Walks, opening of LKCNHM and the Biodiversity Symposium are just some of the key events due to happen this year, with many more to come!

SG 50 Intern – A Sankar

20150210 sg50 sankar

About me

Hi! My name is Sankar and I’m one of the new Toddycats interns! If you see a tall, skinny, Indian guy hunched over a computer this semester, it’s probably me… I just finished my NS and I’ll be matriculating into Faculty of Science this August. I’m really looking forward to it! Anyway, I love being in nature and I spend a large portion of my time walking around nature trails with my friends looking for snakes. I hope to be a herpetologist some day and work with these horribly misunderstood (and amazingly cool) animals.

What I’m looking forward to

I’m really looking forward to meeting people who are passionate about nature and conservation. I’m also trying to expand my horizons. As I’m more accustomed to fieldwork, doing administrative work provides a refreshing insight into what goes on behind the scenes of every single walk and event that we hold. I’m honestly very glad to finally be able to do something meaningful with my time (after 2 years of NS).

The next three months

The next three months are going to be busy, frankly. It’s SG50, NUS110 and the Museum is finally opening its doors again. So there will be no shortage of things to do. I’m very excited for the Kent Ridge Heritage Trail, which is being revived after quite some time. We are also in the midst of organizing the next Toddycats HOWL, which will be a great opportunity for us to meet up and find out what’s going on. Of course, the perennial Love Macritchie Walks are always something to look forward to. And last but most certainly not least, the opening of the Museum! I can’t wait to see those fossils…

Attention NUS staff and students – catalyse the community as a Kent Ridge Heritage guide!

Kent Ridge Heritage Trail Guide recruitment
Register by 15 Feb 2015: http://tiny.cc/krwalk-recruit

NUS Toddycats are recruiting student and staff of NUS to be nature guides for the monthly hour-long Kent Ridge Walk Conversations series in 2015. Guides are expected to read recommended literature, prepare for content and delivery, attend three evening training sessions and pass an assessment in order to conduct weekday evening walks (5.30pm – 7.00pm) for the NUS community and eventually the public.

If you enjoy meeting people, having conversations, sharing stories and love green spaces, this is an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals! NUS Toddycats are a friendly, competent and passionate team intent on sharing stories of heritage and the environment and in this series, facilitating conversations between members of the NUS community.

We have been guiding on the ridge for over a decade and think its time to catalyse our community further by helping them discover their heritage on the ridge – and each other!

Register to train as a Kent Ridge Heritage Guide at: http://tiny.cc/krwalk-recruit. It’ll be tough, but we’ll figure out a schedule!

20150202 09 Toddycats BPPannv 09feb2013

Wed 11 Feb 2015 @ NUS LT34 – Debby Ng speaks about Himalayan Mutt Project!

Debby Ng presents “The Himalayan Mutt Project”
From Singapore to Nepal with Love!
Wed 11 Feb 2015: 7.00pm – 8.00pm @ NUS LT34 (Faculty of Science)

Explore the majestic and mysterious Himalaya with Singaporean-photojournalist Debby Ng and meet some of the regions’ rarest and the world’s least understood creatures. On a quest to photograph red pandas, Debby learns about the threat of dogs to Himalayan wildlife and communities and reacts with a bold plan to save the Himalayan mutts, one dog at a time.

With her resolute team, Debby Ng is trying to make a difference for dogs, people, and the environment, by bringing modern and humane solutions to people and animals in the Himalaya. Join us as Debby shares how community engagement, education and social networking can transform human health, enhance animal welfare and save a fragile ecology.

Proudly hosted by NUS PEACE and NUS Toddycats!
Please register at http://tiny.cc/himalayanmutt

Click for the pdf20150202 Himalayan Mutt Project Poster

Love MacRitchie Walks in 2015

Free guided forest walks at MacRitchie continue to be offered by NUS undergraduates in 2015. The page to check is https://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/love-macritchie-walks/.

The first four walks are over of fully subscribed and registration will be opened for the next lot of walks on 1st Feb 2015:

  • Sun 22 Feb 2015
  • Sat 07 Mar 2015
  • Sat 21 Mar 2015
  • Sat 4 Apr 2015

To be informed, please check the webpage for announcements.

20150127 Toddycats LoveMacRitchieWalks

Ready for action at Sungei Buloh Anniversary celebrations!

Toddycats and our predecessor The Habitat Group have celebrated the anniversary of Sungei Buloh with a free guided walk in appreciation of this precious place since 1997, four years after the part was officially declared open on 6th December 1993.

In some years, the walk is part of a much bigger celebration with the reserve and we have set aside Saturday almost a year earlier! the 21st anniversary celebration will unveil the reserve extension and we are joining in with walks for 100 registered visitors and a specimen booth at the new Visitor Centre @ Kranji!

Joelle loading up a taxi with our posters and specimens at the NUS Biological Sciences car park
2014 12 05 14 45 50

Ivan Kwan of Toddycats and staff of SBWR helped Joelle set up the Toddycats booth in the Bakau Room
20141205 ToddycatsBooth

E-waste recycling & hard disk shredding! NUS U Town, Fri 12 Sep 2014: 10am – 4pm

NUS’ Office of Environment Sustainability is organising an inaugural electronic waste (“e-waste”) recycling drive in NUS on Friday 12 Sep 2014: 10am – 4pm. Anyone can drop off their e-waste at the NUS University Town near the bus stop and if you are driven through, there is a drop-off point at the Stephen Riady Centre.

This e-waste drive ensures your unwanted electronics / electrical equipment and accessories are disposed off in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Let your friends know. and make good use of this inaugural e-waste recycling drive in NUS.

This free recycling is provided courtesy of Apple.

I see they offer shredding of hard disks, so peace of mind ensured for your data on old hard disks. See OES’ Facebook page for more.

OES U Town E waste ex

If you are unable to make the date, there is existing e-waste recycling locations in Singapore offered through Funan Digital Mall and Starhub – see details at the NEA webpage.

Toddycats HOWL 9: the museum, our logo, endemic crabs, Singapore flowering, otters and a song

With the full moon on Saturday, it was time to arrange for a HOWL session. So much is going on which should be shared with Toddycats, and we called for a pow-wow on Wed 26 Feb 2014.

And we were sure glad we did – twenty-two Toddycats listened to and discussed a slew of topics. And most importantly, everyone explained about how we should move forward in relation to our focus and identity. And in subtle but also firm ways, which was good to see.

Joelle did wrestle with some outreach figures before an impromptu discussion about where how our endemic freshwater crabs were distributed and how they might be coping during this very dry spell.

An extremely tired Adrian Loo who had surfaced from Gardens by the Bay explained in a very soothing manner about the very inclusive Singapore Flowering facebook page (just post pictures of flowering with location), and Otterman told a few stories, including the museum’s modern history and smooth-coated otters along our eastern shores.

When Chloe updated us about the Love MacRitchie project, we were reminded about the lovely four-minute Love MacRitchie video with its lovely tune and visuals. It does help us realise the extent of the fauna in this very precious forest patch which we have. The video highlights some treasures of this precious patch of forest and shares the wonders we could retain for the future, with a realignment of the Cross Island Line to avoid the fragile forest.

I don’t mind ta-king a longer ride on the MRT

For MacRitchie”

Do you?

Today Joelle chaired the session and bore the burden of time management to ensure we would vacate our lovely venue by 10pm. This is an exhausting job while we engage in one diversion after another, so we will share the responsibility in future! We did not complete the agenda (not unusual) and we’ll look forward to the rest of it during HOWL 10.

See you there!

Toddycats Coordinator Joelle had sole charing duties today
2014-02-26 20.53.29

Who and where, attendance by Amanda Tan
2014-02-26 20.53.39 HOWL 9

A brief history of the museum, with an emphasis on recent highlights
2014-02-26 20.54 HOWL 9 HIstory of Museum

Recent temperature trends and flowering – the motivation behind Singapore Flowering
20140226-AhBloo SG FLowering