28 September 2015

You CAN make a difference for our Marine Park!

Want to volunteer to guide at the Marine Park? Then this FREE training programme is for you!
Volunteers at the 2014 training session.
Places are limited and filling up fast! Pre-registration required online here http://tinyurl.com/SisGuideTrg2015

[Update 30 Sep: Registrations are now closed as all 60 places for the Classroom Workshop have been taken up. But you are most welcome to attend the Public Talks on 22 Oct (Thu) and 30 Oct (Fri). No registration required for the talks.]

What happens during an NParks public walk at the Marine Park?
Here's a glimpse of how the NParks public walks are conducted and the role of volunteer guides and volunteer 'seekers'.

What are the aims of the training?
  • Give you a framework for self-learning about the Park.
  • Introduce you to the fundamentals of guiding at the Park.
  • Build your confidence to guide effectively. 
  • Provide you a chance to interact with like-minded people and more experienced nature guides. 
Together, we can come up with new and exciting ways to share about our shores! More of what happened at the 2014 training sessions.

    How will the training be conducted?

    You are expected to read up the bulk of the information on your own. Links to online resources will be provided to those who register.

    The following are organised to give you a framework for self-learning; and to introduce you to experienced guides so you can practice with and learn from them.
    • Public talks: Four talks will be organised over two days covering key topics by experts and experienced guides. This will provide the framework for your self-learning.
    • Classroom Workshop: This one-day workshop will be repeated twice to keep the group sessions small. Exercises and role-play will introduce you to the fundamentals of guiding, and the community of volunteers.
    • Field Trip: This will give you a chance to experience the Marine Park and practice guiding with experienced facilitators.
    Volunteers at the 2014 training session.

    2015 Training details

    Public talks

    • These talks are intended to provide background on the Marine Park covering biodiversity, heritage and other issues. They will include hands-on interactive sessions, learning from specimens and experienced nature guides.
    • Talks are open to anyone including those who only want to learn more about the Marine Park and are not sure about whether they want to guide at the Marine Park.
    • But priority to attend the Classroom Workshop and Field Trip will be given to those who have attended the Public Talks.
    Time and Venue for all Public Talks
    Time: 6.30 - 9.30pm
    Venue: Function Hall, Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens (Tanglin Gate) map

    22 Oct (Thu): Marine Park Public Talks: Series 1
    • Corals reefs of Singapore by Dr Karenne Tun, Deputy Director, Coastal and Marine, National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board
    • Heritage of the Southern Islands by Marcus Ng, co-curator of ‘Balik Pulau: Stories from Singapore’s Islands’ and Juria Toramae, creator of 'Point of Departure', visual narratives of coastal and island life in Singapore'.

    30 Oct (Fri): Marine Park Public Talks: Series 2
    • Flora of the Southern islands: A brief introduction to coastal forests, mangroves and seagrasses of the South by Koh Kwan Siong, Biodiversity Manager, National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board
    • Singapore got marine life meh? A brief introduction to Singapore’s marine ecosystems and threats to them by Ria Tan, wildsingapore
    The talks will include hands-on interactive sessions
    learning from specimens and experienced nature guides.

    About the speakers at the Public Talks

    Dr Karenne Tun
    leads the NParks team that set up and manages the Sisters Islands Marine Park. Karenne joined National Parks Board in 2013 as Deputy Director, Coastal and Marine, National Biodiversity Centre, after an 18-year circuit within academia, non-profit organisation and private environmental consultancy, during which time she obtained her PhD from the National University of Singapore (NUS). She is also one of the key authors of the Singapore Blue Plan 2009 which represents the Singapore marine community’s hopes and included a call for a Marine Park to be set up. Dr Tun’s interest in the marine environment was ignited as an undergraduate, where, over the years, her fascination turned to concern at their rapid decline, particularly in the region. She subsequently worked at NUS, focused on studying the impacts of human activities on coral reefs, before moving on to coordinating coral reef monitoring efforts in the South East Asian region
    Dr Karenne Tun holding the Singapore flag
    after a dive at the Sisters Islands Marine Park.
    Photo by Stephen Beng.

    Marcus Ng co-curated the ‘Balik Pulau: Stories from Singapore’s Islands’, an exhibition at the National Museum in 2014 which unearthed and showcased the stories of the people and life of Singapore’s Southern Islands. Marcus is a writer by profession, a naturalist by interest and an avid nature photographer. He authors the popular Annotated Budak blog as well as the book "Habitats In Harmony: The Story Of Semakau Landfill". He is also an active nature volunteer with many groups, both terrestrial and marine, spanning his interests from forest ecology, peat swamps to inter-tidal reefs and mangroves.
    Marcus Ng (leftmost) sharing about our islands
    during the media launch of Balik Pulau.
    Juria Toramae is a visual artist whose practice explores themes of identity, memory, natural heritage and place. Her work often employs photography, artefacts and extensive archival research. In her most recent project, Points of Departure, she constructed multi-layered visual narratives of coastal and island life in Singapore. The project was awarded an irememberSG Fund and premiered with an exhibition and publication in 2015 as part of the Singapore Memory Project’s SG50 celebrations. Her website is http://toramae.com.
    Juria Toramae with one of her thought-provoking works
    featuring Changi, at the Points of Departure exhibition.
    Photo by Invisible Photographer Asia

    Koh Kwan Siong is a key member of NParks team that set up and manages the Sisters Islands Marine Park. As a Biodiversity Manager, National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board, Kwan Siong plays a key role in the conservation and restoration of mangroves in Singapore. He was also the lead for the five-year project, the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey, where academia, corporate entities and public were brought together to appreciate and survey the marine life throughout Singapore. As a passionate mangrove conservationist, he keeps all the remaining mangroves of Singapore in check regularly.
    Koh Kwan Siong (right) at the discovery of the world's rarest
    mangrove tree, found in Singapore. With JC Chua (left).
    Photo by Dr Jean Yong.

    Ria Tan is passionate about Singapore's marine life. She was involved in setting up the guiding system at Chek Jawa and Pulau Semakau and currently volunteers as a nature guide with the Naked Hermit Crabs. Working closely with NParks, she also volunteers with TeamSeagrass and the Mega Marine Survey. She regularly monitors about 40 seashore locations in Singapore, 100 days a year, and has been doing so for the past 10 years. She blogs at Wild Shores of Singapore and runs the Wildsingapore resources. She is co-author of the Chek Jawa Guidebook, Southern Shores of Singapore guidesheet and Wild Singapore coffee table book, and is currently working on new marine nature guidebooks for Singapore.
    Ria Tan does 100 surveys every year on 40 shores in Singapore,
    sadly, nowadays with a walking stick.
    Photo by Juria Toramae

    One-day Classroom Workshop: Choose either 3 Nov (Tue) or 13 Nov (Fri) 6.30 - 10.30pm (More details will be provided to those who register).
    Volunteers at the Classroom Workshop of the 2014 training session.
    • The Classroom Workshop is intended to develop confidence in new guides. And to come up with fun and effective ways to raise awareness about our shores. 
    • The bulk of this classroom session will involve small group discussions and role playing facilitated by experienced volunteer guides, including execises on making a difference at our walk, exercises on guiding techniques, dealing with tricky guiding situations, especially for new guides. Including how to deal with an unknown critter, dealing with ‘difficult people’. And a brief introduction to preparing and safety during the walk.
    • The classroom session will also involve collaborative note-taking so you are encouraged to bring your laptop for real-time online sharing of ideas.
    Please note:
    • Priority to attend the Classroom Workshop will be given to those who had attended the Public Talks. There will NO background talks during the Classroom Workshop as participants would have attended the Public Talks.
    • Those who attend the Classroom Workshop must commit to guide 4 times in the coming 12 months at NParks public walks. 

    Field Trip: 14 Nov (Sat): 5pm-9pm (More details will be provided to those who register)
    Volunteers during the Field Trip of the 2014 training session.
    • Only those who attend the one-day Classroom Workshop are eligible to attend the Field Trip.
    • The Field Trip is intended for you to get to know the Marine Park on the ground, and to practice your guiding with experienced facilitators.
    • Each participant to prepare to talk about 5 things on the Die-die-sure-can-see list (to be provided to those who register).
    • Start practicing stories from departure from mainland.
    • Practice stories along the walk route.
    • Field introduction to effective and safe 'Seeking'.

    Who can join?
    To attend the Classroom Workshop and Field Trip, you must
    • Be 19 years and above. 
    • Be able to easily get in and out of a boat and to walk about 1km. 
    • Commit to guide 4 times in the coming 12 months at NParks public walks at the Sisters Islands Marine Park. Public walk dates may not always be on a weekend. 
    • Fill up the registration form (http://tinyurl.com/SisGuideTrg2015). So that we can better customize the workshop to YOUR needs.

    The workshops and field trip are free-of-charge!
    But please do not sign up and then not turn up. You will be depriving others of limited places.

    The volunteers organising and facilitating the workshop are providing their services for free. NParks is providing facilities, support and the field trip for free.

    This training programme is a collaboration among NParks, National Biodiversity Centre, The Leafmonkey Workshop, Ria Tan (wildsingapore) and the volunteer guides of The Naked Hermit Crabs and existing volunteer guides of the Sisters Islands Marine Park.
    November Tan of the Leafmonkey Workshop
    leading the 2014 training session.

    More questions?
    Please email Ria Tan at hello@wildsingapore.com

    More information about the Sisters Islands Marine Park

    What happened at the training programme


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