Archive for the ‘Field work’ Category

Do scientists need to blog?


I was out in Samarinda last week. A city in East Kalimantan, in the land of most remained forests in Indonesia but also has the issue of land conversion to oil palm plantation and mining. It turned out that last week popular issue was an article on K-index. Thanks to Felicia, one of the young field biologist in Indonesia, who post about this in her blog “Indonesian Scientists on Social Media” #WomenTweetScienceToo. I do not blog often. I used to when I was finishing my PhD.

So, why I blog? I have several reasons of course. Continue reading


Cooking on the edge: conservation starts from good meal!

You got no choice on your packed lunchbox and your daily meals when you are staying in the forest and do some conservation fieldwork. Practicality is the key. People need to go to the forest as early as the sunrise to do the survey and go back to the camp feeling exhausted in the afternoon after walking in rugged terrain of tropical rainforest. With the limited cooking skill of field staff, we can only rely on simple omelet, fried noodle, fried rice, or some crackers. On the other side, the siamang group (Hylobates syndactylus) that we follow all day may stop at a fruiting ebony tree (Diospyros sp.), having a hearty meal of the day before moving on to another trees. What a day! Continue reading

Being a tree detective

Measuring tree diameter is probably the easiest field work. You just need to bring the DBH meter and follow the standard operation procedure for measuring tree diameter and somebody else need to record the measurement. But it’s not as simple as that.

Bird's eye view of Sumatran tropical rainforest
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Celebrating Independence Day in the field

August 17 is the sacred day for Indonesians. Back in 1945, it was the day that we finally free from colonialism. We did still have some problems afterwards, but the Independence Day marked the bravery of our national heroes and all Indonesian people to speak up and to fight for the freedom. Today, in all the cities, towns, and villages, people celebrating the Independence Day. Flags are everywhere and games are played.

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Permits, another research hassle

Tropical rainforest of the Southeast Asia have always been fascinated to naturalists and scientists, even Alfred Russel Wallace came back here again and again. For the scientific concerns, the old world of Asian tropical forest offers so many things to see and study. In the 21st century, the chance of finding new species is still exist. Some friends of mine just published newly discovered white-eye from Togian islands close to Sulawesi, a small greenish bird with a white eye-ring. Endangered and endemic wildlife are also attractive to study.

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A school in the forest

A friend of mine in Friendster put ‘Way Canguk research station’ in her school list. I guess she’s right. My ‘school’ time in here was started back in the end of 1997, about 6 months after it was built. This is a research station built by the Wildlife Conservation Society—Indonesia Program in one of the remained lowland rainforest in Sumatra, a small part of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Lampung.

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Sulawesi, the land of Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace has landed here, a peculiar-shape island in Indonesia as part of his 8-year adventure in the Malay Archipelago. To Wallace curiosity, this island also shows peculiar wildlife and has fascinated him so much that the idea of zoogeography region was published in the international naturalist community. He visited the island three times since 1856. The ‘Wallace line’ was named after him and was imaginary laid next to this island.

Green-backed kingfisher Continue reading