Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TMSI @ St. John's Island 10th Anniversary Open House

I had the privilege of helping out in the recent 10th anniversary open house of Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) at St. John's Island, on 30th Sept. I was at the event as a volunteer of the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) group.
Welcome banner at the entrance of TMSI
Through this event, I had the chance to see many interesting experiments and projects housed on this institute, one of which is Mei Lin's project on Giant clams. It was such an excitement to be able to see the baby giant clams.
Some of the giant clams out for visitors' viewing.
Tiny juvenile giant clams. So cute.
As a volunteer with CMBS for the open house, my station was the touch pools located outside the kitchen. I enjoy doing touch pool, showing visitors live animals ever since I did the live animal station at the Festival of Biodiversity in May this year. It so fun to see the before and after reactions of visitors touching the animals as they are inexperienced in holding live animals. At the same time, rough children creates sudden heart stops as they accidentally drop the animals into the pool.
Other volunteers manning the touch pool, with visitors around.
Ria manages to take a photo of me in action at the touch pool.
Photo by Ria
The CMBS volunteers did not manage the touch pool for the whole session. By noon, we were feeling more stressed than the animals in the pool due to the strong heat. It was difficult to stay long at the touch pool even though it was sheltered. Many of us disappeared into cooler areas after lunch.

I went to hide in the CMBS lab to cool off most of the time.
At the CMBS lab, many specimens collected during mudflat and dredging surveys were out on display.
There are also CMBS staff and volunteers helping out in the lab, explaining to visitors about the survey and the usefulness of the specimens collected.
CMBS lab
Some of the specimens on display:
Icon star and sea cucumber
Sea fan
Recently dead hermit crab. Helen says it died fighting in the touch pool.
Frog fish
In today's The Straits Times, the open house was reported and it had a picture of me showing an animal to Dr Tan Swee Hee's daughter. Unfortunately, they have cropped off my head. So the image only has my hands, with my left hand holding onto an animal. The Straits Times also has an online photo gallery here.
Newspaper article, The Straits Times, 2nd October 2012
To find out more about CMBS (a.k.a. Mega Marine Survey) and how you can volunteer, do visit the Mega Marine Survey blog.

More about the TMSI Open House from other blogs:

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