Introductory notes

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                     BIODIVERSITY OF BORNEO 2010
                         COURSE INTRODUCTION

PEOPLE

  Faculty

    Cam Webb (Arn Arb), Rod Eastwood (OEB), Frank Rheindt (OEB), Chuck
    Davis (OEB), [Henry Llames (BNT)], Dave Lohman (CUNY), Kinari Webb
    (HIH), Scott Edwards (OEB), Shawn Lum (NIE), Beverly Goh (NIE),
    Anne Pringle (OEB), David Johnson (Wellesley), Lauren Ruane (CNU),
    Stuart Davies (CTFS).  Numerous guest lecturers.  Use them!

  Students

    Alexander Kim (us), Amarasinghe Achchige Thasun Amarasinghe (sl),
    Anasuya Chakrabarty (in), Cameron Kirk-Giannini (us), Chen Dexiang
    (sg), Christopher Anderson (us), Dyna Rochmyaningsih (id),
    Juwinikh Jupain (my), Kazemde George (us), Kimberly O'Donnell
    (us), Marian Morris (us), Pagi Toko (pg), Rachel Hawkins (us),
    Romadoni Anggoro (id), Sachiko Oshima (us), Samira Rudig-Sotomayor
    (de), Sarah Peprah (us), Sopark Jantarit (th), Thien Tam Luong
    (vn), Zachary Herring (us).

THE COURSE

  Syllabus

    Broad introduction to forest types and reefs of Borneo.  Plant and
    animal groups (insects, birds).  Marine taxa and ecology.  Forest
    management and conservation.  Human-forest interactions.
    Statistical analysis and research execution.  Digital information
    tools.

  Teaching media

    Lectures.  Labs.  Trips.  Three independent projects.  Field
    observation.  Independent reading. Student-student learning.

  Outline

    Lambir, Rest, Gaya island, Gunung Kinabalu, Rest, Maliau, Rest,
    Finish up, Course Presentations. See map.

  Key themes

    1. Species origins and biogeography
    2. Phylogeny and phenotype evolution
    3. Habitats and variation in species composition
    4. Species interactions and coexistence
    5. Land use and biological conservation
    6. Biodiversity informatics

  Textbook

    Tim Whitmore's 1984 `Tropical Rain Forest of the Far East.'  We
    have obtained permission to scan and photocopy the book from OUP,
    and will be providing you with soft copies.  Readings are assigned
    for various dates.  These readings are strongly advised, but will
    not be tested.  Try to keep up.


ATTITUDE TO TRAVEL, SCHEDULE

    This is not Cambridge, MA.  Relax and enjoy.  Some mishaps will
    happen.  Schedules will change.  Lectures will vary in style.  Be
    patient and tolerant.  But... be on time.


WORK LOAD

    A lot to learn, and we want to maximize the opportunities we get.
    Expect to work hard.  There are heavy patches and light patches,
    and a few rest days.  At the same time, if you are exhausted, you
    will stop learning and the vibe will sag; let us know if it is
    getting too much.


CROSS-CULTURAL ISSUES

    One of the highlights of the course is close contact with people
    of other cultures.  Invaluable experience, but also challenging.
    Varying English skills.  Miscommunications will happen.  Be
    tolerant.  More than that, actively engage across national lines.
    We may have to engineer this if people are segregating in project
    groups, but would rather not.

  Non-native English speakers

    Please be honest if English is a barrier, if people are speaking
    too fast.

  Learning Malay

    Optional goal, but we can help.


DIET

    Vegetarians?  All food will be halal.  Be sensitive.


DISCIPLINE

    Not expected to be an issue, but the faculty represent Harvard,
    and standard codes of conduct apply.  Academic honesty.  You can
    be dropped from the course!

    No alcohol at course events or in course buildings.  Culturally
    and academically inappropriate.  In town, up to you.


CELL PHONES

    No phone during lectures, labs, discussions.  Switch off.


BEING GREEN

    Please try to reduce waste and pollution on this trip.  We will be
    trying to run a mainly paper-free course.  Should you feel
    inclined, we would be grateful if you paid to mitigate your carbon
    footprint for air-travel.


FOCAL TAXON

    Goal: to get you to look carefully at a group of related species,
    as an amateur taxonomist and field naturalist.  Within a few days,
    pick a taxon.  We encourage you to pick one you don't know very
    much about.  It DOES NOT matter if we don't have resource books in
    library.  At each forest---Lambir, (Niah), Gaya, Gunung Kinabalu,
    Maliau Basin---make observations on your taxon (taxonomic,
    ecological, behavioral).  Keep a detailed field notebook with
    _drawings_ (may be briefly reviewed by staff).  Make a digital
    report: species (or morphotype) list, brief descriptions, Mesquite
    data matrix, ecological notes, site to site distribution,
    morphological phylogeny, other notes.  I.e., a mini monograph.
    See last years' report for examples.


BLOG & LECTURE ABSTRACTS

    A `science blog.'  Observations of scientific/cultural interest,
    and a short precis of any lectures that day.  Add comment or
    critique (constructively). Every day will be allocated to one person.


PROJECTS

    Independent work in groups of 2-3.  Plan, present, revise plan,
    execute, analyze in R, write up on Wiki, present (OpenOffice).  

    Draft write-up due before making presentation (or on last day at
    Maliau).  Peer review done within 1 day. Revised write-up due
    2 days after finishing the project.


BIODIVERSITY OBSERVATIONS

    We are 20+ people spending 6 weeks in the under-explored rain
    forests of Borneo.  We can use this opportunity to make a
    significant contribution to biodiversity distribution data by
    making well-documented observations, even if we cannot identify
    what we observe.  Please contribute!  We will be using the
    Semantic MediaWiki extension to our wiki to record our data.


DIGITAL RECORD

    The end product of this course will be a wiki site, with the blog,
    your homepages, images, focal taxa and project reports.  This
    multimedia record will be uploaded to the web.  You will each be
    responsible for your own page and data.  We will finish this
    digital object before leaving KK.  We need volunteers to be
    editors.


GEAR, BOOKS

    We have a lot of gear.  Check with Frank.  Please sign out every
    piece of gear.  Please return all gear to Frank in between
    segments so it can be inventoried.  Books must NOT be removed from
    the resource area.


GRADES

    You will receive a single grade for the course, with breakdown:
    40% for projects, 30% for taxon observations, blog and digital
    record, and 30% for general participation.


FIELD SAFETY

    Large group, accidents may happen.  When in field, travel in
    groups of two or more.  If for some reason you must go alone,
    leave a detailed route plan on sign-out board, and DO NOT stray
    from plan.  Always take plenty of water.

    In the water, never snorkel alone.

    We all have evacuation insurance to nearest quality hospital, via
    SOS.


ACUTE HEALTH RISKS

    Who has first aid experience?

  Treefalls

    Look up frequently and especially before resting.  Get out of
    forest in very big wind.

  Allergic reaction from insect stings or rengas

    Symptoms of shock, low BP and difficulty breathing.  Treat
    immediately with epinephrine pen.  Know if you are allergic.

  Snakebite

    Kraits, cobras (neurotoxin) vs. vipers (hemotoxin). Try to
    remember what the snake looks like.  Wrap limb snugly in cloth.
    Lower limb below body.  Walk slowly back to camp.  Immediate
    evacuation to hospital for anti-venin.  Do NOT tourniquet, cut
    wound, suck venom or any other folk remedy.

  Roads

    Most dangerous!  Be aware walking along roads!  Use seatbelts if
    available.


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES

    Use sunblock. Drink lots of water: 3+ litres, until your urine is
    clear!  Wash your hands before eating.  However, you will probably
    get diarrhea once.  Drink lots. Don't be miserable on a long bus
    ride: if you need to stop, let us know.  How to `sh*t in the
    woods!'

    Malaria, etc, ask faculty.


PHONE NUMBERS

    - Cam:       019-869-2027
    - Frank:     013-691-9052
    - Rod:       010-591-3123
    - SOS:       +65-6338-7800 (Singapore) +1-215-942-8226 (US)