Movin S/O Nyanasengeran from the Class of 2010 pursued his passion in biodiversity and eventually found his niche area in conservation. He will be starting on his PhD at NUS in 2020. He shares with us his journey to conservation.
My journey into conservation was far less straight-forward than I would’ve expected.
I was at first passionate about the biology and hard science behind studying biodiversity. But with increasing time spent in the field, it quickly became clear to me that I was also in love with the way that nature made me feel. This awareness, of course, made me want to protect and preserve it. Travelling to some of the most biodiverse areas of the region only affirmed these feelings and allowed me to witness the problems with protecting these spaces – issues related to power, livelihoods and culture. These were a far cry from the black-and-white facts I’d learned in the classroom and read in books. Reality was far more complex than I had conceived and changing this would require a different kind of work.
This realisation was followed by my first forays into activism. In my second year in college a friend and I took over an advocacy group that was focused on providing a voice for marginalised communities. The experience gave me the opportunity to attempt to catalyse change in the real-world and become familiar with the structures and pitfalls in place that prevent many of the changes we were pushing for from taking root.
Following graduation, I worked in number of biodiversity related fields, that married my interests in the environment with human-focused issues – including both consulting and in conservation. Working with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP) introduced me broadly to the field of conservation in the region and the priorities, gaps and opportunities present in this landscape. It made me aware of ways in which my skillset could be uniquely suited to address some gaps – for instance bridging advocacy and ecological theory – and helped me narrow the scope of how I wanted to influence the field moving forward.
This led to application for a PhD position at NUS, where I will be studying the regional wildlife trade, to really work on the interface between the biological and human aspects of conservation. Right now, I couldn’t be happier. I’m chasing after something I’m crazily passionate about and championing a cause I believe in – and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Earlier this year, Mr Joseph Tan Jit Bin from the Physics Department for receiving the Gold Award (Academic Category) under MOE Innergy (HQ) Awards 2019 in his collaboration with a team from MOE (MOE CPDD, Sciences Branch – Physics).
The concept that electrons in atoms have fixed energy levels may be an abstract concept, until we take a look at line spectrums emitted by hot gases. Top in the wish-list of science teachers is to have mobile and accessible equipment that can be used in classrooms to illustrate science concepts. A team from MOE actualized this by turning the phone into a usable scientific equipment within classrooms. This allows students to collect data and investigate phenomena easily.
Mr Tan collaborated with the team to use 3D printing to create a low cost, modified spectrum analyser that could be easily attached to students’ smartphones, hence allowing them to analyse different gases in the environment and study their line spectra on their phones.
Many of our students have also benefitted from other innovative demonstration set ups that Mr Tan and the other lab officers have created to bring about wonderment in our science lessons. Once again, congratulations to Mr Tan!
"The best part of having stayed in the fraternity for more than 25 years is that I now sit on the shoulders of Time. I see what my students have become way beyond their school years. They have found their niche and have become successful in their own spheres of influence and areas of life." Mrs Soong-Tan Seck Cher from the Chemistry Department reflects on what has encouraged her heart in her years of service as an educator.
We heartily congratulate our teachers who have received the National Day Awards: Mr Ng Chee Loong received the Commendation Medal for his commendable performance and conduct, competence and devotion to duty, whilst Mr Clifton Soh, Mr Joel Teoh, Mr Hariz Tan, Mrs Elizabeth Mariko Gomez and Mrs Soong-Tan Seck Cher received the Long Service Award in recognition of their irreproachable character for 25 or more years of service.
We thank these teachers for their dedication and professionalism - they have made a difference!