Michelle joined our April 2009 expedition.
My account of my scholarship with Blue Ventures
I first heard of Blue Ventures from a tutor in University, I was always interested in conservation and thought that this might be an ideal place to do my practical training for 7 weeks during my 2nd year. And after almost 2 months here on Tioman, what I learnt and experienced from Blue Ventures Malaysia was more than I expected.
For the time here in Tioman; we were involved in the socio-eco, education and underwater surveys. By the first week , we were given the fish species list to study, and by the second; we were already involved in a Crown of Thorns Reef Clean-up organized by the Marine Park Department, Environmental school programs for the primary school kids in 2 villages; Tekek and Mukut was also planned . The first one was the “Recycling and Beach clean-up” followed by an introduction on “Ecosystem and Food Chain”. The kids at the school were very responsive and energetic throughout the program. It was really encouraging for me to go into schools to educate the young ones about how important the marine ecosystem is to their livelihood.
Besides that, we also came up with a socio-economic questionnaires, a survey to get baseline data of the perception and knowledge of locals and tourist on different stakeholders in Tioman. It was definitely an experience going around the villages and talking to people. The fish, benthic and invert identification training by Katie was definitely the most exciting and will be very helpful for my final year project.
It’s been a great time here in Tioman. Thank you to the staff and volunteers for making this a fun learning experience! I hope that the conservation efforts taken by NGO’s and the government will make an impact to the local communities and different stakeholders in islands through out Malaysia.