Job: Full-time Research Assistant – NUS-NParks Marine Debris Project (apply by 15 Nov 2016)

The full-time Research Assistant will manage the NUS-NParks Marine Debris project which includes desktop and field research, data mining, analysis and establishment of a database and management of an education programme including workshops.

Apply for the position at JobsBANK.

The job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Literature review to establish, from published works and existing data, a baseline assessment of the current status of marine debris in Singapore
  • Design and conduct experiments and field surveys to document and monitor marine debris
  • Data management, integration, synthesis and analysis
  • Establish a data submission and sharing mechanism
  • Develop an integrated national citizen science programme to monitor marine debris
  • Develop educational resources
  • Prepare and conduct workshop to build capacity and facilitate information-sharing
  • Draft reports, recommendations and publications
  • Organise a conference at the end of the project
  • Report to and work with the principal investigator and project manager

Job Requirements:
Essential

  • An undergraduate degree in Sciences/Biology/Environmental Studies or a biology-related field
  • Familiar with literature review and research
  • Excellent data management and analysis skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and able to work with different groups of people
  • Some experience with volunteer work in nature or environment projects
  • Highly organised and proactive
  • Able to work independently and meet deadlines

Desirable

  • A B.Sc. (Hons) degree with experience in biology or ecology research
  • Have good knowledge and experience on marine debris and micro-plastics
  • Proficient in field surveys and monitoring of marine debris
  • Familiar with citizen science programmes
  • Excellent in interacting with local agencies and groups
  • Experience in organising workshops and conferences

Weekend of 05-06 Nov 2016: Clean & Green Singapore Carnival @ opposite Khatib MRT Station

The Clean and Green Singapore (CGS) Carnival co-organised by NEA, North West CDC and other government agencies will be held over Saturday & Sunday, 5th & 6th November 2016 at the open field opposite Khatib MRT Station. For more details, visit the CGS webpage.

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Sat 05 Nov 2016 PM – Public Forum on Plastic Disposables (Zero Waste SG & Young NTUC)

Public Forum on Plastic Disposables (Zero Waste SG & Young NTUC)

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Date and Time: 5 Nov 2016, 2pm to 5pm
Venue: NTUC Centre, Level 9, Room 903, 1 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018989
Programme
1.30pm – Registration
2.00pm – Welcome by Zero Waste SG and Young NTUC
2.15pm – Overview of plastic disposables in Singapore by Zero Waste SG
2.30pm – Green Canteens at NUS by NUS SAVE
2.45pm – Project bECOme to encourage lunchbox usage by Young NTUC
3.00pm – Biodegradable foodware by TRIA
3.15pm – Q&A
3.30pm – Break
4.00pm – Discussion on new BYO campaign
5.00pm – End of Forum

For details and registration, see Zero Waste SG.

What Happens After The Bin? (Plastic Recycling)

An infographic from the Good Guide to Recycling of the process of recycling and the characteristic of these plastics: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), Polycarbonate (PC).

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Sat 15 Oct 2016: Join NUS Toddycats and friends @ Sungei Mandai Kecil mangrove cleanup

Dear Friends,

Sungei Mandai Kecil mangrove is an important, and at present, an unprotected mangrove forest in Singapore. It is part of the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat, a 15.4 hectare patch of mangrove swamp located along the northwestern coast of Singapore. Read more about it’s significance on the 2013 workshop storify here.

On Sat 15 October 2016, pending permission from SLA/PCG, NUS Toddycats and friends are conducting a coastal cleanup in the back mangrove there.

This site is difficult to work in because of the soft terrain. The main bulk of trash is trapped amidst the vegetation of the back mangrove which is dense and has many thorny plants and is hard to get to in the undergrowth. It will require a lot of patience to remove. Previous cleanups at Sungei Mandai Kecil were small and only conducted in 1997 and 2014. Large amounts of trash has accumulated since. We will work sensitively in small teams to protect the vegetation, seedlings and roots in order to prevent excess impact.

We are calling out to experienced and dedicated coastal cleanups volunteers to join us on this mission!
Saturday 15 October 2016: 8.00am – 11.00am
Meeting Point: The gate at the former Sungei Mandai Kecil road, off Woodlands Road

Getting there
Map: http://tinyurl.com/ICCS2016SMKmap
By bus: from Kranji MRT station, take buses 160, 170, 178 and alight opposite Chartered Semi-C Building (Bus stop ID: 460510).
Driving: There is no parking space so drivers please park at Woodlands Town Centre and walk 15 minutes to the meeting point.

Packing list

  • 1.5 litres of drinking water (minimum)
  • Wear hard-soled, high-cut booties.
  • Light pants and a light long sleeves top (arm coolers) will protect you from insect bites and scratches from vegetation.
  • Inset repellent
  • A cap and sunblock
  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Towel, to wipe clean
  • Additional water, to clean up with
  • A change of clothes – you will get muddy
  • Waterproof your belongings
  • Pack minimally

To join us, please register at: http://tinyurl.com/iccs-smk2016

Thank you for your interest in protecting the environment!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi

Dengue/Zika advisory for ICCS Organisers, 02 Sep 2016

Dear Organisers,

here is an advisory about dengue and zika:

The urban mosquito Aedes aegypti is responsible for dengue and zika in Singapore. There have been more than 11,000 cases of dengue with seven deaths so far this year and we expect to see the number of cases increase. The detection of the zika virus, though less widespread, is harder to detect from symptoms and is currently appears to be on the increase.

Singaporeans can continue with their daily activity but must take precautions:

  • Be informed about dengue (NEA Guidelines) and Zika (MOH page) share the information
  • Do the 10-minute 5-step Mozzie Wipeout at home and at the workplace (NEA webpage)
  • Avoid dengue clusters where possible (check the NEA map and list) as well as zika affected areas and areas of concern (check recent news releases)
  • Prevent mosquito bites through:
    • i) protective dressing which covers exposed skin,
    • ii) the correct application of insect repellents with DEET (NEA webpage)
    • and iii) the use of mosquito nets while sleeping.

Organisers participating in the International Coastal Cleanup in Singapore have cleanup dates over three weekends in September. Our cleanup sites do not overlap dengue hotspots, are not in affected areas of the Zika outbreak so far, and do not take place at the typical feeding time of A. aegypti, i.e. at dusk and dawn. Still, we are monitoring the situation closely and will alert you if there is cause for concern.

Our advise to Organisers is the following:

  1. Prevent – advise your participants to take preventive action through protective dressing and appropriate application of insect repellent once you leave the house. Check the DEET concentration and reapply the repellent as needed, especially if you perspire profusely.
  2. Support – Have an additional supply of insect repellent available for volunteers in case they do not have their own supply.
  3. Aware – Monitor news release of dengue hotspots and new cases of Zika though the NEA newsroom and local news agencies (e.g. Straits Times Zika microsite).
  4. Decide – If your cleanup site is in an affected area, call off your cleanup immediately; do not hesitate, and inform your zone captain.

Monitoring
Zone Captains will alert you if any critical information is released. Thus far, we have cancelled one cleanup site at Kranji East (03 Sep 2016) which was near an area of concern for Zika, and we are monitoring the status at another site at Kranji Bund (17 Sep 2016).

Priority: Safety!
Safety is a priority for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and participation in the coastal cleanup is entirely voluntary. We encourage all participants and Organisers to withdraw at any point that they feel uncomfortable with proceeding with a cleanup. It is better to err on the side of caution.

Have safe cleanup everyone!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi

N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
c/o Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
& Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

Haze Advisory for ICCS 2016 Organisers, 31 Aug 2016

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore email to the 85 Organisers of the 25th ICCS 2016: the Haze Advisory for Organisers (31 Aug 2016), advice to monitor Zika outbreak sites through NEA News Releases and a reminder of the SOP – to reiterate to volunteers the Advice for Participants just before the cleanup.

Dear Organisers,

This is an advisory about the haze situation in Singapore in relation to your coastal cleanup event. This is for Organisers without formal organisational guidelines and who require advice about how to respond to the haze.

Note: Use NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings at haze.gov.sg (and not the 24-hour PSI)

  • No completely accurate forecast values are available but a daily forecast is provided at http://www.haze.gov.sg
  • NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings are the best indication of ground conditions for short-term activity such as a coastal cleanup of between 60 – 90 mins
  • NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings are available at on the myENV app and at their webpage here

Here are our suggested guidelines using the 1-hour PM2.5 values for coastal cleanups: 

  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are more than 55.5µg/m3 (Band II Elevated), sensitive people should properly wear their N95 mask
  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are between 100 µg/m3 – 150 µg/m3 (upper region of Band II Elevated), everyone should properly wear an N95 mask 
  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are more than 150µg/m3 (Band III Very High), call off the cleanup and inform your Zone Captain

Safety is the priority; Organisers decide about cancelling their cleanups as needed

  • Safety is the priority of any coastal cleanup exercise. 
  • The Organiser will call off their coastal cleanup at any point they feel they need to, even if pollution readings are not high
  • When in doubt, err on the side of safety to protect participants from both immediate and long-term effects. 
  • Please inform your Zone Captain about your cancellation so we may advise NEA about cancelling trash pickup.

Precautions for individuals with potential respiratory problems

  • Some individuals may have potential respiratory problems – Organisers must ask participants to declare their condition before their cleanup.
  • Assign such individuals data recording duty to avoid over exertion as a precaution against sudden changes in haze conditions.
  • Such individuals should, as always, bring their prescribed inhalers/personal medication with them.
  • Remind all participants to alert their Organiser about any feeling of discomfort they may be experiencing at any time.

Responsibilities of cleanup participants

Bring your mask and water

  • 1. All cleanup participants must bring their own N95 mask and to be familiar with its use; refer to the proper use of an N95 mask:
    • Six steps to wearing the N95 mask (MOH): link
    • Use of masks and availability of masks (MOH): link
  • 2. Wear your mask at anytime you feel it is necessary to do so, even if 1-hour PSI levels are not high.
  • 3. All participants must bring their own supply of water to hydrate well and frequently throughout the cleanup.

Alert your Organiser and take precautions

  • 4. Participants must advise their Organisers if they are feeling unwell or experiencing discomfort at any time; e.g. experiencing irritation of the skin or eyes, or of their nasal passages or throat. 
  • 5. Anyone who feels any discomfort should wash their face, wear their N95 mask and leave the site for a filtered air environment immediately.

Do not exert yourself

  • 6. Do not exert yourself when picking up and categorising trash to avoid strenuous work. 
  • 7. Large trash items such as barrels and tyres can be recorded without removal and may be left on the shore for removal another time.

— end —

N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
c/o Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
& Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore