The Tungog Task

Tungog Lake, a 15 minute boat ride from the dock at Batu Puteh on the Kinabatangan River, presented the 2018 TRE class with a plethora of obstacles. Tungog Lake is one of the 20 oxbow lakes on the Kinabatangan river and like many of the lakes in Borneo suffers from an infestation of an invasive … Read more

Perplexed by Palm Oil

Have you heard of palm oil? You probably have, it’s known in the western world as an evil industry that’s destroying forests, killing wildlife, and any product that contains it should be boycotted. This unfortunately carries a lot of truth about the impacts of the industry, it just doesn’t paint the full picture however. Yes, … Read more

Mangrove Madness

As the barrier between the land and the sea, mangroves play an incredibly important role in protecting land against the physical impact of tsunamis, cyclones, sea level rise, and wave action, just to name a few. This beautiful ecosystem also provides habitat for a myriad of aquatic and terrestrial animals including the Proboscis Monkey, which … Read more

Our Closest Cousins in Borneo

Day 2 – Wildlife Ecotourism Welcome to Sepilok – Salamat Pagi ! (Good Morning! in Malay) It’s day 2 and the TRE Borneo class is off to an amazing start viewing some of the endemic wildlife. Our group visited the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.  The center was found in 1964 in the State of Sabah, … Read more

Experiencing Borneo Wildlife

To put it simply, our time at Kopel has been like real life Discovery Channel. When telling others about my upcoming travels to Borneo, many people were already aware of the incredible array of wildlife present in Southeast Asia. Of course, I understood this to be true as well, but it wasn’t until actually observing … Read more

The Center of the (Borneo) Universe

Day 3 – Sepilok Forest Research Centre The Sepilok Forest Research Centre (FRC) has just about everything one could need to get up close and personal with the surrounding forest. Today’s venture took the USF MSEM Tropical Restoration Ecology class through their molecular biology lab, entomology sector, wood library, herbarium, and seed bank. In the … Read more

Monkeying Around with Ecotourism

Day 2 – Wildlife Ecotourism On Sunday, June 17th, our Tropical Restoration Ecology class from the University of San Francisco’s MSEM program drove out to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Reserve, located near Kampung Samawang in Malaysian Borneo. The Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is endemic here, only found on this island of Borneo.  Mature males have … Read more

TRE Week 1: Monitoring Instruction!

During tropical storms, rain scours the land and runoff carries sediments into the nearest sink – for Batu Puteh and the surrounding villages this is the Kinabatangan river. Overland flows deposit these sediments in depressional areas with lower elevation, sorted by turbidity, such as the floodplains bounding the river. Tropical hardwood forests have historically covered … Read more