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

Walking through the Sky

I had an off day yesterday with FRIM so my supervisor, Mr. Sadali, took me to the beautiful Taman Negara national park. It was a relatively short drive of about an hour from the forests we were working in in the state of Pahang, and one of the things that made this park so interesting … Read more

Kabili Trail – Sepilok, Malaysian Borneo

Greetings from Borneo! We finally had all the missing pieces assembled for our class last night. We enjoyed a great barbecue with our KOPEL colleagues we worked the week previous, the KOPEL director, and fellow graduate students. The food consisted of locally caught wood fish, vegetables, eggplant, and watermelon. In the morning, after a well-earned … Read more

Bottom up Forest Ecology

Research in an unfamiliar environment is difficult. Add to that 80%+ humidity (a situation where nothing will ever dry), incompatible and unavailable materials, daily chaos, and unseasonably heavy rains and you’ve got a recipe for failure. In my supreme hubris I pressed forward undeterred by those factors beyond my control. The specifics of my heartbreaking … Read more

Let’s Wander where the WiFi is weak: Sepilok Trail

Selamat tengah hari! Our first stop after the Kabili trail hike was the 45,000-hectare Mangrove Discovery Center at Sepilok Laut, known as the domain of the greatest concentration of accessible Mangrove Forest in Sabah. This center is connected by a trail to Rainforest Discovery Center, a 3.5-hour hike through its inland Dipterocarp Forest of Sepilok. … Read more

World’s Smallest Bear Faces Large Problems

Commonly recognized for their small stature and unique chest markings, Malayan Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus) are found across Southeast Asia, including the forests of Sabah, Borneo. The bears found here are a subspecies known as Bornean Sun Bears and are half the size of their mainland counterparts. On June 12, we were lucky enough to … Read more

Look before you leap! What’s in Tungog Lake?

Tungog Lake and the Kopel staff has had its ongoing battles with Salvinia molesta (see previous posts) since 2001. In a presentation given by Martin Vogel, the Kopel director, regarding the current issues, he stated that there needed to be more physiochemical analysis and identification of fish species within the lake. That sparked interest in … Read more