Home > Life, Teaching > Love letter to the students…

Love letter to the students…

Really not sure if this letter is appropriate… as in, is it revealed too much? Am I too restrictive? Hmmm… My teaching sux… 😦

Anyway, spent 1+ hour to type this love letter lor, give me some credits… 😛

Hi,

Sorry for not email you earlier on and sorry for the rather messy session last Monday.

Some of you may be confused and do not know how to start the report, so hopefully the guidelines below could have you.

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The full report should consist:

1) Title
2) Abstract – Basically a summary of your report
3) Introduction – Background information of your work, your objectives in this studies and your main hypothesis
4) Materials and Methods – The details of the 3 plots should also be included here
5) Results – Data collected from the 3 plots
6) Discussions – Discuss the results according to your objectives (i.e. Whether or not the 3 plots are suitable for pump house…) and hypothesis. Provide reasons to your findings. Limitations, suggestions and future perspectives.
7) Conclusion – Answer to your objectives and hypothesis

The “proper” research should start with a (or a couple of) question(s) (which then translated into objectives and hypotheses). So whatever results you obtained are basically to answer those questions. Some people however argue that in some cases, it is easier and better to first have results before asking questions, because the questions can then be engineered to fit your results. It is up to you to decide which approach.

This practical was about doing environmental impact assessments in 3 plots. After taking mainly conservation issues into account, choose 1 plot for development. And as I told you in the class, you would hypothesize that there are differences in the different plots because if there is no difference, the pump house can be built in anywhere. I hope this helps you realize the objectives and the questions for this practical.

And so, you collected data from the field according to what you written in Materials and Methods. Even though you went only 1 plot, you could assume that you went all 3 plots to collect the data.

With all the data you collected, you want to answer the questions. Are the plots different? Which plots to conserve and etc. Remember we are looking at the plots with mainly (but not confined to) ecological, environmental and conservation perspectives. Now, what makes a plot worth conserving? Does older patch of forest more worthy to be conserved? More diverse patch of forest? Warmer patch of forest? If a patch of forest contains 5 native species, while another patch of forest contains 4 native species and 3 alien species, which would you choose? You need to design a set of criteria, and bring in all the parameters (abiotic and biotic both in the circular plot and edge vegetation!) that are related to your criteria, i.e. younger forest has shorter trees… You could discuss why certain parameters are chosen, and why not the others.

Compare all these parameters among the plots, and then you can decide which plot to sacrifice. All the comparisons are qualitative, which means you are not required to do any statistical analysis (t test, wilcoxon test etc.) So if plot A has average tree height of 11.2 plus minus 2 and plot B has average tree height of 4.2 plus minus 1, you can say plot A has higher average tree height than plot B. I hope you still remember some basic statistics such as presenting your some of your data (or graphs) in a form of Average plus minus Standard deviation. Since you are not doing any statistical test, don’t use the word “significant”.

A picture is worth a thousand words, don’t forget the diagrams… 😉

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The guidelines are just guidelines, I’m sure you have better ideas and ways of telling the story, don’t let my suggestions restrict your creativity… 🙂

Email me if you have any question.

Regards,
Ben

Oh yeah, english sux, bad grammar and not sure if the guidelines itself failed or not… @@

Hope not, or else I jump into Singapore river also can’t clean myself liao

Oh by the way, the teaching was one most disorganized and messy session I’ve ever had… Thanks to my balik kampung II 😉

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