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NUS Life Science Module Review: LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment

This module is a requirement for most of the 3k ecology modules, and it was for this practical reason that I picked it out of the elective basket. The lectures, however, are incredibly boring and nothing much occurs other than the occasional rambling. Dr. Siva does talk about relevant anecdotes in relation to ecological concepts applying to Singapore’s landscapes and management of local ecology but they tend to go into rather inane ramblings. I stopped attending lectures after the first three weeks. His lecture slides were questionably vague as well, with the very rough general concepts that he would require you to learn but nothing especially specific or systematic. He seems to be more interested in the sharing of data and tools that are available (such as the use of google drives and information-presentation schemata) The last two lectures were taken by Dr. Posa and while I didn’t attend her lectures either, her lecture slides were considerably more organised and there was an actual sense of a syllabus instead of just a pool of information. The recommended texts are good to reference if you have absolutely no idea what is going on (Smith & Smith, and Molles.)

Practicals involved various sessions including one compulsory trip to Pulau Ubin for birdwatching and playing an ecology board game, but are actually meant to discuss your group’s symposium project. You need to be flexible yet somewhat scientifically rigorous when proposing the topic as, despite it being a very minor project, the TAs and Lecturers somehow demand a project which involves zero disturbance of wildlife that you can fit into your schedule, of which you must apparently observe for a minimum number of hours as apparently spelled out in the brief. However, our symposium project was eventually cancelled due to the haze, so it was converted to fortnightly sessions of discussing the haze and putting them on mindmaps to learn more about the issue and presentation methods in general.

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