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  wild people: Norman

I first really got to know Norman when I "helped" him during his study of the Malayan flying lemur (I was probably more of an annoyance than a help).

It was amazing to find out that these creatures are actually quite common in our forests.

From Norman, I also learnt a lot about how to observe and study our shy forest residents. "Be quiet" was one of the Big Tips, not very easy for me :-)
I am most impressed by Norman's quiet but indefatigable exploration of the forests. And his modest demeanor despite his vast field knowledge, which he shares generously. Unfortunately, low tides often take me away from the forest. But people like Norman always ensure I will make time to learn and explore our forests as well :-) Thank you Norman.

Here is more about Norman in his own words ...

How did you first get involved in working for nature in Singapore?
I first voluntered for a scientific research project in Dec 2000. It was on the flight dynamics of a local species of flying snakes (Chrysopelea paradisii; see the Flying Snake Homepage for more details) and was my first encounter with a live snake. There was where I met many of my wonderful nature-loving friends, including my mentor and friend Julian W.

What do you get out of working for nature?
I do not get any monetary gains out of working for nature, and do not expect to as well. It is just pure exhilaration being able to be so close to nature and marvel at the wonderful flora and fauna.

What is your approach/personal motto in your work?
My personal motto is do not do things that you will regret on your deathbed.

What are some of your current projects?
I am now going to embark on my Masters research project. The details have not been worked out yet, but will be on a local mammal-- the scaly anteater or Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica). I would also be improving on my data collected from my Honours project, which was on the Malayan flying lemur (Cynocephalus variegatus; a local gliding mammal).

[Ria's comment: Here's an article about Norman's study of the flying lemurs and
Wildlife Singapore has Norman's photos of this amazing creature

Visit Norman's personal website which he set up with the hope that more people (especially Singaporeans) will be aware of the precarious situation of the fragile wildlife in Singapore, and around the world. It has articles and a gallery of wonderful photos about all kinds of flora and fauna, as well as links to more information.
You can email Norman at sci01068@nus.edu.sg

Norman is 25. He is currently a graduate student at the National University of Singapore, Department of Biological Sciences, Ecology and Systematics Laboratory. He currently spends a lot of time exploring Singapore's forests.
Posted by grayowl Posted on 16/08/04 10:35
Ria, wow, not only are we finding out more about gems in our forest, but in our people too! From spiders, now we are going to snakes! (^^) And there is a wealth of information on websites for us to look at for reference! Keep em coming. And great to know about you too, Norman.

Posted by otterman Posted on 18/08/04 10:17
Norman was part of the secondd generation flying snake team and you can see him in the National Geographic flying snake video when they came down to shoot Jake's work. Norman pusrsued his interest with colugo studies at the zoo and I was very glad he was able to do that work for his hons thesis. We have very few vertebrate researchers, so I was very happy he took up Pangolin studies! As a young postgraduate, he's one of the new generation, and the older ones will drag him into plenty of other escapades. Just yesterdday we nominated him and a young team to conduct the guiding sessions at the Raffles Museum gallery in September during the Faculty of Science anniversary celebrations! We are going to see plenty of Norman!

Posted by voyager Posted on 19/08/04 00:27
Norman is DA MAN! Should see his dedication to his hobby of photography as well.... We had the same mentor, but he continued after I dropped off to pursue other interests!

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these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
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