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  wild people: Siew Chin

Siew Chin is among our promising young scientists who has contributed much as a nature volunteer. Her enthusiasm and joy in her work is infectious and will no doubt inspire others to also enjoy the pleasures of nature and working with nature.

I have been told that she's one of the slowest trekkers, not because she is unfit (she is very very fit), but because she would stop and admire every single thing on the path, from pitcher plants, to orchids to millipedes and forest birds. It is very inspiring to see someone so unafraid to get dirty and uncomfortable to get close with nature.

Siew Chin is an active volunteer guide not only in the forest, but also on our shores. She is a Blue Water Volunteer and she was also one of the group leaders for the Chek Jawa Transect 2004. She also participated in a marine conservation project to Sabah to survey coral reefs in 2002

Here is more about Siew Chin in her own words ...

My love for nature was ignited during my mountain trekkings days in JC. It was simply an appreciation for something so beautiful and unspoilt. During the after "A" levels holidays, I came to know about a new volunteer guide programme at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve under the Green Volunteer Network at Singapore Environment Council, which trains ordinary people to be nature guides. I decided to give it a try. At that time, I have absolutely no knowledge of the natural flora and fauna in Singapore, so guiding can be intimidating at times. However, I soon get to know of this group of dedicated people devoting themselves to nature, and as I tagged along with them as a trainnee guide, I slowly picked things up.

Their passions are contagious and guiding, I realize gradually, is about sharing your love of nature with others. I hope that through such guidings, more Singaporeans will see that nature exists in urban Singapore and that they will come to appreciate it.

Working for nature has opened a new world up to me. As I was never even a kampong kid before, at the beginning all these experiences were very new to me. I also become more aware of the little things around me. For example, recognising migratory birds along the park connecters and looking out for the flowering of delicate pigeon orchids which are found on many of our wayside trees. I would like to open the eyes of more people to such everyday occurences and to derive joy from them!

Very importantly too, I have befriended many nature enthusiasts who make me believe that nothing is impossible if you put your heart to it! Nature conservation is very much alive in Singapore :)

Siew Chin is 23 and is currently working under Center for Tropical Forest Science, surveying the trees at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to get some baseline data about our forests. Her Honours project was on mangrove reforestation. She volunteers as one of the Rainforest Folks at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Blue Water Volunteers, as well as other conservation efforts.
More on how YOU can make a difference too...

these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
website©ria tan 2004