Cardiff University Tropical Biodiversity Assessment Field Course (19 July - 3 August 2008)
The Centre received its first batch of university students from Cardiff University in July 2008. The site, which was previously used as an education centre by the Sabah Wildlife Department, underwent a dramatic makeover in order to provide excellent facilities for research.
With its varied habitats and wide variety of animals the Centre is ideal for field teaching and the 19 students learned important field techniques such as bird-ringing and small mammal trapping and carried out research projects on small mammals, primates, crocodiles, butterflies, moths, frogs, insects, vegetation and bird life as part of their undergraduate biology, ecology or zoology courses.
Staff from the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project (KOCP) were on hand to aid the students with their field work.
When asked what they thought about Danau Girang and the facilities the recurring answer was 'incredible' and 'amazing'.
“This place is amazing,” said Chloe Parker, a second year Zoology student. Parker carried out her project on primates and was delighted to find such excellent facilities at the Field Centre.
“We expected the most basic of facilities, after all we are coming to a tropical jungle but the hostel and other facilities here are excellent,” shared Parker.
The next Cardiff University Field Course will run from 4 to 19 July 2009, and will welcome 22 students (an increase of 3 students).
If you would like information and advice on running a field course at Danau Girang Field Centre please contact Dr Benoit Goossens
Cardiff University Tropical Biodiversity Assessment Field Course (4 -19 July 2009)
The Centre received its second batch of university students from Cardiff in July 2009. This year, 21 students made the trip to Sabah, and two Malaysian undergraduate students (from Cardiff University and Bangor University) joined the group for the first week of training. Projects on crocodile survey, amphibian biodiversity, millipede density, primate abundance, long-tailed macaque social behaviour, nocturnal primate feeding ecology, and birds diversity were carried out during the second week of the field course. The students also witnessed the signing of the new 5-year Memorandum of Understanding between Cardiff University and the Sabah State Government, on 17 July 2009. The students benefited from the experience of two previous students, Rachel Henson and Chloë Parker, who had just spent one year at DGFC on a professional training year program; and from Dr Andrew Smart from Cornwall College, Newquay, UK, who joined the field course to look at the suitability of the site for his own students to carry out research and follow similar field courses. When asked what they thought about Danau Girang and their experience at the centre, some of the students' responses were:
“A great location to study science with the array of wildlife. An extremely comfortable centre, with good staff made the stay very enjoyable. I have learnt a lot being here and will definitely come back if I get the chance”. “
I would highly recommend the field course at DGFC, so far it is the highlight of my university experience”.
“I would definitely recommend the field course to anyone in the field of biology. It’s been so much more that I could have ever had guessed. I’ve had such a brilliant time”.
The day before they left the centre, the students went on a trip to Gomantong Caves. And on the last day, on their way to Batu Putih bridge, they met a group of elephants crossing the river. It could not have ended better!