For his consistent exemplary performance in carrying out his duties and functions as a well-rounded, multi-talented, multi-skilled university worker and public servant at the Museum of Natural History, Ariel R. Larona, Museum Technician I at the UPLB Museum of Natural History was been awarded the 2014 UPLB Outstanding Administrative Personnel Award (technician category) last March 5, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Ariel R. Larona’s work as a Museum Technician at the UPLB MNH Forestry Herbarium, extends from caring, maintaining and safeguarding the priceless 13,000 plus tree specimens, updating the database of forest tree collections, joining the field expeditions, assisting in the implementation of research projects, and maintenance of the museum garden and the surroundings of the MNH Main building. His outstanding works are reflected in his Outstanding Performance Rating for the last 7 years now.

Besides the enormous and substantial task as Museum Technician, he still manages to perform other jobs. He willingly assists faculty and curators in their classes and research, offer identification services (provides additional income to the Museum), conceptualizing and construction of exhibits/dioramas, and providing artists inputs therein toward the continuous improvement of the Integrated Biodiversity Exhibits (the main million-peso income generator of the UPLB-MNH), offer valuable inputs to scientific publications, participates as project staff in various research projects, provide materials to other researchers, and act as demonstrator (sometimes lecturer) during Summer Short Courses of the Museum.

Because of his dedication, keenness, innovativeness, artistic talents and concerns to one’s health, he was able to provide tangible actual income savings to the Museum and a safer working place. Among these innovations are: eliminating the use of naphthalene balls, construction of a divider to separate the working place, and using cheaper yet equally-viable materials for specimen maintenance. He has also compiled in CD and PC files, a guide and reference incorporating the pictures of trees he has taken with the identified tree species he has catalogued in the Forestry Herbarium, which has proven to be valuable to curators and students.

Ariel was able to co-author 5 scientific papers. His enthusiasm in participating and contributing valuable inputs to different researches made it possible. These publications plus the innovations he has made and the artistry he has contributed to the MNH Exhibit are his greatest contributions that bring honor and prestige not only to the Museum but to the University as well.

Ariel joins the roster of Museum staff who have also won the prestigious Outstanding Personnel award in recent years. Just last year, Museum Director Ireneo L. Lit, Jr. won the 2013 Outstanding Senior Researcher Award while MNH Curator Aimee Lynn B. Dupo received the 2013 Outstanding Junior Researcher Award.

The other awarded museum staff include Orlando Eusebio (2008), Mary Ann Cajano (2008), Edison Cosico (2013) and Rafael Tandang (2012). In addition, the Museum as an organization also won the 2011 Outstanding Extension Team award. Article is primarily based on Ariel Larona's nomination papers prepared by the UPLB MNH Academic Personnel Committee.

*Article is mainly based from the nomination document of the UPLB MNH Administrative Personnel Committee.


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