Thirty-nine participants from Angeles University Foundation, Inc., Adamson University, Divine Word College-Legazpi and Laguna State Polytechnic University were able to complete a rigorous short course on methods and analysis for biodiversity field surveys conducted by the UPLB Museum of Natural History last 23-29 April 2016.

The course is an extended introduction to the study of Philippine biodiversity with special focus on standard techniques used in field surveys. It provided in-depth lectures on the principles and related concepts of biodiversity and conservation and offered the hands-on application of field survey methods.

The lectures were given by MNH curators who are also renowned expert in their respective fields, namely: Dr. Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez, Prof. Ivy Amor F. Lambio, Dr. Aimee Lynn B. Dupo, Prof. Phillip A. Alviola, Prof. Noel G. Sabino, Dr. Nelson M. Pampolina, Dr. Emmanuel Ryan De Chavez, and Dr. Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.

In the field, participants conducted several activities which included the collection, identification and preservation of biological speciments. Several sites within the Makiling Forest Reserve and the MNH Hortorium were used as sites for the participants' fieldwork. Even though they became tired from the week-long activities, the participants were able to present interesting results of their diversity analysis during the last day of the course.

According to some participants, the short course is truly one of a kind, and to others, an eye-opener to the rich and remarkable biodiversity of the Philippines. The short course has been offered every year since 2003 and has nearly a thousand graduates already.

"We hope that in the future, the participants of this year's batch will be able to answer the challenge and become part of the effort to study and conserve the Philippines’ rich biodiversity," said Dr. Gonzalez, the Museum's director.

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