HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE PARK

8 01 2012

Happy New Year people and hope your enjoying 2012.

I am now half way through my volunteer work at the park and the experiences I’ve had so far have been so many. The past 3 months have been so informative as I’ve learnt a lot and i am looking forward to more experiences in the next 3 months.

When i started working at the park, i was attached to the Monitoring and Research department (MR) and it’s one of the most interesting units of the park. Other departments include Administration and Finance, Law Enforcement, Tourism and Community Conservation. Considering my educational background, the MR department was my best fit.

The MR unit does several activities such as Controlled Burning of the park, Fire Fighting, Animal rescue (where we treat sick and wire snared animals like elephants), Collecting samples from sick and dead animals, Supervise research activities in the park, Mapping burnt areas, Maintain the GIS database, Prepare Monthly and Quarterly reports, among others.

I have also met a lot of new people and now that i am living alone I’ve got a feel on how living like a bachelor feels like. So far, the experiences I’ve had have been the best.

Right now i am hoping to stay longer than the six months i was given so towards the end of my program i will talk to the Park Manager and see how he can help me stay longer.

They say pictures Here are some pictures from my several adventures at the park. I hope you enjoy them .

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Volunteer Work at a Wildlife Park

5 10 2011

In an earlier post, i hinted about my plans to do Volunteer work in order to build on my working experience so i could compete fairly for jobs with other graduates in future.

Well, i have just confirmed that i will be heading to a Wildlife Park on Friday, 7th October 2011 to do Volunteer work in Wildlife Conservation and Tourism. I’ve been quite busy during the past month to secure this placement and i am glad i finally go it. The placement will last 6 months (till April 2012) and i am more than ready to take it up.

My expectations: I hope to gain loads of experience especially in wildlife conservation and this will hopefully give me certain advantages when i decide to go for further studies. 6 months is good experience but i will need more. I also hope to have a good time.

The area where I will be working is very remote (it’s along the equator and a rift valley) but that is a good thing because i was becoming fed up of the city and what i need right now is a place that is calm where i will be able to relax and reminisce about my time at college.

I don’t really know if this will be a relaxing task since wildlife work involves lots of hard work and dedication but what i am certain about is that this is going to be a different experience from those i have had before. I have only been to a wildlife park once (in April during field course) and it wasn’t that bad. However, this particular park where i am going to work is very different and much bigger (764 sq miles). I am also there on a different role so i must expect a different experience.

This park has has many mammal species (95 species) such as Hippopotamuses, Elephants, Leopards, Lions, Chimpanzees, Buffaloes (and so many more). It also has lots of birds (500 spp) and reptiles. So it’s going to be a completely new experience, new opportunities and challenges but i am ready for everything.

Hippopotamuses

The Kob

Since the area where i will be working is very remote, I don’t know if I will have Internet access, but in case do, I will be posting regularly or whenever i can here. I will also be posting daily updates to my Twitter page so make sure you catch me then.





WHAT NEXT?

10 08 2011
Storm

Credit: photos.thefirstpost.co.uk

It’s been long since my last post, but i wasn’t just as idle as the blog. I am currently battling with thoughts of what i am going to do next after graduation in January 2012.

Ideally i would be expected to get a job and start working. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Getting a job is a tough thing, if your not lucky to scoop up opportunities in some private pharmaceutical companies that don’t require working  experience, you must have connections to “big guys” mostly in government that can get you onto some job offers.

Unfortunately i have none of the above so far so i have to do it the hard way. I have to do couple of internship and lots of volunteering (working for free) in order to get at least 1 years experience or more that most employers require. That means for next 1 or 2 years i have to work for free before i can get a chance of being employed. Kinda sucks!!

Lucky for me is that i have a pending MSc fellowship (thanks to my undergraduate Zoology supervisor) but i need to have my undergraduate degree transcripts before i can take it up. The transcripts will be due in November this year so till then i have to wait. I have sent in a couple of applications for internships so i am expecting calls from some of them by the end of the month.

The next  year or so is going to be crucial in what i do in the years to come. For now it looks like i am headed for further studies (MSc) and before that i will be doing internship to build up my work experience.

That’s what next for me. Till my next post, stay safe and do good.

If you like my posts, you can follow me on Twitter for more.





Genomics and Bioinformatics Workshop Materials

9 07 2011

It’s been a couple of weeks since the end of the Bioinformatics workshop. As usual, i learnt a lot in this workshop.

The workshop lasted 9 days. Each day was made up of 3 sessions. The first session was a short lecture about Genomics followed by a tea break then a Tutorial in session 2 where we did hands-on work on how to use several Bioinformatics online tools such as BLAST, ORF Finder, Gene Alignment among others. We also used several genomics software such as MEGA and Crystal in the tutorials. On some days we had discussions of several papers on Genomics research. At the end of each day, we filled out a short survey about our experience in the sessions of that day.

On the last day (Day 9) we filled out a final survey and we were awarded certificates of attendence and flash drives. I have compiled some of the materials we used during the workshop. It includes Tutorial guides, Papers and genome files. You can find them here

Each day is represented by a folder. Enjoy!

Bioinformatics and Genomics Workshop Materials





BIOINFORMATICS AND GENOMICS WORKSHOP

6 06 2011

It’s that time of the year again when Workshops and Internship are the order of the Day.

This time, i am attending a Bioinformatics and Genomics workshop sponsored by Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Lewis Clark College.

The workshop is going to last 9 days and will take place betweeen June 6th to June 9th and June 13th to June 17th 2011.

During the event, we will learn how to use various Genomics software and databases such as BLAST, Galaxy, GenBank, ClustalW, MEGA among others.

Here is the schedule of the workshop.

Week 1 (June 6th to June 9th 2011)

  • 6th June – Bioinformatics and Genomics Introduction and DNA/RNA/Protein Overview: Using NCBI and Navigating Genbank Record
  • 7th June – Sequencing, Sequence Searching, and Pairwise Alignments: Using BLAST
  • 8th June – Protein Alignment and Structure: Using ClustalW and Cn3D
  • 9th June – Sequence Analysis and Phylogenetic Trees: Using MEGA5

Week 2 (June 13th to June 17th 2011)

  • 13th June – WGS and High Throughput Sequencing: Using Genome Browsers
  • 14th June – Gene prediction: Using GENSCAN and ORF Finder
  • 15th June – Non-coding and Repetitive DNA and RNA:  Using mirEval
  • 16th June – Genome-wide studies: Using Galaxy
  • 17th June – Workshop post-assessment and reception

Looking forward learning new things.





EXAM TIMETABLE

9 05 2011

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

It’s Exam period again and these are going to be my last undergraduate exams. For this reason, i have to work so hard so that i get to graduate in January 2012.

Here is the timetable of the exams;

  • Tuesday, 10th May 2011 – Animal Behavior
  • Thursday, 12th May 2011 – Genetics
  • Monday, 16th May 2011 – Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Tuesday, 24th May 2011 – Industrial Biochemistry
  • Thursday, 26th May 2011 – Clinical Biochemistry and Disease Processes

I like this timetable because it’s well spaced out so i will have enough study time.

Can’t wait to graduate.

Check out updates on Twitter





FIELD COURSE

24 04 2011

On Monday 25th April 2011, we will be going to a Wildlife Reserve to carry out a Field Course.

Field Course is a short field study aimed at training us in how to carry field research.

During the course, we will choose a topic area where we want to do the field study under supervision by a professor.

Once the topic is chosen, we will head out to the field / jungle to kick start the research.

Personally, i am looking to doing a study on large mammals although i am not yet to decide on which exact species or area i want to study. But i am thinking Primates might do just fine.

The Course lasts 3 days and we are setting off on Monday, 25th April 2011 and we will return on Thursday 28th April 2011 after making a presentation about the results of the study.

After that, we will write a report about our findings.

Will see how it goes.








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