Thursday, 29 March 2012

Nga Manu days- card games and Tuatara

So this week has been all at Nga Manu with a short expedition to the Magaone track to photograph ferns and have a look at a patch of bush in our Kapiti Coast region but not coastal or swamp forest. Some excellent examples of kidney ferns and filmy eye is becoming much more acclimatized.
Hymenophyllum spp from Magaone track (filmy fern)
On Monday the day began with  a talk to the wonderful volunteer guides at Nga Manu. I also went for a walk with Grace Suckling ...a very able bodied and able minded 90 year old who shared her knowledge of ferns at Nga Manu...thankyou Grace.The guides are an amazing group of volunteers who assist making Nga Manu such a fabulous reserve.
Was also interesting to hear the current Chairman of the trust speaking at the meeting and find out about what is happening in terms of the future for Nga Manu...roadways, entrances  etc.
T. reniforme

In the afternoon I went up to the Magaone track just to see the Kidney ferns (Trichomanes reniforme ) and was not disappointed...they are amazing.

Then on Tuesday we began to prepare the Tuatara enclosure for digging. All of the burrows were marked ...around about 40 to 50 burrows in the sand and all of the obstacles were removed and cleared.Also on Tuesday I managed to do some more data basing of the ferns so far collected and we readied the classroom for the influx of visitors on the Wednesday.Wednesday was the launch of the game "Cloak of Protection " developed by Jill Manning and 36 children arrived to play 4 round of the game in the Nga Manu classroom.33 of the children were from my school so I was teacher in charge for the session. They were wonderful and thoroughly enjoyed the games they played.... SO engrossed!

The children also saw the eels being fed and were able to enjoy a walk through the bush later in the morning... altogether a good day.

The real excitement however for this week was Thursday...the day the Tuatara would be dug , collected and made ready for transfer to Young Nicks head and Cape Kidnappers...two mainland sanctuaries taking 20 Tuatara each to the East Coast...once a place where Tuatara thrived.The first to arrive were a contingent from Ngati Koata and the Victoria Uni scientists ...Sue and Kristine.We needed to dig and catch 40 Tuatara and bleed 20 or so. The .2ml of blood would then go off to Otago Uni for investigation of stress hormones in the reptile ...we also weighed and measured every animal and the blood sampled animals also had temperatures taken.The 70 tuatara were hatched and incubated at Victoria University after the eggs were gathered from sanctuary islands. They were taken to Nga Manu when they were about a year old.
The range in temperature was between about 16- 17 degrees and they were quite cold to the touch plus slow breathers! The length measurements are taken from the mouth to the vent and the vent to tip and then a further measurement of the tail regrowth if there had been a break. The range in colours was quite remarkable probably according to where the animal had been in the burrow or up and out.Was a real privilege to be able to see and handle so many Tuatara in one hit...fantastic.
The official hui involved all of the receiving iwi and the of  course the donors of taonga ....Ngati Koata and the handing over was Friday morning early so the reptiles could get on the road in good time...a long journey  to the North.

Sue Kristine and I taking the data


transport capsules


designer Tuatara

on the way

Rhys Mills  with his babies!

I was a part of something very special and really appreciated the opportunity to be involved with digging, nursing the bled animals, data recording and the final packing...wonderful to see conservation in action and with people who are passionate about what they do and are doing.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Taylor & Francis Online :: Botany of northern Horowhenua lowlands, North Island, New Zealand - New Zealand Journal of Botany - Volume 28, Issue 4

Taylor & Francis Online :: Botany of northern Horowhenua lowlands, North Island, New Zealand - New Zealand Journal of Botany - Volume 28, Issue 4

Collecting ,Pressing and Drying

I have now got to around 45 collected ferns from Nga Manu reserve and the hunt is now focussed on the remnant forest area however with the high winds of the past few days I have been unable to really access this area.
 Managed to get lost in the bush on Monday and ended up in Waikanae town...rather a long way from where I had started. Learn from my mistake and so easy to do when you are deep in trees.I had the GPS with me plus a cell phone but was unable to comprehend the machinations of the GPS! The cell phone was my rescue.
Anyway I now have almost come to the end of finding new species at the reserve and will move to the Hemi the week after next. I have stuff on with school - launching CLOAK of PROTECTION card game next week at Nga Manu plus a catch and release of Tuatara next Thursday and Friday. I will also step back into some feeding and weighing of kiwi next week.I also have to present a summary of what am up to to the guides at Nga Manu...these are the incredibly wonderful volunteers who give there time to the reserve to show people around, clean and help run the place...we are blessed indeed to have people who do this work in our communities.
Hymenophyllum spp

Azolla filucoides...the smallest fern you'll is the red colour on top of a pond

the yellow hairs on the rhizome of H. flagellatum

drying cabinet at Te Papa

In the cabinet

netted scales on the rachis

pressing and drying in rare sun at home!
Am getting quicker at ID but still have to use the microscope heaps to verify plant characters and features ...getting used to what i am seeing.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

16 /3 12 HALF WAY

Difficult to comprehend that nearly half of our time has gone and still so much to do !
This week I spent three days at Nga Manu and 1 at Te Papa. It has been really good as I have begun the surveying of Nga Manu ...this means collecting, logging, identifying , pressing and drying ferns. A spread sheet is created indicating genus and species , GPS position, habitat both physical and biological , plant habit ( rhizome erect creeping, scales, hairs , height etc) and collection notes as to whether it is common or not.
Each collected fern is numbered and logged for the spread sheet and eventual data basing information. The ferns are pressed between newspaper and arranged on the paper ready for mounting. I then deliver them to the drying room in Te Papa where Leon checks them and they go for drying. Next step is to mount. The best part was out of 30 odd ferns I had mananged to ID at 100%....a very happy person!I have also cleared up some id issues at Nga Manu where they have been arguing as to what the fern is... and I met Grace ...a guide at Nga Manu who has lots of knowledge.
I will be talking to the guides on the 26 March as a guest volunteer walking guides at Nga Manu.

Ruhmora adiantiformis

So all in all a busy and productive week. I have also applied for a DOC permit to collect specimens from Hemi Matenga Reserve and Leon thinks I will get Nga Manu finished by next week. Most have been ticked off the list plus about  five not thought to be there that are there.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

March 11...Nga Manu collection

Asplenium flaccidum
This is what you see when you look down a ZOOM digital microscope.....indusium , sporangia on the margin of the pinna.This very useful microscope allows for photography and also videos.

So I have just had a 2 day trip to the Hawkebay with my syndicate team....we were specifically looking at Discovery programmes at Lucknow School- Havelock North, Onekawa and Nelson Park in napier. Was great to see other schools , to get together with my team and to realise again how lucky I am to be doing my fellowship! 
I have also spent a couple of hour in the past week with my principal and we discussed his expectations of what i will do with science on my return. It would seem that the second half of the year 2012 will be spent enlisting and discussing with those on the staff interested in giving science a higher profile and then in 2013 we would look at a specific curriculum focus. Part of my role this year would be to continue accruing resources and web material for teachers.He intimated that there is the possibility of putting together a curricula focus team for science....mgt unit attached and meet regularly  with across school team. i also discussed the leadership course with Des and he was pleased that all was going well.
I really do want to step up to this challenge of science leadership and maybe more.
Also met with John Auty on Monday last and we discussed the possibility of a trip to the Coromandal/ the Denniston Plateau  with Leon and a side trip to Goat Island and the Waitakere Forest while in the North. I will need to contact Donna Montrose for the Goat Is. possibility.

So this week 11/3/12 I am at Nga Manu and have been let loose to begin fern collection. Leon has given me a list of spread sheet requirements for the data basing and also the finer points of collection and drying. I will be into Te Papa on Wednesday with the first samples for drying and freezing. From there they go to the herbarium at Te Papa and also  a sample to Nga Manu.

my first assessment is done to the rough copy stage...unedited to date and quite a LOT OF RAMBLING...WIll need further attention!

Asplenium spp.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

One more thing ....curriculum days and the main event ....LEADERSHIP COURSE

This article from Goldsworthy reading outlines the many different types of investigations in science...we can be using these across an integrated curriculum .When doing the hands on experiments at the CORE ED curriculum days we were able to try out different possibilities and engage with the science in critical thinking ways.........................................................................

BUT now to the Executive Education Leadership Course in Dunedin at Otago University.
We spent a full time live in 5 days at the executive residence just down the road from the lecture theatre at the business school.
Each day was punctuated by LARGE meals! Eating seemed to be quite a big component of the course...well fed and watered and housed...thankyou! The staff club at the Uni provided lunch each day....another delicious meal. As well as this we were transported to and from airport via Limo Jags and also a short city tour with the same company. Thoroughly spoiled I"d say!
The course was EXCELLENT. It provided a platform on which we can build relationships in our schools and really work towards a leadership of science in our schools. The group discussions plus lectures and theories of leadership have given me a clear pathway and plan to take back to Kapanui and begin working .
I think the course has also given me some things to seriously consider regarding my personal future with regard to leadership at Kapanui. After the 360 degree assessment and the Briggs Meyer results I probably have gained confidence to step up more and take on some roles which i have maybe stood back from. It has also given me the tools with which to deal with difficulties along the path in terms of personalities and bumps in the road.There was not a lot I learned about myself which was not surprising and of course the brash/ abrasive side has to be kept under control!!....but the affimation as an inspirer/ innovator and energiser is good....I DO need to see reason for doing some things and can logically assimulate reason and accept. I have the tools so I now need to use them to good affect. The MBTI and the 360 LPI were incedibly affirming .....I was quite surprised and heartened to look at the responses of others and also that my self assessment fell into line with the MB assessment. 
Knowing myself is key and actually having to set down what is important to me and the values that I have is also a helpful exercise...we should all do this regularly!

I Now will complete the assignments time ....and proceed with the tasks for this week if a I can pin down the principal to a meeting. My journey begins......