Tag Archives: Afec-X

Scientific Life in Afec-X

Afec-X 2009- Chapter Yen Dinh

So, the person of this week is our super cute Yen.

Yen with flowers, Yen in field

Yen with flowers, Yen in field

Yen Dinh is a girl from Viet nam. She is a small but beautiful girl, with big and bright eyes. Our very first contact occured at the first lecture we had in Kunming. She sat there lonely, typing in her Lenovo laptop. It should not happen, a such beautiful girl sitting alone. So, Hua Xia couraged me to talk with her. But the funniest and embarassing thing is that I said “what’s your name” in Chinese cause I  thought Yen was a Chinese girl. As you can imagine, her response is “Sorry, I don’t understand Chinese”…. However, as she had no roommate and waitress in that hotel could not speak English,  Hua Xia and I  were the first people who have conversation with her in China. She even asked me to give a Chinese name to her. Since her given name Yen is the same meaning with swallow, and the similar sound Dinh with Chinese character 丁,so I advised “丁雁” as her Chinese name. I feel lucky about this honor.

Yen is a very clever girl. Although her English is not very good, Yen is capable of making people understand her easily; and vice verse. Her body language is plentiful, not only helps her explain her ideas, but also make people laugh happily. And brave too, she once steped up to the front of lecture room to explain her question. Moreover, I guess Yen has ability of reading heart. We once talked about love, marriage, the relationships we fall into-always the same topic between girls, it’s hard for me to explain my feelings even in Chines, but she could get through what I was thinking about.

Yen is also an interesting person, who is full of jokes. When we went out for spider hunting, everyone was exhausted, Yen told several jokes at the break which gave us energy back. Which was even more funny than the jokes themselves is the request Yen asked for before she told stories :” Teacher (that is Jeremy), you must promise that you will forget the story I will talk about. I hope you will still think me as  a good student.” After Jeremy gave his promise, Yen told her funny stories. I guess until now, Jeremy still remember these jokes clearly. And Yen always makes fun of Jer Pin. One joke she said about Jer Pin is that Jer Pin is too skinny to be a skeleton teaching facility, which is so vivid and fancy that I will laugh even now when i think about it.

you could only see half of Yen's face, but she is still the lightspot.

you could only see half of Yen's face, but she is still the lightspot.

Yen and Navendu, happy time in break

Last but not least, Yen is very considerable. When my first independent project faced up a bottleneck, she advised us to ask Jeremy for help; when other people discussed how to do lab work, she was cutting labels behind. Because she is older than me, she asked me to call her “Chi”, elder sister in Vietnamese, and she calls me as “Em”. And although i am much heavier than her, she still insisted to take me by bike. And we bought the same blue dress with a peacock on it.The last day in Kunming, she gave me one bracelet with my name on as a gift. I like it very much.

Yen, if the PCA you mentioned is same with what I know, then I guess you could read this below as a refernce. I’m trying to explain it with a  simple and clearly example. As we all know, there are many factors impacting on the the development of soil: temperature, rainoff, elevation, rocks, runoff, wind, organic matters, human activities. Then there is a relation between these factors and soil type. But there are too many factors here, our purpose is to use as few indicators as possible to explain the soil type. So, what we can do is to find two to three comprehensive indictors, which contains larger than 90% information of these eight factors, to explain the relaion.  So, the result we get might look like factor 1 which contains 30% information from temperature, 20% from runoff, 50%from rocks; and factor 2 covers 10% from temperature …..In a word, what PCA could do is dimensionality reduction. Hope I’ve expalined it clearly and right.

Anyway, Many wishes to this lovely lady, hope you everything a success and the most important is that keep laughing, keep optimistical. Hope I can attend your wedding >_<

Yours,

DOU em

Afec-X 2009–Chapter Xia Hua

Huaxia is an anciet name which Chinese use to call ourselves.  So it is very popular used by big enterprises, such as Huaxia Bank. However, Nayana said they also came across one restroom with this name too, funny…

My primary impression about Hua Xia is her large trunk, cause I havn’t met her but her luggage yet, tied up and labeled her name, address and e-mail address. From the style of her hand writing, I got a conclusion that this girl is, undoubtly, capable, effective and effcient. Well, it turned out that my judegment is partly correct–she is capable, effective and effcient in research, but not daily life. hohoh….

Hua Xia is one year and half older than me, however, she is far beyond me already. By getting an amazing score on the GRE test and excellent oral English, as well as the experience on her field, she is now studying in Stony Brook. I’m not surprised at all that their indepent project got the first prize, which they have considered every aspect and made it invulnerable. They deserve this honor. She also gave me a lot of suggestions about my project and my future study. Thanks, Hua Xia.

Well, here comes the highlight. Although Xia is a smart girl, she is also a Otaku. Everytime we came back from outside, Xia would take off her trousers and change to a clean sleepwear, jump on her bed, shouting “wow, I love my bed!” She also prefers working at her own room (especially her bed)-in a comfortable coat and gesture, to sitting straight in office or lecture roomy.  Moreover, she likes accumulating dirty clothes. Well, it is not really “like”, but she would not wash them until she has no clothes left…. I think this is very cute.

Xia’s dream is to become a farmer who could do some research at leisure time. She once said that she admire farmers because they are unaffected, and research is her interest, so this profession is best suitable for her.

Her favorate food is Chicken Feet, and she only took one pair of shoes for daily life-a pair of blue canvas shoes. At the final presentation, it was her first time to wear a skirt in this course, but with that canvas shoes. Well, I have to admit that this arrangement is not bad. Now when I wear a skirt, I will choose a pair of canvas shoes too.

I like her smile very very very much. Her research object is frog, and in my opinion, she looks like a cute frog too. Everytime she laughs, her eight white teeth will show up and shine brightly. After the course, I reviewed all photos and found a truth that Hua Xia is laughing happily with her eight white teeth in every photo!! Here is the evidence!

her big smile and shiny teeth

her big smile and shiny teeth

—————————————Then this is about me——————————————

Sorry to post this Chapter one week later than my promise. I finished my GRE writing test and helped my advisor write the first chaper of Flora of China, which is Physical Geography of China. It is an English version and I have to review all the information and data of China’s physical geographic condition. I hope I can handle it successfully.

By writing this book, finally I understand the differences between geography and ecology. The former concept is something about physical conditions: climate, water, soil, vegetation, rocks and atmosphere, and the relation between human activities. However, ecology is a subject focusing on the relation between species and environment. It doesnot consider much about the environment itself. Am I right? Welcome comments. I know my understand might be not so accurate.

My institute is very close to the Bird Nest and Water Cube, it takes me 30 minutes to run to these two great buildings and come back, usually the time of 5 to 6 songs. I have already spend 5 days running around 10pm, enjoying the beautiful night views. Unfortunately, it is unconvinent for me to take a camera when doing exercises, so I just use my cellphone to take some photos. They are not very clear, but you could still feel the beauty.

the Water Cube

the Water Cube

the Bird Nest without light

the Bird Nest without light

I hope one day I can show you guys around. I mean it.

And another news is that I came acors Jiajia the day before yesterday!! Beijing is 16,410.54 sq km and has 17 million people, it is impossible for you to meet someone without an appointment!! Hohoh, I have to say that this is the connection between people in Afec-X. And I might meet you guys at Beijing, NY, London, or anywhere!!

Last but not least, I want to thank Yen who called me the day before my exam and gave me a best wish. Naya and Jeremy, thanks for the great pics, I havn’t thought that I could be so beautiful before seeing these pics. Nana, thank you dear sister, for all the encouragement.

Afec-X 2009–Chapter Navendu

Navendu Page, an Indian Ph.D student majored in Ecology, was in Afec-X too. He is the guy I like most in this course. Deli always calls him as “我们家印度小帅”,which is “my Indian Handsome” in English. I like this nickname, better than “babydog”.

smile like kids

smile like a kid, by Orr

At the very beginning, due to my poor oral English and his accent, we can hardly get into each other. I still remember cause our birthdays are very close–his is Jan 23rd, mine is Jan 22nd– we have to introduce each other to the whole people (it was that silence game, remember?). He wrote down his name on my notebook, and his major, institute as well. Otherwise I cannot understand only by speaking.  So, it’s a surprise and lucky I found I still keep that page after we left XTBG, hoho.

At the very beginning, he looked like this image in my mind.

At the very beginning, he looked like this image in my mind.

But when time goes by, as familiar with his accent, I found him actually a knowledgable and interesting young man, who is always glad to offer help-especially stealing mangos with Orr. Navendu is always curious about plants, animals, and food. However, not so skillful in using chopsticks, he always prefers spoon and definitely will forget it in the tray and get turned to other side of the table. Everytime when I think about this, I cannot help myself to laugh. And sad to know he has a 15-year old fiancee at home, although he denied it as a joke.

Moreover, he is a nice and thoughtful friend. When we faced bottleneck on our indepent project, he encouraged us and gave kindly suggestions. Those gentle encouragement, as to the point, made me feel not that depressed.

Actually, he is a funny guy, and pretty too. :-)

Actually, he is a funny guy, and pretty too. 🙂

The character which makes him as a scientist most is that he is interested in his major, although he already knows every plant’s Latin name, and is familar with every kinds of species. There is one example about his concentration of his major. The last day we spent in Kunming, everyone just focused on shops along the street, but Navendu still found several trees which he was interested in.  And when at field, each time when some argument happend on one species, people would call Navendu for judge. The second important character involves the earnest and suspicion. He is serious about every data we collect, every assertion we make. On the very first field work, Limestone Forest, I remembered he kept making sure wheter these fallen leaves were from the tall tree we could not get. And it turned out that the fallen leaves we collected was from another tree. Then Chuck and he tried every way to get leaves of that huge tree. And finally they did it! Besides these remarkable characters, he has his own deep and wide opinions on Ecology, definitely. I believe he will be a successful researcher in the future.

all kinds of Navendu

all kinds of Navendu

When we said Goodbye at Kunming, he promised to call me and he kept it. After came back from XTBG, I got a serious cold (luckily it’s not H1N1) and some other problems. I wrote him an e-mail, telling him the unhappy things. Last night, he gave me a call from India! It was really touching and encouraged when hearing his voice from India.  As Nayana said in his blog:”Hundred words does not give pain. But true friends silence makes more tears in heart.” It is far far away between us- he is in Pune, the west of India, while I am in Beijing, the northeastern part of China. However, I am sure the connection between us will never break down. And the friendship will not fade.

my favorate pic

my favorate pic-Navendu and me.

Above is one of my favorate photos. I don’t know why but this one makes me feel eternal. Maybe one day in the future, not far away, we could meet at XTBG, and take picture together at this place again. Or perhaps some kind of international conference, who knows. And the smiles on our faces will definitely be the same: gentle on his face, and, maybe Peter could give more suitable words here, exciting or happy on my face?

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Next chapter will be finished after August 31, cause that day I have the GRE writing test and I have to prepare for the arugments and issues. I guess next chapter I will write something about Xia Hua, my dear roommate. Hoho, I have many interesting secrets about her. Then I plan one person each week. It’s really a big project, but, not so hard as the virtual forest we did, and a lot of fun, right?

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DOU on GeoWHY

Disappear for a While

Hi, guys.

Now I’m at home, Xiangfan City, with my dear parents and supersize bed. and My mom helped me settle down all the dirty stuffs. I love her.

But I miss you so much, I dream about you lots of times.

Like this noon, I dreamed about you guys together with my dead grandmother (well, my bracelet once was her wedding gift from her father, it is 60 years old now). So weird, but I guess the reason is that, as an emotional and too sensitive person, farewell is the most hardest word for me to say. So, although we have been apart now, I hope we still be together.

However, I have to prepare for the soon coming GRE composition test, on August 31st, which I totally know nothing about yet.  And I can not easily get into Internet access, so,  I may disappear for a while.  But I promise you guys, after I going back to Beijing, finishing my GRE test, I will post funny pictures and blogs as soon as possible, and  my GRE compositions as well.  Please  criticize them, then I can get a higher score on that God Reading Test. Thanks.

Miss you. HuaXia, Remember you promised to help me on the composition.

Yen, let me call you chi again.

Navendu, we will keep in touch on Gtalk. and I will consider about changing my future major to Ecology.  🙂

Bhakta, glad to know you solve your visa problem.

Andes, I’m sorry that Facebook is still blocked down by China goverment. I will verify this friend request as soon as Facebook is not blocked.

Miss you, Orr, Nayana, Nana and other  XTBG guys.

p.s.This morning I read one piece of news, said that a car accident happend at Xishuangbanna this morning and 5 people died. We are so lucky! Bless those people.

Essay: REDD in the red

REDD is short for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing Countries. After developed countries highly developed their economy, global warming, forest conservation and biodiversity become the main topics they concerned about, and, a blame to poor countries in politics, which reminds me of that famous book our common future, which is full of criticizing about developing country’s environmental duties. The truth is that industrialized countries should be more responsible to global warming; equally, they should take responsibility of carbon abatement. Fortunately, scientists have worked on this field, trying to find an efficient solution instead of politician’s obscure conspiracy. This paper is a good example.

The two main functions that people think forests in tropical area can apply are carbon storage and species biodiversity keeper. Since most countries have signed the Kyoto Protocol, and the biodiversity is hard to measure, carbon market is an advisable solution. The problem is, how can we find a proper price for keeping forest as a carbon storage? I remember one scientist said that “When you educate,just tell them how to make money”. People, no matter rich or poor, as a human nature, will only do things can get benefit. So if they can earn more from palm trees, there is no reason for them to protect old forests instead of cultivating palm trees. It is easy to understand higher the money we pay for forest protecting, better the effects we get in ecosystem. But, obviously, the money we pay for forest protecting has upper limit, which could not violent obstruct economic development.

Lian Pin Koh and Rhett A.Butler, they analyze the different benefits from two opposite sides: cutting down forests to palm trees or restoration. The first one is converting forests for palm oil production. They assume that forest-to-oil palm conversion rate is 1,250 ha per year, the output range from 17 tons/ha to 20.5 tons/ha and varies as time. Consider the 21% and 5% of CPO and PK from FFB production, they use the CPO price from World Bank and assume two different scenarios. These are the profit, then the costs are things like setup costs, annual operations costs, etc. The other side is reducing deforestation and forest degradation. They assume 10,000 forest to be protected, and preserve the forest will avoid 5.46 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Two approaches, the equal allocation model and the front-weighted allocation model, have been used to arrange carbon credit allocation. And then they modeled the operating profit under five carbon pricing scenarios using forward prices of carbon derivatives traded in either voluntary or compliance markets. At last they get a conclusion quite rough, the NPV ranging from $ 3,835 to $ 9,630 per hectare over a 30-year period.

What’s more, to carry out REDD must face many problems which are hard to be solved. My first consideration is that if this prediction is too rough, how can you suppose it is useful for future land use management. We all understand that international oil market changes unpredictably, as this paper mentioned, the price they used is the average carbon price from January 2006–November 2008. Such a short period average price is not enough for 30 years long run prediction. The second question is that as a model, as Professor Rhett D. Harrison told me at BBQ night, should not only be built out then put into actual use. The definition and accuracy of a model must be tested by existing data then can be used to predict future. May this REDD model be tested by next 3 or 4 years price data then carry out. The third problem, which bothers me most, is that how to carry this REDD policy out concretely. As you take this forest area into Kyoto Market, although this certain area has been protected, local farmers will definitely cultivate another nearby forest into palm oil, which means your process is useless.

Fortunately, these uncertainties have not affected the main conclusion of this paper: to improve the long-term economic prospects of REDD, the mechanism will need to be elevated to Kyoto-sanctioned status. This is also a significant reference for us to find a solution for the likely situation of Xishuangbanna’s dramatically improving rubber plantation. China is not so interested in palm oil plantation, but rubber. As Hongmei Li showed in Demand for rubber is causing the loss of high diversity rain forest in SW China, from three image data in 1976, 1988 and 2003, the most obvious change was forest decreasing and rubber plantation’s increasing, which affects the biodiversity and ecosystem services badly. But to be honest, I don’t think REDD could run in China, because of China’s sensitive land ownership that I could not like and also can not talk about. However, the idea of trading forest as a carbon store, which is protecting forest by economic methods still needs us to learn from. And, as many ecosystem services mentioned in Impact of land use and land cover changes on ecosystem services in Menglun, Xishuangbanna, Southwest China, we could try to quantify other ecosystem services, such as soil erosion and watershed protection, instead of trading carbon store in Kyoto Market. I understand because of the Kyoto Market’s existence, trading carbon store could be possible, which means there must be a soil market or water market then trading could work. So the next step for Xishuangbanna’s land management is to measure the future rubber profit for local people, and then try to find an another quantify market for one certain of all elements in forests.

About the REDD in the red, you can download from here: REDD in the red.

This is author’s website: Dr. Lian Pin Koh.

afec-x——虫子篇

出野外出了两个星期,我也没有先前那么害怕各种奇形怪状的虫子了。但还是不愿意碰他们的,obviously。

这个是Bhakta被马蜂叮肿了的手指

这个是Bhakta被马蜂叮肿了的手指,另外有个师姐,从手背肿到小臂,肿了整整三天……

晚上在雨林里抓的青蛙

晚上在雨林里抓的青蛙

据说是叫“ma lu”的一种虫(原谅我到现在都不知道该怎么写)

据说是叫“ma lu”的一种虫(原谅我到现在都不知道该怎么写)

其实还有很多啊,各种蜥蜴(有天晚上发现了一只红唇蜥蜴)、蚂蚁(金色的)、乱七八糟的。那天还在显微镜下看了好多只arthropod 的复眼,呃。我很震惊当时有女孩子一直叫“好可爱呀好可爱啊!!”

只是我实在是对这些长相抱歉的虫子没有兴趣,挑了半天就只有这三张,等我以后出个蘑菇专辑、花草专辑就多了哈。

可是虽然我极其不喜欢他们,但是今天晚上开始要去雨林和橡胶林抓蜘蛛、蚂蚁和beatles了,而且每次至少3个小时,555。不要这样对我啊,为什么我的其他两个组员一定要选spider呢?!!!

p.s.教大家一种找spider的方法哈,晚上在没有灯光的草坪或者树丛里,把手电或者头灯举到自己的眼睛旁边,你会看见草坪上点点的反光,每个光点就是一个蜘蛛,因为他们的眼睛有特殊物质(具体是什么没听清楚,囧)会强烈反光。这样你就会震惊兼恶心的发现,怎么草坪上无数的星星点点,全部都是蜘蛛啊!!!好恶心!!!!!!

SpiderDOU