G11 ESS & Biology- Bugs & Mud Trip to Chiang Mai

The following article was written by Fah G11.

The G11 Biology and ESS class went on the Bugs and Mud trip to Chiang Mai to apply what we have learned in class to the external world. The Bugs and Mud trip lived up to its name with us walking into the jungle, fighting leeches, and one day with 8-hrs of trekking.

Over the course of 5 days, we conducted labs focused around biotic and abiotic factors. Our investigations included studying best practices for sustainable forest conservation at the Huai Hong Khrai Development Study Center all the way to observing stream patterns, and studying climate and soil quality in hill-evergreen forest and pine forest. The clear favorite was comparing freshwater invertebrate communities found in different areas of the Mae Lai stream. In this investigation we used the kick sampling technique to explore the effect of abiotic factors such as: level of dissolved oxygen, pH and turbidity on tiny aquatic insects such as mayflies, beetles, water boatmen, and larvae. We were surprised by the high number of freshwater invertebrates we found at all three drastically different sites: Upper Mae Lai stream in (former) Pang Soong area, mid-Mae Lai stream at Tharnthong Lodge, and lower Mae Lai stream at Ban Huay Kaew near Cow Farm. Our hypotheses were right in some experiments, and way off in others, but one thing that all 6 investigations had in common was the opportunity to apply knowledge outside of the classroom.

Here is what a few people had to say about this exciting and fun-filled trip:

Omm:

“Bugs and mud was a very special experience for me as a learner, and not just because of the knowledge we gained during the trip, but because of the freedom to learn at your own pace. One of my favorite things about the trip was being able to go into nature and truly learn from it– it is different from when you see it in the books and it really was an eye opener for many students to be more aware of the world around us. Another was the time we were given to collect our own data, work with other people and have fun during the whole experience!”

Peak:

“Bugs and mud was personally a great experience for me. The trip offered me various new knowledge, including plant identification, using line transects to collect data, and then evaluating that data to conclude findings. One thing I didn’t enjoy was the 8 hour trek. “

Kenji:

“One of my favorite moments would be hiking, since it’s an activity that I enjoy personally and it’s an activity that we do not get an opportunity to do in Bangkok. Other than that, it would be the quality time I got to spend with my friends while doing the activities, as well as during our leisure time, which pretty much made it one of my favorite trip so far. “

Monet:

“Bugs and Mud was an incredible and an unforgettable 5 day trip. The activities we did ranged from walking up the mountain for a whole day to collecting species down in the river stream. My favorite part of the trip was measuring the Dissolved Oxygen, especially near the cow farms, and the reason why I liked it so much was because it was something that I had never experienced before. I got to see small creatures and invertebrates that I never thought I would find in river water, and they were very interesting. “

Here are a few pictures from the trip:

To those of you who are thinking about taking ESS or Biology in DP next year, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time in this trip! 🙂

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