Friday, 09 December 2016 00:00

Working with international collaborators in Lao PDR

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By: Ms Phonevilay Sichanthongthip, Research Entomologist, National Agriculture and Forestry Institute, Vientiane, Lao PDR I studied science at university because I wanted to know how all plants worked. I don’t come from a forestry or agricultural background, but agriculture and forestry are so important to the people of Laos, and I wanted to learn about the plant systems so that I could better understand and help. When I graduated from the National University of Laos, in Vientiane, I started work at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) as a Biodiversity Officer undertaking surveys of native plant species in…
Starting out with the ACIAR SIMLESA Project By Stuart Irvine-Brown Prior to taking up a position as a soil scientist within ACIAR’s project SIMLESA, I was given three simple pieces of advice from an older colleague who had spent more than a decade working with ACIAR on international agricultural development. First, develop trust; second, prove you are there to do something good, and third, keep it simple! These points washed over me quickly but I was lucky as a small part stuck in the back of my mind to later reflect on and incorporate into what I would attempt to…
Friday, 25 November 2016 00:00

‘R’ is Rad & it CAN make stats fun!

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Let’s start by being very upfront about this topic. There are many people out there that do not enjoy statistics or crunching numbers. Even worse is when you have to learn a new stats program to help you make sense of your data. I am not one of these people. I am all about the numbers and the stats! AND I am a believer that anyone can get a basic handle on this to help them tell the story of their data.  This is where ‘R’ can help. ‘R’ is an open source data management, processing and statistical package. You…
Thursday, 17 November 2016 00:00

Top Ten Travel Tips for Timely Travel Transitions

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By Di Mayberry, Lindsay Bell and Kendrick Cox Before you fly 1. Pack your hand luggage carefully. - Make sure you have everything you need for the flight - Ear plugs, socks, sleep mask, panadol - Pen to fill out immigration forms - Light reading (book/kindle/magazine) for take-off, landing and when the entertainment is malfunctioning or not available - Bring a jumper (scarf & jacket for flights which are sub-artic e.g. Virgin) - Pack some ‘back-up’ clothes (T-shirt and undies) and toiletries to last you 24 hours  - you just never know when your checked luggage might go walk-about. 2.…
Tuesday, 08 November 2016 00:00

The Expectations Game

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By Kelly Wood My father came to Myanmar as a backpacker in 1981. Driving back from swimming training he would tell us stories of a land of horse drawn carts and bicycles that sounded like it belonged to another century, not just another continent. So, when I was given the opportunity to participate in the Dahat Pan Project as a final year veterinary science student, I jumped at the chance. When the plane touched down in Yangon I was the same age that my father had been when he’d first stepped into the soupy humidity of the Myanmar wet season.…