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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Invitation Talk on Freshwater stromatolites in Deer Cave, Sarawak –a unique geobiological cave formation.

Dear members,
Sarawak Museum is inviting our members and friends to attend a public talk on Freshwater stromatolites in Deer Cave, Sarawak - a unique geobiological cave formation.

Speaker: Prof. Joyce Lundberg, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies,
                        Carleton University, Ottawa, K1S 5B6, Canada

With:       Prof. Donald A. McFarlane, Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA 91711. 

Date:       July 18th, 2011 (Monday)

Time:       3.00pm.

Venue:     Niah Lecture Room, Dewan Tun Abdul Razak Hall, Sarawak Museum, Kuching.

Driving to venue: Please come in by driving through Jalan P. Ramlee, the RTM road.

All are welcomed, free entrance.

Prof. Lundberg in field work.


Stromatolites are laminated usually mounded sedimentary fossil formed from layers of cyanobacteria, calcium carbonate, and trapped sediment. A suite of distinctive freshwater subaerial phosphatic stromatolites is developed close to the northeastern entrance of Deer Cave in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo.  Deer Cave is already famous for its huge passages and vast bat population. In the zone of low light close to the northern entrance, we have found freshwater, sub-aerial, phosphatic stromatolites, the first of their kind reported in the world. Here we describe another special feature of the cave, this time on a small scale. They grow in a series of narrow shelves up a part of the cave wall that is exposed to low light, underneath a guano-laden shelf, and washed by fresh water from a shower head above. These stromatolites are not particulate; they are composed of alternating layers of more and less porous, amorphous hydroxylapatite with enrichment in metal ions formed through the process of biomineralisation. Their micro-morphology reveals dense networks of cyanobacterial fossils (both coccoid and filamentous forms). The stromatolites are emergent from the rock face by several cm. The stromatolites are present as horizontal shelves arranged in series on a steep rock face that is vertically under a guano-laden shelf. The rock face undergoes active dissolution from acidic guano drainage water and from aggressive rainwater from an overhead discharge. The rock face is corroded by the running water, except for the parts protected by the stromatolites, creating a form like tiny pillars or hoodoos. The stromatolites grow upwards in annual laminae but are at the same time destroyed from underneath by biological corrosion and laterally by mechanical breakage. A dynamic equilibrium is established between upward accretion of the fresh surface and destruction at the base such that the base of the stromatolite moves over time. Thus, over time they climb up the wall!
The stromatolites (grey) emergent from the corroded bedrock face (white) with guano-organic slime coatings (black) (the brown leaf is ~12 cm wide). The examplemarked by the leaf is one of the few that has developed a depression in the stromatoliteagainst the back-wall and shallow undercut in the rock at the base of the back wall.
Freshwater stromatolites in Deer Cave, Sarawak - a unique geobiological cave formation

Friday, June 24, 2011

Invitation talk:Restoring the Forest from the Tomerong to Tebedu'

Dear members and friends,

The Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch is inviting our members and nature lover friends for a talk given by Gerard Proust, Ecological Restorator and Educator (MNS member living in Australia).
title:’ Restoring the Forest from the Tomerong to Tebedu'
Date: Wednesday 6th July 2011
Time: 7.30 p.m. (please be on time)
Venue: UCSI Building (It is near the BDC flyover. From airport, go over flyover and building is on the left at the end of the flyover before Shell station) see map below (direction to this place is below.
Admission: Free
Please register by sending an email mnskuching@gmail.com or on our Face Book page (event note).
Gerard Proust: Introduction (The person & Experience)
I was born in Orange, NSW in 1959 and finished my High School Certificate (HSC) in 1976. I then studied to be an Optical Technician for four years at Sydney Technical College (UTS) and proceeded to work in that industry in Sydney and Wollongong during the 1980’s.
In the late 1980’s I moved to a rural area and changed my focus to living a more sustainable life. I wanted to work where my passion had always been, in the natural environment and help restore it. I started my own quest for knowledge and understanding of my immediate surroundings and how I could live within an ecological framework.
During the late 1980’s and the 1990’s I studied with the NSW National Trust, at Charles Sturt University and at NSW Technical & Further Education (TAFE). The different courses I undertook were: Bushland Regeneration (Forest Restoration), Wildlife Management, Environmental Studies, Business Management, Workplace Training, Diplomas in Conservation and Land Management (General Land Management) and Training & Assessing Educator (TAE). I have continued my own studies out in the forests and have built a large library devoted to the pursuit of ecological knowledge. While these courses where being undertaken I was actively involved with many community groups. Some during that time were: Chair of the Escarpment Coalition, Illawarra Landcare executive, Kembla Green Corridor committee, and active member of Landcare, Bushcare and Coastcare. Conferences and seminars were also many and varied in this hectic renewal time. These ranged from Bush Regeneration, mangrove regeneration, field ecology, fire ecology to wetlands management.
By the early 1990’s I was working in the ecological restoration and education sector. I worked with National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), TAFE, Aboriginal groups, Department of Lands, local councils, catchment management authorities and many communities groups. The work varied from doing on ground works, seed collection and propagation, educator for schools and community groups, TAFE teaching of Forest Regeneration and with Coastcare running educational workshops.
In 1997 I started up Proust Bushland Services (PBS) with my partner (and mother of our two children Keira & Phoenix) Kelly Upton. This business incorporated both of our skills, knowledge and passion for our natural environment and teaching. See our website (www.pbsregen.com.au) for details of our wide scope of operations.
Today I still work out in the forests doing on ground works but also continue to teach, run workshops and field days, do management plans and ecological system audits, advise different government agencies, conduct flora surveys and fire management surveys and write articles on ecological restoration and sustainable living for industry publications, local newspapers and community groups like Berry Futurecare and the New Bush Telegraph.
I’m a member of the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators (AABR), the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). With my partner I helped setup the Shoalhaven Organic Food Co-Op and the local markets where we have the Shoalhaven Seed Savers stall.

The Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch (MNS-KB) will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 30th July 2011.


P.O. Box A144, Kenyalang Park, 93824 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Tel: 019 8349499 (Cheong Ah Kwan, Chair) & 012 4370050 (Sunita Sara Gill Shamsul, Secretary)

The Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch (MNS-KB) will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 30th July 2011. The 2010/2011 committee would like to invite all members to the AGM which will be held at The Mango Tree Restaurant between 2-5pm. Light refreshments will be provided.
An annual report based on the year 2010/2011 activities will be presented at the AGM. The highlight will be the election of new committee members into office for the 2011/2012 year. 
The nomination of new office bearers can be made via email.

  • Note: Only fully paid-up members are eligible to stand for Office and to vote. Please remember to renew your subscriptions. You may choose to do so immediately before the start of the AGM.

The AGM documents and nomination form will be sent to your registered email, or to your registered mailing address. You can also visit the MNS-KB blog-site at http://mnskuching.blogspot.com/ to obtain them. To reduce the amount of paper used, we request that you bring copies with you for the AGM.

The Agenda for the 15th Annual General Meeting
i.                Chairman’s Welcome Address
ii.               Review of the minutes of the 14th Annual General Meeting and matters arising
iii.              Report from the Chairman
iv.             Report from the Secretary
v.              Report from the Treasurer
vi.             Any other matters which have been brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Kuching Branch, in writing, at least one week before the Annual General Meeting.
vii.            Election of the Office Bearers for the year 2010/2011
viii.           Election of the Internal Auditor

Hope to see you there.

Sunita Sara Gill Shamsul,
Secretary, MNS Kuching Branch
24th June 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

click to enlarge newspaper page

Talk on Paya Maga Expedition

Dear Members,

Datin Dr Katherine Pearce and Mr Ch'ien Lee will be sharing their experiences on the Paya Maga Expedition that was held towards the end of 2010.

Date: Wednesday 15 June 2011
Time: 7.30pm - 9.00pm
Venue: Singgahsana Lodge, Main Bazaar

Please email kwan_indutek@hotmail.com to register.



How to get there:
Location: No. 1 Temple Street, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
Strategically located along Temple Street in the heart of beautiful Kuching City, Singgahsana Lodge is only 20 steps from the famed Kuching Waterfront and 15 steps diagonally across from the oldest Chinese Tua Pek Kong Temple .

The main road that runs in front and parellal to the Kuching International Airport (KIA) is Jalan Lapangan Terbang - Airport Road. You want to be on that road going towards the right (if KIA is behind you)

So, if you are driving from the car park, you need to make a right turn on to Airport Road. From here on you virtually just drive straight on - do not turn left or right.

Drive 3.2 km then you get to the flyover. On the flyover, take the (inner) land to the city/Tun Jugah Road or if you happen to go under the flyover, take the 2nd exit.

Drive straight on, straight pass all traffic lights. The same road will now be Tabuan Road.

Drive 1.9 km just follow on on tabuan road. It will go uphill. On the top of the hill, take the left lane (the right lane will take you round a hill-roundabout).

This left lane will led you to a traffic light (St. Mary's school is ahead of you). At this trafflic light, go straight on (it bears right).

Drive straight on at the first pedestrian traffic light but stay on the right lane. At the second pedestrian traffic light, take the right turn and stay on the right lane. At the next traffic light, turn right and Singgahsana Lodge is the orange and yellow building on the right.