Kennis Ng

Student spotlight details

Kennis Ng, a professional aborist, sought training with the PGCert in Ecological Survey Techniques to develop her surveying skills as her business grew.  In the process she took responsibility for her own learning, and welcomed the inspiration gained from course tutors and other students.

'I started my own arboricultural business about two years ago and almost all of my ecological and conservation work has involved carrying out a census or survey. Beforehand, I had been studying Applied Chemistry and Environmental Science at University, but ended up not feeling that I had gained the expertise I wanted.  At the same time, I felt that my responsibilities were growing, as was the liability that I was subject to, so it became important to further raise the level of my professionalism, consolidate my knowledge, and improve my future work performance. And while I was searching for courses, I found out about the Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques.

The course was very challenging and rewarding. Firstly, it provided a comprehensive, accessible and authoritative overview to the study of ecological survey techniques, covering both theory and practice. The course covered almost everything you need to know in order to plan and carry out a survey, and analyze the resulting data. Furthermore, I found it to be well-organized and focused – but with the added benefit of being interactive and engaging! The vast experiences of course lecturers often proved to be invaluable. They had the knack of being able to explain complicated science in ways that were instantly understandable and even enjoyable. For each module, the emphasis was on ease of understanding. Every technique was described in a step by step fashion, using diagrams and working examples where possible.

Honestly, the online learning encouraged me to become more responsible for more aspects of my learning. The course administration and IT staff were very helpful, and gave motivational support. I could access a range of personal support by e-mail with tutors and mentors, or through discussion forums.

While taking the course I was working full-time. Part of the coursework was an individual ecological research project, and deciding exactly what to study was the most difficult part. I am always interested in insects, especially moths, so I decided to study moth species in Mai Po Marshes, which has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) since 1995. Valuable advice from various tutors assisted me in devising and carrying out an original project of my own – discussion between students also helped as inspiration.  We were able to could formulate our own hypotheses and test them out practically. My project materialized only because I received immense help from lots of people.

Nature always makes people better and happier. My long term goal is to continue to promote insect conservation in Hong Kong, especially amongst amateurs and the younger generation. I hope the younger generation will also develop connections to the natural world, wherever they live in the city.

I gratefully count myself amongst the students who have taken the course and I will recommend Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques to anyone wishing to pursue academic training in this field.'

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