Geography Field Work for Prince of Wales Island International School (POWIIS) – 27th March 2024, Taman Jajar Sungai Ara.

On March 27, 2024, Water Watch Penang (WWP) conducted a river education program with Prince of Wales Island International School as a part of their Geography fieldwork at Taman Jajar Sungai Ara.
The programme was attended by eleven students in all, together with their two corresponding teachers. In the introduction, Dr. Hong Chern Wern, the Executive Manager of WWP, gave a brief overview of the organization’s goals and emphasised on the challenging situation of Penang’s water resources. During the hands-on session, Dr Hong and Mr. Hanson Yeoh (Programme Officer) assisted by inters of WWP, Ms. Fatin, Ms. Atiqah and Mr. Dane conducted the monitoring session for the students.

This was the second tailor-made programme for the geography students of Prince of Wales Island International School’s. There were five sessions involved in this programme whereby the students were guided on the following topics:

River and Water Monitoring and Assessment

a) Physical Assessment (Part 1)

In the first part of the physical assessment, the students observed the types of land use surrounding the river, including residential, industrial, and agricultural areas. They also identified the presence of pipes and drains, types of vegetation, and any signs of solid waste or animal carcasses along the riverbanks.

b) Physical Assessment (Part 2)

During the second part of the physical assessment, the students measured the surface velocity of the river and calculated river discharge. We also noted any unusual odor or smell, observed the color and clarity of the water, and measured water turbidity. Additionally, we continued to monitor the presence of solid waste or animal carcasses along the river.

c) Chemical Assessment (Theoretical and Practical/Observation)

The chemical assessment involved both theoretical and practical components. The students measured various chemical parameters, including dissolved oxygen (DO), pH level, total dissolved solids (TDS), phosphate, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. These measurements help assess the water quality and identify any potential pollutants.

d) Biological Monitoring

In the biological monitoring session, WWP conducted a catch and release activity to identify macro-invertebrates in the river. This helps evaluate the ecological health of the river ecosystem and identify any signs of pollution or disturbance.

e) Basic Drone Application and Operation (Theory and Practical)

Finally, the students received brief training on the theory and practical operation of drones, specifically the DJI Mavic Pro. Drones offer a valuable tool for monitoring water bodies from aerial perspectives, allowing for more comprehensive assessments of river ecosystems and water resources.

Overall, the field work programme provided valuable insights into the condition of local rivers and water bodies. By combining physical, chemical, and biological assessments with drone technology, Water Watch Penang aims to enhance its monitoring and conservation efforts for the sustainable management of water resources in Penang.

For more information on Tailor-Made Geography Field Work, please contact Dr. Hong Chern Wern at

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