Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Coral bleaching as a marine issue in Indonesia

The marine ecosystem would be balance depends on every element involved in it. If there is damage occurs to one element, then it would impact the other elements of that ecosystem. Coral reefs are one of the elements of marine ecosystem. It plays some important role not only for most of ocean creatures but also for the coastal environment and human being.

Marine Ecosystem, Source: www.sciencelearn.org.nz
The beauty of coral reefs becomes the backbone for local economies, especially through tourism. Beyond this phenomenon, coral reefs have some importance. It could protect coastline from erosion due to storms and sea waves, stabilize mangroves and seagrass beds, be the food and habitat for wide range plants and animals, give numerous nutrition for marine creature’s food, be the drugs ingredient for many diseases, increase coastal water quality, preservation biodiversity, etc.

Coral reefs in Gili Kedis Lombok
Coral reefs, as known as “rainforests of the sea”, generally live at shallow depths in tropical waters. These marine invertebrate from class Anthozoa live only in small numbers in deep water and cold water. Coral’s growth rate is vary depends on the species. Some research stated that its growth rates are about 8 millimeters per year depends on the amount of dissolved calcium carbonate that it could deposit and bind from the sea water. Some particular coral species in tropical water could grow 10-20 cm per year. It indicates that coral should be conserved due to its slow growth beside its advantages for other creatures.

Unfortunately, a number of coral reefs in the world include Indonesia have a significant degradation due to coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is a phenomenon about coral algal symbionts (zooxanthellae) that separates from its host coral (Navalgund, R.R. & Singh, R.P., 2011). It lead the coral to turn white and to mortality. The increasing of ocean temperature is the major factor of coral bleaching. This issue has been described nearly 80 years ago but became a highlight in 55 years later. It might generate overfishing, pollution, anthropogenic stressors, and damage for coastal environment in the future.

To prevent the mortality of coral reefs and to reduce coral bleaching impact, the maps of coral bleaching distribution area is necessary. The required data to get a good analysis are (Hendey, et al., 2012):
  • Bathymetry data
  • Basic geomorphological mapping of reef extent that consist of reef fauna area versus sand
  • Coral reef health to detect coral mortality or shifts to macroalgal domination
  • Coral bleaching to detect various levels of bleaching in areas of high coral cover.

To create a map of coral bleaching distribution area in Indonesia, we could utilize remote sensing technology (SPOT, Landsat ETM+, or IKONOS). It is also utilized for bathymetry mapping and benthic composition, and for detecting coral bleaching. Maps of benthos could inform management decisions about the placement of marine protected areas and to predict ecosystem dynamics (Hendley et.al., 2012; Dunstan & Johnson, 2006; Mumbly et al., 2006). The example of coral bleaching mapping is shown in this figure.

A map resulted from spatial correlation between sea surface temperature (SST) and bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, in northeastern of Australia. Source: Berkelmans, R. et al., 2004
Elvidge (2004) stated that quantification of coral bleaching requires heavy bleaching and extensive coral coverage. It is concluded after he did studies using both small and high resolution of satellite images or high accuracy aerial photography. Based on the spatial information about coral bleaching, I think government should conduct a management, monitoring, and conservation of the coral reefs area that potentially be damaged due to coral bleaching. This action could be supported by using GIS-based tools for decision makers.


Berkelmans, R., et al. (2004). A comparison of the 1998 and 2002 coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef: spatial correlation, patterns, and predictions. Springer-Verlag, Coral Reefs (2004) 23: 74-83.

Elvidge, C.D., et al. (2004). Satellite observation of Keppel Islands (Great Barrier Reef) 2002 coral bleaching using IKONOS data. Springer-Verlag, Coral Reefs (2004) 23: 123-132.

Hedley, J., et al. (2012). Capability of The Sentinel 2 Mission for Tropical Coral Reef Mapping and Coral Bleaching Detection. Remote Sensing of Environment 120 (2012) 145-155.

Navalgund, R.R. & Singh, R.P. (2011). Climate Change Studies Using Space Based Observation. Indian Society of Remote Sensing (September 2011) 39(3):281-295.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to get your graduate thesis perfectly done (1)

The 3rd semester of my study has come and this time i ought to be more serious in it because i'm preparing my graduate thesis. Well, this thesis is one of crucial requirements to graduate from this (exhausting) university, besides sufficient credits and international paper publication. And i have made a foolish mistake that i should have done the last requirement which stated above. Unfortunately, when my paper is ready to be published in IJOG, the editor team was asking a confirmation via email but i was skip to read it until 1 month after the last day of confirmation day, which is TODAY. Huft..

So, usually the thesis contain of student's scientific research that develops two (or more) methods. Bloom's Taxonomy shows student's competency in every level of high education. Based on Bloom's Taxonomy, master students (graduate thesis) should achieve "to analyze" and "to evaluate" level from this hierarchical structure. Because of this hierarchical structure, a student should accomplish the lower stage before they could continue to the higher stage. Undergraduate students should reach 1st - 3rd stage of this taxonomy, that are "to remember", "to understand", and "to apply". That's why undergraduate thesis only focused on student's writing and they could only apply the available method in their thesis. The last stage is "to create" that should be accomplished by doctoral students. 

Bloom's Taxonomy. Source: klik disini

My lord prof told me that every undergraduate thesis should not have been a research. But, i can't agree with him. A research is a process of getting an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or a deep comprehension of a phenomenon. So, as long as student could fulfill that definition, they have already do a research. #sayasotoy #yasudahlah. But, there is a main rule of doing a research for student:

The higher someone's level of education, the more elements are studied in their research so the degree of difficulty increasing either. 

SO, how to get your graduate thesis perfectly done?

First, we should define the problem. There are some basic questions of the research:
  • What matter that is researched?
  • Why that matter should be researched?
  • How is the research methodology?
  • What is the advantages of that research?
  • What is the similar research that has been done?
  • Where is the position of our thesis?
Second, we should find the literature. Is it available? Books, paper, journal, abstract, etc.

Third, we should make sure if the data is available or not. Is it possible for us to do a direct measurement? Is there any institution/company that could provide their data for us? If there will be no data available, then we should find another topic.

The last, is tools. What tools we'll use? Is it available? 

If we already could  be responsible for these 4 things, then go on our thesis. But before it, i suggest you to make our own TIMELINE in order to make our thesis perfectly done ON TIME

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Profesi ideal, apa benar ideal?

Setiap anak punya profesi idaman yang ingin ia raih ketika sudah dewasa nanti. Seiring berjalannya waktu, profesi ini semakin spesifik dan realistis, serta sesuai dengan idealisme dan passionnya.

Katakanlah seseorang ingin menjalani profesi A karena ia ingin bisa menabung amal, terus berpikir, menebar & mengembangkan ilmu, punya lingkungan kerja yang dinamis, serta punya waktu yang fleksibel sehingga ia masih ada waktu untuk diri sendiri & keluarganya kelak. Benarkah begitu?

Pada prosesnya membangun karir tersebut, ia justru merasa kenyataannya gak demikian. Lingkungan kerja yang dinamis? Ya, terlalu dinamis bahkan. Punya waktu untuk diri sendiri? Hmmm jatah waktu tidurnya pun malah berkurang karena harus menyelesaikan pekerjaan yang kadang-kadang harus dibawa pulang ke rumah. Ideal?

Profesi lain yang tadinya terlihat jauh dari idealismenya justru malah terasa ideal. Masuk jam sekian, pulang jam sekian. Di luar itu gak ada lagi urusan kantor. Kalau ada beban kerja berlebih ya dapat tambahan upah. Well bukan masalah upah pula sih.

Namun, orang bijak bilang kalau itu semua hanyalah proses yang harus dilewati buat lolos ke level selajutnya. Memang demikian, katanya. Ketika profesi itu udah diraih, ia bisa lebih fleksibel mengatur waktunya. Ini hanya proses dan pasti akan terlewati. Yakini.

Bakal ada waktunya suatu hari nanti ia pergi bekerja di pagi hari, menabung amal & menebar ilmu, menjemput anak siang harinya, sore udah santai di rumah menunggu suami pulang. Ketika anak-anak di tempat kerjanya libur ia bisa menikmati waktu liburnya pula dengan keluarga. Ada saatnya. Pasti.