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Prepare Prospective Marine and Fisheries Researchers from Campus

Enthusiastic, focused and happy. Those three words really fit the description of ten young people who worked hard to complete their learning assignments in the field directly in Tolitoli Regency, Central Sulawesi, in early December 2022.

The ten young people joined a study group assigned by a well-known campus in Bogor, West Java: IPB University. There, they carry out field practices and study with the community.

Not only in one place, but also moving according to the research being carried out. Uniquely, they were not only students from IPB. But also, from other campuses at home and abroad.

Of the ten people, one acts as an activity mentor. They became part of the Independent Campus Competition Program (PK-KM) which was implemented by the Department of Marine Science and Technology (ITK) of the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences (FPIK) IPB.

While in Tolitoli, the activities were carried out for 13 days and were carried out in various forms. One of them is observing Dugong whose habitat is on the coast of Tolitoli waters. This activity is special, because only their group can do it.

“No other location is like here. Indeed, each (location) has its own uniqueness,” said the Head of the PK-KM ITK 2022 Task Force Adriani, who deliberately flew from Bogor to visit his students.

The other locations in question are Bungus (Padang, West Sumatra), Tidung Island (Thousand Islands, DKI Jakarta), Brebes (Central Java), Palabuhanratu (Sukabumi Regency, West Java), and Bali. Students who are distributed to all these locations, carry out internship activities and collect field data.

These two activities are an effort to implement all the lessons learned by students from IPB. They had previously received learning material in class guided directly by experienced lecturers.

According to Adriani, the learning material provided directly at the Dramaga campus is training on how to use the Automatic Weather System (AWS) and Water Quality Checker (WQC). These two materials are very important, because they will support all activities while in the field.

Both AWS and WQC are said to have vital roles and functions for the purposes of recording weather data and water quality in the field. These two materials are also applied by student groups who carry out practical work at Tolitoli.

“All of them are assigned to update the log sheet every day which is monitored directly by the mentor and us,” he explained.

For example, being a junior metocean data analyst , a profession that is still a little in demand in the marine and fisheries sector, both at home and abroad. Therefore, activities in the field will be a valuable provision in the world of business and industry (DUDI).

“Thus, students will be equipped with reliable competencies and ready to face challenges in the world of work,” he said.

Students also do this. Especially in Tolitoli, student groups were assigned to carry out research that focused on separating dugongs that had been and had not been conserved.

So, apart from conducting ASW and WQC research, they also conducted research on Dugongs which are commonly found along the coast in Tolitoli. This activity is carried out with all the teams, or divided into two groups.

As seen early in the morning in early December 2022. At that time, on Lalos beach which is located in Lalos Village, Galang District, students were seen on the beach waiting for their friends who were researching on small boats not far from there.

Grace, a Bengkulu University student, admitted that she was very happy to be involved in the research. Considering, all this time he was studying in a small town that didn’t have many opportunities to do research.

In order to be in Tolitoli, he admits that he must first compete with interested parties from other universities. When he registered, he actually didn’t know he would be placed in the clove city.

“However, maybe because my ideas led to Tolitoli, so I was put in this group. Now I actually feel happy and comfortable because I can explore what I have learned in class,” he said.

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With Community

In addition to research on the coast, the students at Tolitoli carry out learning with the community. They conducted a survey of community settlements regarding the impact of the flood disaster that hit a number of areas, including the downtown of Tolitoli.

Fathir Said, a student from Bali’s Udayana University, actively visits residents’ homes to obtain complete and accurate data. He understands that research in the community is just as important as research on the sea coast.

Because of that, he feels grateful because he can be in Tolitoli and can do research on Dugongs and Seagrasses. In short, Tolitoli apparently received priority from IPB for field practice for students.

“After receiving initial enlightenment, I know more and more that Tolitoli is like this,” he said.

Unfortunately, they have difficulty meeting Dugongs who are believed to exist along the coast. “We are not destined to meet Dugong. In fact, since coming from Bogor, that has become one of our goals for going to Tolitoli,” explained Taufik Tenicha, an IPB student who came from Solo, Central Java.

Student Spirit

The students from various universities enthusiastically took part in the Merdeka Campus Competition Program directly in the field. Especially, because students now are those who are included in the COVID-19 pandemic class, where learning is mostly done online (online) via the internet.

Adriani admits this. He gave an example, students would find it difficult to explain technically the current La Nina waves. They will find it difficult to explain, because they do not know what it is like on the ground.

“Maybe it’s hard for you to imagine how hot the condensation process is like during this La Nina period. There is a tongue of water with a cooler temperature to meet warming,” he explained.

Adriani hopes that by getting the opportunity to practice directly in the field, students must be motivated to be able to compete in the world of work later. Also, it is hoped that sensitivity to potential professions has been awakened in students’ minds.

“In accordance with the goal, to train students to become junior metocean data analysts . This profession is still rare and rare. This should be an opportunity for them to work,” he concluded.

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