Workshop at Chulalongkorn University

Jetlagged after all – did not wake up until 9 am despite several phone alarms but still I made it in time to our project discussion at 10 am at the Geology Department. It is amazing how much information we already have for Lake Kumphawapi: stratigraphy, diatoms, geochemistry, and chronology and how the picture of lake status changes and lake level variations gradually starts to emerge. The planned biomarker, biogenic silica and oxygen isotope analyses will certainly form important additional proxies which will allow us to draw a comprehensive picture of the environmental development.
For our short lunch we visited the local Friday food market on campus where a large variety of delicious Thai meals, fruits and vegetables were for sale. I went for a very good Vietnamese-type meat and vegetable wrap and a green fruit drink.
At 1pm it was time for the project workshop. Nut had organized the whole program, had announced the workshop to faculty and students, booked a lecture hall and ordered afternoon coffee and cakes. The workshop started with me giving an introduction to the project, which was followed by Nut who reported about his analyses on one of the Kumphawapi cores, Pare who presented her work on core CP3A and Koy who discussed her diatom results.
After the coffee break, Moo presented her speleothem results and Ludvig talked about using the Itrax core scanner to study lake sediments. Finally, we showed “Under the eyes of the Buddha” – Hywel’s video documenting last year’s fieldwork. I was amazed how many students and faculty came and attended the whole workshop and how many questions we got. Our audience was really interested in our work and liked the film very much. It was also great to see how well prepared our students were for their talks and how much they had worked to make their power point presentations clear, understandable and nice.
We ended the evening by going to a famous restaurant that serves delicious crab, shrimp, fish, and oyster meals. Thanawat, thanks very much for the nice treat! The restaurant was definitely a very popular place and had we come a bit later, we would not have found a single place to sit. Tomorrow afternoon, once the whole car has been packed, we will start our journey to the south. Our first stop will be Khao Sam Roi You National Park, which is located some 200–250 km south of Bangkok. The large wetland in this park became isolated from the sea either 3 000 or 30 000 years ago, according to the information by the National Park Authorities.
My feeling is that is was rather 3 000 than 30 000 years ago. But – we can test this, provided that sediments are still available!

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