A simple activity of assembling a set of dolphin bones has cemented the atmosphere for cooperation and sharing among Dumaguete’s universities.
The bone-assembling activity last Friday, which was held at the Silliman University Institute of Environment and Marine Sciences (IEMS) at the Silliman Beach, was led by renowned mammalogist Louella Dolar, an adjunct professor at Silliman University, and marine mammal specialist Edna Sabater.
Dolar shared her expertise with four biology students from Foundation University led by their teacher, Cynthia Dolino, who was formerly Dolar’s biology student at Silliman. The bones, that of a female Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), were recovered from a dolphin which had died of malnutrition and was found near the IEMS building on March 1, 2009.
SU President Dr. Ben Malayang III had earlier approved a request from Foundation University to exhume the bones and assemble them, as part of a learning activity of students and faculty of the two institutions.
The bones will be placed on display at the Foundation University library, where Dr. Malayang said, “it would it will be hung on display from the library’s ceiling and shared for display for educational enhancement, enlarge the view of the students to these educational materials and promote our natural resources.”
This activity was made possible because of a consortium entered into by the four Negros Oriental universities four years ago, where they agreed to share resources “in order to give the highest level of education to the youth and their environs.” The consortium was signed by Malayang, FU Chairperson Victor Vicente Sinco, Negros Oriental State University President Dr. Henry Sojor and St. Paul University of Dumaguete President Sr. Nilda Masirag.
The universities agreed to promote common programs in the field of sports, culture, and academics.
“There was also a time when we made available certain books to the FU library when they needed it and we were also lent the expertise of a faculty member of the Negros Oriental State University at one point,” Malayang said, citing instances when the consortium was put to work.
Malayang said he believes he speaks for all universities by saying that the consortium has actually helped all universities and their students.
Dolar said the activity signified the beginning of the accomplishment of that goal of sharing of resources, knowledge, faculty, time, and specimens between the two schools.
Dolar finished her biology degree from Silliman University. She took her masters in zoology at James Cook University in Australia and her Ph.D. in Marine Biology at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California. (with a report from Irene Frances Cabrera)