Laboratory training in National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management (NICEM), Seoul National University

Article prepared by
Dayang Shamira Hj A. Matali, Dk Nur Amal Nazira Pg Zaman,
Siti Faten Su’aidah Hj Saman and Siti Hadijah Hj Haji, Wardah Hj Tuah, Dr. Faizah Metali and Dr. Hussein Taha

Four research assistants (Dayang Shamira binti Haji A. Matali, Dk Nur Amal Nazira Pg Zaman, Siti Faten Su’aidah binti Haji Saman and Siti Hadijah Haji Haji) under the UBD/BRC/11 grant, one MSc Biology student (Wardah binti Haji Tuah) along with two academics (Dr. Faizah Metali and Dr. Hussein Taha) from the Environmental and Life Sciences programme were invited to participate in the soil and plant analysis laboratory training from 27th February until 11th March 2017. The 2-week training was conducted in the National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management (NICEM), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences located in the Gwanak campus of Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul, Republic of Korea. NICEM is a national research-and-education supporting institute with its mission to promote and centralise facilities for research in agriculture, environment and biotechnology. The purposes of this short training include to analyse soil samples and plants extracts from Brunei Darussalam, be trained in soil, plant and water analysis using protocol and advanced equipment in NICEM, conduct cross-lab check for chemical analysis conducted in UBD, and discuss future cooperation between NICEM and ASEAN-Korea Environmental Cooperation Unit (AKECOP) with the UBD/BRC/11 and Brunei’s AKECOP research teams.

The training commenced with an orientation session and an introduction to SNU and lab facilitators by Dr. Ho Sang Kang, an associate research professor of NICEM and AKECOP, followed by an introduction to NICEM by Professor Lee Goon Taek, the head of Soil Quality Analysis Center in NICEM. The director of NICEM, Professor Im Jeong Bin, made a short visit during the orientation session and gave a brief welcoming speech to the invited participants.

In the span of one week, the participants conducted a series of productive lab trainings in soil, plant and water analysis using UV-spectrophotometer, Kjeldahl analyser and GCMS, led by representative researchers from NICEM. They also had the opportunity to continue with their lab trainings using ICP-OES and mercury analyser in NICEM located at the Institute of Green Bio Science and Technology (GBST) in the Seoul National University PyeongChang campus during the second week. The GBST has a goal to establish itself as a green bio high-tech academy and research hub to represent the Northeast Asia. At this campus, SNU is offering an MSc course on International Agricultural technology.

The training ended with a closing ceremony and a fruitful discussion between researchers from NICEM and AKECOP and the UBD team. Future projects and workshops by AKECOP and possible future cooperation on in-depth lab training and forest rehabilitation work in Brunei were among the agenda that were discussed. This training is fully funded and supported by the UBD/BRC/11 grant.