The National, Monday November 11th, 2013
By BRIAN TOBIA
HE is so humble that he cannot hurt a fly, respects his colleagues and friends, reluctant to speak much in the social context as would a typical Orokaiva man do, except for sharing few jokes.
In comparison, he is very different as an intellect, in the professional field that he is familiar with – the landmass and its contents (minerals, oil and gas), properties, variations, effects and expected outcomes of changes in land forms and many others.
Almost 35 years of dedicated commitment in the field of geology (or earth sciences) in researching and teaching at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), the Orokaiva man from Garombi village, Arehe Block in Popondetta, Northern, Russell Clark Bariki Perembo (pictured right), has been confirmed as a “fully pledged” Professor of Geology.
This announcement was made by the division of earth sciences of the school of natural and physical sciences recently.
In layman terms, Prof Perembo knows a lot about geology in the country, the Pacific and abroad.
This is the highest recognition for a PNG national in the field of geology.
Perembo’s achievement is a first for the country.
His achievement may have been triggered by the fact that he was the first Papua New Guinean to obtain a doctorate degree in geology (PhD) from the University of Western Australia in 1995.
Perembo has been an academic all his life, since graduating from UPNG apart from a year-long absence in 2002 during which he resigned to contest the PNG national elections.
His teaching career begun in 1983 during which he was employed by UPNG as a teaching fellow under the UPNG staff development programme.
In the years that followed from 1986, he ascended the academic ladder from being a lecturer to a senior lecturer, associate professor and now professor of geology.
His other academic achievements include a first degree in science (majoring in geology) in 1982, followed by the bachelor of science with honours at UPNG and a master of science degree from the University of Queensland in 1986.
Perembo has a lot of experience in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
He has been involved in teaching as a teaching fellow under the university staff development program in 1983 and took full control of courses after completing a masters of science degree in 1986.
Upon returning from doctorate studies in 1994, he was involved heavily in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and participated in the two university wide structural changes (bi-semester to tri-semester in 2000, and then return to bi-semester in 2004).
While on study leave at University of Western Australia, he was nominated as demonstrator in first year geology practical classes and assisted in supervising post-graduate students.
And prior to that, while pursuing his masters, he tutored at St Johns College and in the department of geology and mineralogy for a semester each at the University of Queensland.
Locally, Perembo took in-house short courses and seminars to improve his teaching performance.
“I’m always on the lookout for innovative ideas to generate enthusiasm among students and to be passionate about the course,” he said.
He has supervised and co-supervised 10 candidates for postgraduate studies between 1987-2008.
He has vast research and consultancy experience and authored or co-authored a total of 21 publications in his academic life.
He presented numerous papers at conferences and seminars.
Administratively, Perembo has been a deputy dean of the School of Natural and Physical Sciences from September 2003 to present and at times performed as acting executive dean and member of various senate-nominated university committee that contributed towards UPNG administration and governance.
- Brian Tobia works at the UPNG public relations unit