Total time: 7 hours
• Provide in-depth information about site selection, pond design and pond construction;
• Provide opportunity to apply new information in the field under the instruction of an expert;
• Prepare trainees for upcoming training exercises.
Overview: Fish culture can only be successful if the ponds in which the fish are being raised function properly, and if good decisions were made from the beginning in choosing the site. It is therefore critical that trainees develop sound skills in the areas of site selection, pond design and pond construction in order to be effective in their jobs overseas. These aspects of the job tend to be intimidating to trainees and new volunteers because the price of any errors or bad judgement during the construction phase is very high and long lasting. There is a great deal of material to be learned, and to facilitate this process, especially given the time constraints of the program, a highly experienced expert should be brought in to teach the trainees the basic considerations, skills and techniques. In reality, a true ability to successfully practice these aspects of the job come only with experience, but this session provides the foundation that will enable trainees to begin building that experience base. Please note: The guest speaker will actually design his/her own session, with the staff simply notifying him/her of the time frames and general nature of the material they wish to have addressed. The following provides a general idea of a possible flow of events, based upon the way the expert used in this program designed his session.
Note: To prepare trainees for this session, they should be given a homework assignment the day before the guest lecturer is to visit. The homework assignment is to list all of the questions the trainees can think of regarding choosing a site for a pond, designing a pond and building a pond.
1. The meeting begins after morning pond time. The trainee facilitator introduces the guest speaker and tells the group about his/her credentials and experience. The speaker then begins the lecture, beginning with an outline of what will be covered and encouraging trainees to ask questions whenever they wish to. Since the morning lecture will probably be long, approximately four hours, a fifteen minute break should be taken halfway through the morning.
2. At lunchtime, the trainee facilitator provides the guest with a lunch. Lunch time is long enough to include pond time, usually an hour and a half. During this time, the guest may choose to remain with the trainees to talk informally, or he/she may choose to take a break in the office.
3. After lunch and pond time, the meeting continues. The guest finishes covering his/her material, which should take approximately an hour more in the classroom.
4. When the guest has covered the planned material in the classroom, he/she takes the group out to the field for the next hour and a half or so. In the field, soil samples are taken with an auger and examined in light of the information received in the morning session. The speaker can then divide the group into two or three smaller groups, giving them an assignment such as doing a baseline and finding a contour at a given slope, or some other aspect of the material that was covered during the discussion on site selection and pond design. The guest circulates among the groups, providing guidance and clarification regarding questions that arise.
5. For the last thirty minutes or so, the group reconvenes in the field or in the classroom to discuss the field project and to ask any last minute questions. The trainee facilitator thanks the guest on behalf of the group, and the session is completed.
6. The session is followed by the normal end-of-the-day pond time.
Resources and Materials:
• Expert with knowledge and experience in all aspects of site selection, pond design and pond construction;
• Blackboard, chalk, eraser;
• Extra lunch for guest;
• Soil auger(s);
• Nearby area(s) where samples of diverse soil types can be found;
• Field or other area suitable for field exercise as designed by guest;
• Dumpy levels, tripods, stadia rods, tape measures and surveying flags (one set per 8 to 12 trainees) for field exercise.
• The staff member who makes the arrangements with the guest expert should be sure to allow ample time for the guest to prepare the session. Provide information that will help the speaker understand what the trainees do and don't know, and will make it clear what it is hoped will be covered to meet the needs of the program;
• The trainee facilitator should be selected and notified by the staff ahead of time. He/she should meet with the visitor about twenty minutes before the meeting begins in order to conduct a short interview that will allow him/her to properly introduce the guest and provide information regarding credentials and experience;
• The trainer in charge of meals should arrange for an extra lunch to be ordered. The trainee facilitator should take responsibility for making sure the guest gets a lunch;
• Staff members should be present throughout the sessions and field exercises. They should take behavioral data and one should be assigned the task of taking notes on what the speaker actually says. This is helpful in developing quiz questions, or in case there is some confusion later about technical information that was relayed;
• It is important for the trainees to have already worked with the surveying equipment and be fairly comfortable with the concepts and practice of surveying prior to this session;
• Technical material to be covered in depth should include at least the following:
• Criteria used in site selection;
• Physical parameters: water sources, variety of soil types, topography, vegetation, climate, etc.;
• Other parameters:
• economic feasibility (construction costs vs. potential income from this pond(s);
• market situation and proximity to market;
• proximity to farmer's home;
• danger of theft/vandalism;
• accessibility to roads, to resources;
• room for expansion;
• farmer's skills, other interests and work;
• availability of resources;
• Water sources (types, characteristics of each, advantages and disadvantages of each;
• Soils (types, how to identify, which are suitable to pond construction, considerations in construction that are dependent upon soil type, etc.;
• Topography (common types of topography, slopes, what is a suitable slope, how different slopes affect pond design, how topography affects shape, orientation, size, and layout of ponds, etc.;
• Types of ponds (diversion, barrage, watershed, contour, water table, etc.) and pond systems (parallel, rosary) including descriptions, construction considerations, advantages, disadvantages, suitability to various topographies, how different pond types can be used in combinations, etc.;
• Designing and laying out ponds, following contours, use of gravity flow, staking out ponds for construction;
• Parts of a pond (dikes, dike slopes, toes, top width, core trench, freeboard, storage, bottom slope, surface area, emergency spillway or overflow, drainage structures, inlet structures, anti-seep collars, etc.) and relative dimensions, options, considerations that determine dimensions, etc.;
• Pond construction (all steps involved and sequence of all steps including scarification, tamping, compaction, cut and fill, calculating dike volumes, sealing bottom, dealing with trees or other vegetation, erosion control, etc.);
• Specific types of drainage and inlet structures (monks, sluices, PVC stand pipes, other pipes systems, Rivaldi drains, siphons, canals, etc.). Also discuss use of sleeves over pipes for bottom draining, special considerations regarding spillways and overflow structures (i.e. width and depth in relation to water flow, pond size, etc., dangers of screening overflow structures, etc.).