Congratulations to Calle Borg and Gaby Ayres for being awarded their degrees by Rhodes University today! Calle was awarded his PhD and his thesis focused on identifying growth criteria and sediment movement mechanisms of needle ice using high-frequency environmental and visual monitoring. Gaby was awarded her MSc and her dissertation covered the biogeomorphic aspects of lichen colonisation in part of western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica.
Registrations for the 2017 Biennial SAAG Conference, to be held in Swaziland from 25-28 July, are now open. Different registration options are available, including registering for only one day of the conference (R850), registering as an academic (R1500), non-academic (R1950), government official (R1350) and discounted registration fees for student attendees (R1000). * these are the early bird registration fees
|The key registration dates are|
|Registration formally opens||30 March 2017|
|Standard registration closes||31 May 2017|
|Late registration closes||25 July 2017|
|Deadline for presenter registration||30 April 2017|
And don’t forget to submit your abstracts by 30 April! The theme of the conference is SOUTHERN AFRICAN GEOMORPHOLOGY: PURE AND APPLIED and the themes to which abstracts can be submitted to include:
- Soil erosion and rehabilitation in theory and practice
- Bio-geomorphology: the use of plants to achieve geomorphic (landscape) objectives
- Cold climate geomorphology
- Fluvial geomorphology
- The geomorphology of wetland systems
- Coasts and coastal stability
- Geomorphology in general
Two of our students, Gaby Ayres and Calle Borg, will be graduating this year at the April graduation ceremonies of Rhodes University. Gaby’s Masters dissertation was titled “Biogeomorphic aspects of lichen colonisation in part of western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica”, and investigated the habitats that are preferred by specific lichen species on the Robertskollen and Vesleskarvet nunataks. Calle investigated needle ice in soils on sub-Antarctic Marion Island and in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg, in a thesis titled “Identifying growth criteria and sediment movement mechanisms of needle ice using high-frequency environmental and visual monitoring”. Using a novel approach, combining time-lapse photography and microclimatic monitoring, he identified ground physical characteristics, as well as thermal and moisture conditions necessary for needle ice growth. Calle’s research has provided unique insights into the processes and energy transfers that produce needle ice, and that it is a significant contributor to the disturbance of vegetation and sediment displacement in diurnal frost environments.
We congratulate both Gaby and Calle on their achievement and wish them both all the best for the future!
The South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) invites applications to an OPEN CALL for a three year funding cycle (2018-2020). The closing date for applications is 26 May 2017 and applications should be submitted electronically via the NRF Online Submission System. You can learn more about the call and how to apply here.
Jenna presented at the 3rd International APECS Online during Session 4 today. She, together with Christel and Nicola, prepared a presentation on our project’s work in Antarctica, how we engage with the public, and what we could do to engage better with the public. Their presentation, titled Communicating Polar Research in South Africa was presented at 19:00-19:15 SAST. APECS will make the presentation available as a webcast later during the year. For now, you can have a look at their abstract here .
But we were not the only South African presenters at the conference. Johan Viljoen from Stellenbosch University talked about The Benefits of Interdisciplinary Studies: a Biogeochemist’s Perspective from 10:45-11:00 GMT (12:45-13:00 SAST), and Anché Louw from the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (also based at Stellenbosch University) presented on Using the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) Project as a tool for Outreach in the form of Science Communication from 11:30-11:45 GMT (13:30-13:45 SAST). Both of these presentations took place during Session 2.
We would like to thank APECS and the organizing committee for putting on such an excellent conference again, the third year running! Online conferences seem the way to go – cheap, accessible from the comfort of your home, still able to ask questions and engage with the presenters, and incredibly informative. More importantly, it gives a platform for students and young emerging researchers to showcase their work without any significant costs involved.
The 3rd International APECS Online Conference will take place tomorrow (20 March) from 07:00-00:15 GMT the next day (09:00-02:15 SAST) and Christel, Jenna and Nicola will be presenting during Session 4. They will be talking about Communicating Polar Research in South Africa and you can still register as an audience member to tune in to their presentation. There are also two other South African polar researchers presenting during Session 2 and you can also register for their presentations. Johan Viljoen from Stellenbosch University will be talking about The Benefits of Interdisciplinary Studies: a Biogeochemist’s Perspective from 10:45-11:00 GMT (12:45-13:00 SAST). Anché Louw from the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (also based at Stellenbosch University) will be presenting on Using the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) Project as a tool for Outreach in the form of Science Communication from 11:30-11:45 GMT (13:30-13:45 SAST).
Remember that the conference is free and anyone can join – you only need to have an Internet connection. So join us and show your support! Or simply join and enjoy the interesting topics on offer.
Today we (Jenna and Nicola) got to speak to Grade 5s at St Andrew’s Preparatory School in Grahamstown about our recent trip to Antarctica. The class is currently learning about Antarctica and we chatted about the work we do there, how we get there, the admin involves, as well as logistics. The scholars really enjoyed the talk and were super excited about our presentation (which was even better!). We enjoyed speaking with them about our experiences on the continent and what it was like for us to get to go on such an amazing and life-changing trip. Their teacher, Ms Thomas, even asked if we would be willing to come back next year.
The 3rd International APECS Online is only a week away and our team will also have a presence at this year’s conference. Register as an audience member today to tune in to their presentation or any of the other presentations on offer. The conference is free and anyone can join – you only need to have an Internet connection.
Christel, Jenna and Nicola will be presenting during SESSION 4 from 17:00-17:15 GMT. That would then be 19:00-19:15 SAST. The title of their presentation is Communicating Polar Research in South Africa. We hope to see you there!
The SSAG 2017 Student Conference will take place at the University of Mpumalanga from 18-22 June. This year the conference is hosted by the School of Biology & Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Science. This conference is unique in that it is organized by students for students and it’s LOTS of fun! If you have the time, some funds and would like to present your research don’t give this conference a miss. And if you have never presented at a conference and would like to get a feel on how to present at such events you should definitely attend!
This year’s theme is “Geography and environment for sustainable development” and all students (Honors and Masters) in the physical and human geographical sciences are encouraged to attend. For enquiries please contact Sakhile Nsukwini, Dr. Wisemen Chingombe or Prof. Pakama Siyongwana. Otherwise phone +27-13-0020-221 or +27-13-0020-228.
Abstract Submission Deadline: 17 April
Registration & Payment Deadline: 12 May