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* FUTURE EARTH 2014 *
Iphakade and Earth Stewardship Science
Space, Energy, Minerals, Rocks, Soils, Air, Water, Food, Life, Strain
incl. Short Course in Shale Gas and Field Trip
was the coordinating theme for the 10th Inkaba yeAfrica Scientific Conference/Workshop held from 29 September - 3 October 2014, Matjiesfontein - Karoo, SA. Inkaba yeAfrica is now well into Phase III's second academic year, 2014 - and into its 12th year overall. The annual Inkaba yeAfrica and !Khure Africa Scientific Conference/Workshops are concerned with reporting significant research results over the DST/NRF financial periods (i.e. 1 April - 31 March). For the 2013/14 period a limited number of 60 Inkaba Students only could be invited. Student Posters presented (and on display) included 1 Postdoc, 24 PhD, 23 MSc and 5 Hons) reporting on both the Inkaba yeAfrica and !Khure Africa Programmes of DST and NRF (observers included 1 PD, 1 PhD and 1 MSc). Both these two programmes are managed by AEON (Africa Earth Observatory Network) which is based at the Faculty of Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape - SA.
Guest of Honour was Prof. Jan van Bever Donker, now officially retired Dean of Science : UWC (University of the Western Cape) and a highly commendable Supervisor and Mentor to a large group of MSc and PhD Inkaba students at UWC. Prof. Van Bever Donker's Invited Lecture covered the Role of the Geoscientist in the quest for Energy Resources in SA. Special Guests (and speakers) were Mr Robert Kriger, Executive Director : Special Projects (NRF), Dr Marco Andreoli (Necsa and UJ) and Prof. Erik Holm (UP and well known entomologist in SA).
A special highlight at this year's workshop included a Shale Gas Day on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - packed with student presentations on baseline studies done by the Karoo Shale Gas Group at NMMU with Prof. Maarten de Wit as Group Leader (and Chair for this Conference/WS10). The afternoon covered a Shale Gas Field Trip with five (5) representatives from the Laingsburg Town Council. A small group of secondary learners paid a brief visit to the 54 Poster display (in combination with 1-1 explanations by students) (note picture above). The day concluded with an Official 'Karoo' Braai ifo the Hotel joined by the Mayor of Laingsburg, Mr Wilhelm Tromp and continuous networking by students in the background.
With the 46-room Lord Milner Hotel fully booked, an overflow of 22 students were accommodated at the Rietfontein Nature Reserve (next door farm) and the UCT Field School in the Laingsburg area. Attendance had to be limited to a maximum of 70pp at the Conference Centre of the nostalgic Matjiesfontein Station (next to Museum) in this small historical village of Matjiesfontein in the Karoo.
Latest updates (incl. ppt's of all talks/presentations (with audio) and posters) will indefinately be available on the dedicated 10th Inkaba yeAfrica Scientific Conference/Workshop website, http://events.saip.org.za/conferenceDisplay.py?ovw=True&confId=40
(PIC: Group - to follow asap)
Group picture of Delegates who attended the 10th Annual Inkaba yeAfrica FUTURE EARTH Conference/Workshop in Matjiesfontein (Karoo), from 29 September - 3 October 2014.