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They shared, learned and networked - delegates re-live the moments of SAEON-GSN's 6th Annual Indibano 2013

Compiled by: Sindiso Chamane

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SAEON’s Dr Jasper Slingsby (on the left) talks to Indibano delegates at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden about the evolutionary adaptations in Fynbos (Picture: Mpfunzeni Tshindane)

After a successful Indibano conference held in Cape Town, the GSN Committee asked delegates to write a brief summary of how they experienced the conference.

These were some of their comments:

"Indibano 2013 epitomised great scientific and research potential from an array of excellent young scientists and researchers in the broader field of environmental observation and monitoring. The level of quality in presentation, research work and output and the general participations in the workshop were great and thus represented passion for science and long-term environmental observation. "The future of scientific research is in good hands." - Mahlomola Lefupana (MSc, University of KwaZulu-Natal)

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"The conference provided a great opportunity to interact with other students involved in long-term environmental observational research as well as professionals in this field who were guest speakers at this year’s Indibano. The field excursion through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden was really interesting and enjoyed by everyone who attended. However, my highlight was our visit to the sea technology service workshop which was facilitated by Dr Charles von der Meden. It was fascinating to hear and see what monitoring and research is taking place regarding biodiversity in deeper parts of the ocean." - Kate Leigh Strachan (PhD, University of KwaZulu-Natal)

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"The Indibano was an outstanding opportunity to meet and interact with fellow students involved in similar research to my own. We could share our long-term environmental observational research and got exposed to professionals in this area of research. This burst of energy, motivation and fun has got me to really grab my research by the horns and give it my best. The SAEON GSN Indibano really made me feel a part of something bigger and was a privilege to attend." - Luke Bodmann (MSc, University of KwaZulu-Natal)

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"As a social scientist, I was nervous attending my first GSN Indibano; full of what I assumed would be physical scientists. But I was pleasantly surprised to find all the delegates excited about and interested in my research. Also, each member of the GSN committee was accommodating and helpful. The talks by industry experts were exhilarating. I would highly recommend the GSN and the Indibano to anyone looking to network with young environmental researchers in a fun and stimulating environment." - Natalie da Silva (MSc, University of Johannesburg)

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"I found the 2013 SAEON GSN conference in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens to be motivating for my own research, and generally fun and well organised. I really enjoyed the high quality of the work presented, and the SANBI conference facility was great. The networking opportunities were good and staying together at the youth hostel was a great way to get to know everyone better. Thanks especially to the entire organising team which did a great job. The talks presented by others were useful and interesting, and often very entertaining and inspirational. I think that the media workshop could have benefited from being a lot more interactive, with more small group discussion sessions. The visit to Sea Technologies was interesting and worthwhile. A vast amount of activity and information was successfully packed into this short conference. Thanks again to SAEON and the GSN for inviting me." - Marc Burman (PhD, University of Cape Town)

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"The Indibano was amazing! It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other scientists and to network with them. What I like about the Indibano is the fact that we were a small group of people: networking was easier and it was ‘chilled’. It was my first conference (alone) away from Potchefstroom, so it was a very big week for me. I have definitely grown and if I get the chance, will do it again! Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am so grateful." - Nanette Van Staden (Honours, North West University)

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"I had to give an oral presentation and I was terrified. I thought twice about attending, but my supervisor strongly advised me to. Although I was terrified to give a presentation, meeting the rest of the delegates calmed my nerves. Everyone was very friendly, presentations went quite well and were very educational. It’s amazing to learn what other young scientists all over South Africa are researching on. I do not regret any second of it. Thank you SAEON and the GSN committee members. I had a BLAST!!!" - Faith Jumbi (MSc, University of KwaZulu-Natal)

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"The GSN Annual Indibano was an amazing and rewarding experience. In addition, so was socialising, conversing and sharing knowledge with researchers from other institutions. l was exposed to different styles of presentation and I gained insight into different disciplines within Environmental science/management, not forgetting the breathtaking mountain views of Cape Town." - Gamuchirai Mtengwa (Honours, University of Venda)

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