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SAEON staff spark interest in environmental science

By Elvirena Coetzee, SAEON Fynbos Node

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The Annual Biodiversity Career Day organised by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) took place at the Kirstenbosch Research Centre and Centre for Biodiversity Conservation in Cape Town in March this year.

SAEON’s Fynbos and Egagasini nodes were among the organisations that engaged with 214 senior high school learners, who made their way through 18 career stations spread across the buildings.

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Dr Nicola Stevens explains why fire is important for fynbos in her presentation on post-fire recovery

SAEON Technician Abri de Buys describes how weather stations are used in research and data collection

As South Africa’s Mother City was slowly recovering from recent fires across the Cape Peninsula and with helicopters still flying overhead, the Fynbos Node focused their presentation on post-fire recovery, highlighting why fire is important for fynbos. Learners were interested in finding out how weather stations were used in research and data collection. Presenters for the Fynbos Node were Elvirena Coetzee, Dr Nicola Stevens, Dr Christopher Trisos and Abri de Buys.

Both nodes hoped to inspire some exciting Eskom Expo projects. SAEON staff offered to support learners with their projects by presenting expert advice and job shadowing at each node.

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Elvirena Coetzee tells learners more about the SAEON Fynbos Node

Dr Christopher Trisos highlights the benefits of fire for the fynbos biome

"We realise most learners need to be encouraged to consider further study in the field of scientific research, and we hope the contact time with field experts will influence a higher university enrolment,” says Dr Nicky Allsopp, Manager of the SAEON Fynbos Node.

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