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Fun in the sun

By Johan Pauw, Managing Director, SAEON
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I will forgive anyone who, after scanning the contents of this edition of the SAEON eNewsletter, has the impression that SAEON is not a serious research institution.

Well, without doubt a lot of serious fun is indeed being had by SAEON staff members. There cannot be a better place than South Africa to study a wealth of ecosystems.

In SAEON, it is even better because SAEON is structured to be comprehensive, and thus has the diversity of the terrestrial, coastal, marine and atmospheric systems included in its scope of work.

If you like mountains, they can be studied above and under water in SAEON. And if, for example, you like to study dryland, wetland, estuarine, grassland, savanna, Macchia, forest, shrubland, river, beach, coastal reef, climate and oceanic systems, they are also studied by us in all their forms and dynamics, and under gloriously sunny skies (well mostly).

One person’s fun is another person’s nightmare, they say. This is very true and thus our swimming with sharks, walking with elephants, lying with snakes, sleeping with spiders and sweating alone is far from most people’s idea of fun, to the extent of them being terrified of exposure to such potential environmental hazards.

So SAEON members are a select group willing and able to cope with harsh and potentially dangerous conditions in order to satisfy their passion for understanding ecosystems and, thereby, to conserve all life on Earth.

Our fun in the sun is not for everyone.

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