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SAEON Arid Lands Node organise author workshop for upcoming Karoo Special Issue

By Casper Crous, Ecologist, SAEON Arid Lands Node mail.jpg facebook.jpg
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Grassland Society Committee member, Igshaan Samuels (left), one of the proponents of the Karoo Special Issue, discusses livestock management and trajectories of change with an experienced Karoo communal farmer (Photo: Joh Henschel)

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Behind the scenes: workshop attendees grafting hard in shaping ideas and articles (Photo: Casper Crous)

In early December 2017, members of SAEON’s Arid Lands Node partook in an author workshop in Prince Albert.

This workshop, organised by node manager Joh Henschel, was to help shape articles for an upcoming Karoo Special Issue in the African Journal of Range and Forage Science, a journal managed by the Grassland Society of Southern Africa and published by NISC.

The Karoo Special Issue will be titled Trajectories of change in the Anthropocene. The idea behind this Special Issue came from worrying evidence that the Karoo, historically being mostly untouched by large developments, now faces many social and ecological challenges due to large-scale environmental changes. It became imperative to synthesise and further the current knowledge of the Karoo environment and its people, to prepare for future uncertainties.

That a whopping 32 submissions were received for possible inclusion was met with great positivity by the editors. Indeed, based on the number of submissions, but of course depending on the outcome after peer-review, the publisher also agreed to two back-to-back issues.

Wide range of topics

Specific topics to be covered in the Karoo Special Issue are social and ecological history, climate in the Anthropocene, the socio-economic dynamics of current developments, rangeland matters, ecological restoration, land redistribution considerations, demographic changes and urbanisation, and social resilience.

Representing the SAEON Arid Lands Node at the workshop was Joh Henschel, who will be an author and guest editor alongside researchers Cherryl Walker and Timm Hoffman; Sue Milton, Helga van der Merwe and Casper Crous, who will be authors and associate editors; and Richard Dean, Marco Pauw, Gina Arena and Stefan Goets, who are also submitting articles.

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