A few of the CSAG staff recently returned from our annual field trip to the Eastern Cape where we joined up with the students and staff of the Parks and People Programme from Pennsylvania State University, an international undergraduate study abroad programme. The programme integrates teaching, research and service across multiple disciplines related to the management of protected areas, social and economic development, and public education in ecosystem services.
Preceding this field trip, CSAG hosted the Parks and People students at UCT for a one day workshop (In late January) where the students where introduced to the field of climate science and research, with additional emphasis on prevalent discussion points around the topic of climate. This workshop was also an opportunity for the international students to meet current researchers and post-graduate students of CSAG/UCT.
During the field trip CSAG staff taught the PennState students about climate as a “driver of change” for Southern Africa and the impacts of this on the landscape, fauna, communities and system as a whole. PennState students were also introduced to CSAG’s Climate Information Platform (CIP) and tasked to make use of this climate data tool (and others) to answer specific questions throughout their trip.
Previous field trips have fostered strong relationships with students and staff that have surpassed the specific year of collaboration. 2015 was yet another successful year and we look forward to 2016.