First-years get hands dirty

First-year students in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources recently undertook a three day field trip to the Avis Dam in Windhoek where they learned about data gathering techniques. They also used the opportunity to get their hands literally dirty by obtaining samples for laboratory analyses.

A Lecturer in Nature Conservation, Clarance Ntesa, shed some light on the excursion: “Part of the reason why we bring the students out here, is for them to develop a wide range of fieldwork skills, including identifying soil and vegetation types through observation as well as touch.

The Avis Dam offers a rich ecosystem with a large variety of bird, plant and reptile species as well as soil types and rock formations. Such features and variety make the area an important ecosystem and perfect for field excursions for Ecology students as well as for research and study purposes.”

The students also learned basic techniques for calculating dominant plant species as well as how to determine species richness and biodiversity. Soil and other samples that were collected during the field trip were subjected to further analysis in the laboratory at the Poly and were used by the students to reach conclusions about conservation efforts and tourism attractions.

“The students really enjoyed the excursion. All of them participated with enthusiasm and have expressed their eagerness to get back into the field for future data collection, analysis and interpretation,” Ntesa said.

Date: 
Friday, April 17, 2015
for Month: 
April, 2015

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