NUST students join NASA project

Three NUST students, Senior Shimhanda, David Shipepe and Mercy-Thea Alugodhi, are presently in Walvis Bay, shadowing scientists from USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and various American universities. Shimhanda is from the Faculty of Engineering, and Shipepe and Alugodhi from the Faculty of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences.

The three are part of a group of six students from NUST, the University of Namibia (UNAM) and South Africa’s North-West University. The US scientists, under the Observations of Aerosols Above Clouds and their Interactions (ORACLES) programme, are in the country to observe and measure the way aerosol particles interact with clouds and change their ability to warm or cool the earth.

Dr Nichola Knox, an Associate Professor in the NUST Department of Geo-Spatial Sciences and Technology, said this is a very exciting collaboration. “Our students will follow these remarkable scientists for three weeks and obtain a wealth of knowledge,” she said. The field campaigns will take place at various times over the next three years, during the peak burning biomass season, which is between August and October. Aircraft with instruments that make measurements similar to those acquired from satellites will be used during the field campaigns.

In another interesting development, Prof Nenesi Kgabi, from the NUST Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, announced that NUST, together with NASA representatives and the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre, will conduct the Science Education Outreach during the Science and Technology Innovation (STI) Festival taking place from 12 to 16 September.

The event, organised by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST), will be held at the Ongwediva Trade Fair venue in Northern Namibia. Hundreds of primary and secondary school learners will receive science education through quizzes, videos and interactive talks, Kgabi said. She added that the focal point will be educating young learners from as young as Grade Four, about earth and atmospheric sciences in simple and easy-to-understand language. This forms part of the ongoing collaboration between NUST and NASA.

Prof Kgabi may be contacted at 061-207 2609 for further details about the festival.

Date: 
Friday, September 9, 2016
for Month: 
September, 2016

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