Experts from various fields presented topics that included how to formulate a research question, how to obtain research funding, how to use recent technology such as smartphones for fieldwork, the importance of involving the local community in research projects, tips on presenting effectively with PowerPoint and how to design a good poster.
After the conclusion of the workshop, the congress covered various research projects related to rangeland ecology and management. The Poly students presented their research findings related to fire history and its impact on ecosystem processes in woodland savannas at the Waterberg Plateau Park in Namibia. The students also used the opportunity to network with other students and researchers and obtained input from experts. This provided valuable input into their postgraduate research projects. Researchers were impressed with the research being conducted by the Namibian students.
The students learnt more about their study environment (the woodlands of the Waterberg Plateau Park) through their exposure to other ecosystems that were similar in some respects and very different in others.
The trip was funded through two SASSCAL projects that investigate the impact of fire history on ecosystem services in woodland savannas. SASSCAL is the Southern African Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management, a partnership between German and Southern African researchers conducting research to better understand the ecology of terrestrial ecosystems. The Centre is funded by the German government.