Meet Dr Sarah Fawcett
Dr Sarah Fawcett on the S.A. Agulhas II (CTD in the background). Photo Credit: Hermann Luyt
Dr Fawcett is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town. She is a P-rated scientist (National Research Foundation Rating), who is the Principal Investigator of a South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) project titled “A nitrogen cycle view of atmospheric CO2 sequestration in the Antarctic Ocean“. She was also elected to the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) towards the end of last year (Read more here).
We are very proud that Dr Fawcett is part of the scientific team on the Weddell Sea Expedition that is currently underway. She represents South Africa as part of the UCT/SAEON/NMU team. Other institutions involved in this expedition includes the Scott Polar Institute (Cambridge, UK), the Nekton Foundation (UK) and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Read more about the Weddell Sea Expedition here.
Watch this video (low quality as it came directly from the Weddell Sea) where Dr Fawcett tells us more about the physical oceanography sampling conducted during the scientific leg of the exhibition and the use of this specific type of sampling.
Also listen to Dr Fawcett on Cape Talk radio and read this for more information regarding the physical oceanography leg of this scientific exploration in the Weddell Sea.
Cover photo and video credit: Hermann Luyt
Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 07 February 2019
The international Weddell Sea Expedition to one of the most remote regions of Antarctica has entered its fifth week. The expedition reached the Larsen C Ice Shelf on 10 January 2019 and commenced sampling of the ocean (video coming soon), surrounding ice floes, bathymetry and seafloor sediment to better understand one of the least explored ocean regions of the world.
The expedition chartered the S.A. Agulhas II and over and above the all South African crew, a large contingent of South African scientists is also onboard. The scientists include Dr Sarah Fawcett (Chemical Oceanography – University of Cape Town) and UCT students Raquel Flynn, Jessica Burger, Riesna Audh, Shantelle Smith, Kurt Spence and Hermann Luyt; Dr Katherine Hutchinson (Physical Oceanography – University of Cape Town); Prof Tommy Bornman (Biological Oceanography – South African Environmental Observation Network and Nelson Mandela University); Prof Annie Bekker (Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering – University of Stellenbosch) and her students James-John Matthee and Christof van Zijl; Tahlia Henry (Scientific operations – Nelson Mandela University/University of Cape Town); Thapi Makgabutlane (South African Weather Services) and Dr Colin de La Harpe (on behalf of the CSIR).
South Africans on the Weddell Sea Expedition posing on the helideck of the S.A. Agulhas II with the trillion tonne Iceberg A68 in the background (photo by Holly Ewart)
Stay in touch for more on this expedition team – who will only return to Cape Town middle of March 2019.
Written by: Prof Tommy Bornman, Biological Oceanography – South African Environmental Observation Network and Nelson Mandela University, 30 January 2019
Thanks to Tahlia Henry, Prof Tommy Bornman, Hermann Luyt and Dr Sarah Fawcett for coming in contact with Antarctic Legacy of South Africa.
Also visit – www.weddellseaexpedition.org | For more information also read this article.
Today is the second and last day of the S.A. Agulhas II Mini-Seminar, held in Stellenbosch.
We aim to dig deeper into the technical side of things today, looking at: ice measurements and navigation, vibration and vessel motion. The proposed Polar Observatory as well as robotics and related topics will also be tackled.
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S.A. Agulhas II Mini-seminar
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, 18 October 2018
S.A. Agulhas II Mini-seminar
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Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, 17 October 2018
This mini-seminar is organised by Annie Bekker, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University and director of the Sound and Vibration Research Group.
In collaboration with Aalto University in Finland, this group has been in full-scale measurements on the S.A. Agulhas II since 2012. This work has culminated in the development of a unique multi-sensor measurement system to research the rigid body motion, vibration and environmental conditions on the S.A. Agulhas II.
However, the future does not call for data, but for insight.
As such this mini-seminar seeks to communicate research results and involve stakeholders in a collaborative brainstorm activity to direct and focus our efforts in future. We will explore…
- How real-time engineering information on the bridge can aid operational decisions on the ship to increase safely and operational efficiency.
- How digital visualizations of data and vessel infrastructure can be used to develop training material in Maritime Engineering Programmes as well as Virtual Museum Exhibitions?
- How a consolidated database of real-time ship data can facilitate science on the A. Agulhas II. Examples include the availability of vessel motion data for the de-contamination of ship-based camera footage or wave slamming predictions to assess the feasibility of launching CTD from the environmental hatch.
- How can the continuous monitoring and analysis of real-time measurements contribute to the design of ice-going ships and attract participation of the international digital ship economy?
Selected stakeholders, collaborators and officials are invited to participate in this mini-seminar with the aim to stimulate inter-disciplinary, practical discussions towards the exploitation of science on the S.A. Agulhas II to impact the South African blue economy and polar science.
For further enquiries please contact Dr Annie Bekker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This event will be covered in social media by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
Authors: Dr Annie Bekker (Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University) and Anche Louw (Antarctic Legacy of South Africa), 20 September 2018
Click here to view the preliminary schedules for the S.A. Agulhas II, now until 2021.
Please note that all departure times from Cape Town will be 14:00 (logistics Voyages only).
All schedules are subject to change.
Enquiries to be directed to N. Devanunthan – 021 4059482
Author: Anche Louw (Antarctic Legacy of South Africa), 08 October 2018
Click on the event for more details…
S.A. Agulhas II Mini-seminar
The S.A. Agulhas II will not be leaving the harbour today.
This sailing schedule will be amended as soon as we have more information.
Gough Island/ Tristan da Cunha S.A. Agulhas Voyage Schedule 2018
S.A. Agulhas II Voyage Schedule - Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
|DESTINATION||ETD CPT||ETA BASE||ETD BASE||ETA CPT||REMARKS
|Tristan da Cunha||06/09/2018||14/09/2018||Voyage to Tristan da Cunha.
60 Hour stop-over to discharge cargo and passengers
|Gough Island||15/09/2018||Voyage to Gough Island
|Buoy run||21/09/2018||6 Day buoy deployment
|Gough Island||27/09/2018||02/10/2018||Back-load cargo/passengers
|Tristan da Cunha||03/10/2018||06/10/2018||11/10/2018||48 Hour stop-over at Tristan, back-load cargo/passengers.
Voyage to Cape Town
Author: Anche Louw (Antarctic Legacy of South Africa), 06 September 2018
64th Gough Island Overwintering Team
|Xolani Nyawo||Communications Engineer - Team Leader
|Michelle Risi ||Birder - Deputy Team Leader
|Alexis Osborne ||Birder
|Catherine Mokotji Mbazwana||Medic
|Karabo Mokwena ||Meteorologist
|Innocent Mthetwa||Diesel Mechanic
|Patrick Hlongwane ||Electrician
|Click here to meet the team.||
Photo Credit: Michelle Risi (Gough64 Birder).
Author: Anche Louw (Antarctic Legacy of South Africa), 05 September 2018
“It seems almost yesterday that I approached the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) to consider funding a Floating University that would be open to all University and Technikon postgraduate students” says Associate Professor and Head of Oceanography Isabelle Ansorge “and here we are planning our third year”!
SEAmester aims to introduce marine science as an applied and cross-disciplinary field to students who have shown an affinity for these core science disciplines. It combines traditional class-room lectures with hands-on ship-based deck activities for the students, while providing them with opportunities to network with and support specialist scientists in recognised marine research activities. The programme strives to gain greater awareness of the oceans’ physical and ecological response to climate change. To date, since the first cruise in 2016 over 120 students from 23 universities and technikons around South Africa as well as over 54 lecturers have participated in SEAmester. As an example – the lectures range from space weather to ocean plastics to marine microbiology to ocean instrumentation. Going hand-in-hand with the lectures are specially designed experiments which are linked to the mornings classroom lecture – so for plastics the students then spend a few hours towing a net over the side, after a lecture on the seafloor we tow a dredge to see what comes up from over 400 m deep, students learn to count seabirds, study and forecast weather patterns and get to grips with calibrating oceanographic data.
What makes SEAmester so unique is that its open to any national postgraduate student. In the past access to the SA Agulhas II was only possible if your supervisor had a grant through the South African National Antarctic Programme – Naturally this was limited to only a few Universities who undertook polar research – so this meant that students studying mangrove swamps at the University of Zululand for instance would never have a chance to go onboard the SA Agulhas II – SEAmester removes those restrictions! The participating students come from a range of backgrounds and for majority of these students it is their first time out at sea – a truly life changing event! SEAmester is funded until 2020 but its hoped to become a flagship DST project in marine education.
The next cruise: 16 July – 27 July 2018 (click here for more information).
Professor Isabelle Ansorge and Tahlia Henry, Oceanography Department University of Cape Town, 02 July 2018