by Ria Olivier | Mar 18, 2023 | Announcement, SA Agulhas II, SEAmester, Southern Ocean
Call for student and lecturer applications for SEAmester VI!
CLOSING date 14 APRIL 2023.
South Africa’s Class Afloat aims to introduce marine science as an applied and cross-disciplinary field to students who have shown an affinity for core science disciplines
SEAmester V 2022 (read more about SEAmester cruises)
Applications are now open for LECTURER and STUDENT participation on the 2023 SEAmester-South Africa’ Class Afloat Programme. CLICK HERE
The Department of Science and Innovation requires platforms to “attract young researchers to the region and retain them by exciting their interest in aspects of global change”. SEAmester introduces marine science as an applied and cross-disciplinary field to students. Its long‐term vision is aimed at building capacity within the marine sciences by co‐ordinating cross‐disciplinary research projects through a highly innovative programme. The strength of SEAmester is that postgraduate students combine theoretical classroom learning with the application of this knowledge through ship-based and hands-on research. The state‐of‐the‐art research vessel, S.A. Agulhas II, provides the ideal teaching and research platform for SEAmester; its size, comfort and shipboard facilities allow large groups of students and lecturers to productively interact over a period of 10 days.
SEAmester will depart on the 19th June returning to Cape Town on the 30th June 2023. PLEASE NOTE: Applicants to be aware that the cruise dates may be subject to change by a few days. For further information please refer to www.SEAmester.co.za
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS : 14 APRIL 2023
by Ria Olivier | Feb 17, 2023 | Announcement, Research, SA Polar Research Infrastructure
The Data, Products and Society (DPS) Node of the South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI) is planned to bring together the SAPRI Data Centre, the various types of generated data and downstream products, including modelling and the societal outreach program.
DPS is built on a phased integrating approach. The Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) contributed to creating a community ethos, via the creation and administration of the ALSA and South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) websites as well as updates on the different social media platforms. The potential for this initiative to become a reference for the South African “polar society” at large is enormous, and it is at the core of the DPS facility. Building on the ALSA experience, and through a complete integration of ALSA within SAPRI, it will bring the infrastructure closer to research/training institutions and stakeholders that have historically been less involved with polar science.
The appointment of the DPS Node Coordinator (Manager), Dr Anne Treasure, and the Digital Marketing and Communications Manager, Anche Louw, were approved by the DPS User Fora and the SAPRI interim advisory committee in March 2022 to ensure the integration of ALSA in phases and to establish data management within SAPRI. The committee and User Fora approved that the DPS node will be hosted at Stellenbosch University and the node was established in November 2022.
Dr Anne Treasure has been part of ALSA for the past 5 years as a collaborator, with a focus on data management, and is currently fulfilling the role of SA representative on the Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM) at the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) as well as on the SA National Committee for SCAR. Dr Anne Treasure was on the SAPRI proposal writing committee, and was responsible for compiling the data management, and the data infrastructure and system requirements that will be implemented within SAPRI. She will have a huge impact on implementing the data management component of SAPRI. The DPS Coordinator is to bring this Infrastructure together with its different components to support the community of SAPRI and all its stakeholders, including all governance structures such as the SAPRI management team, the advisory committee, and the User Fora, as well as the SANAP community, which includes overwintering team members (past and present), scientists and researchers, vessel crew, maintenance crew and take-over personnel. The coordinator will ensure to make the data centre, products, and society available to all stakeholders and a large component will be to inform national and international communities about the work done by South Africa in the polar environment. Anne has overwintered on Marion Island as part of Marion 65 (ALSA Archive) and has participated in many Marion take-overs and other visits to the island. She has also spent time on Prince Edward Island, and has participated in many oceanographic research cruises, including ice experience.
Anche Louw has been part of ALSA for the past 9 years, first on part-time basis and later as Communicator, Assistant Project Manager and Co-Investigator. Anche specialises in digital marketing and has built a huge social media presence for ALSA and SANAP. She is a SA representative on the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SCHASS) at SCAR and on the SA National Committee for SCAR. She is a member of the action group for Public Engagement with Antarctic Research (PEAR) at SCAR and was nominated for the SCAR medal on outreach and awareness in 2022. Her current position at ALSA will now be carried on within SAPRI as part of the integration of ALSA in phases. Her role as the Digital Marketing and Communications (DMC) Manager is to maintain the relevant websites related to SAPRI, SANAP and ALSA. A huge role is keeping track of digital marketing trends and to ensure that SAPRI and its stakeholders have a social media presence on a daily basis, on a national and international level. The DMC Manager is to bring the awareness and outreach together with its different components to support the community of the South African Polar Research Infrastructure and all its stakeholders, as well as the SANAP community, which includes overwintering team members (past and present), scientists and researchers, vessel crew, maintenance crew and take-over personnel. Anche has overwintered on Marion Island as part of Marion 70, participated in take-overs to Marion Island and has visited SANAE IV during the 2019 take-over. Anche has represented SA at various international conferences and has visited four of the five Gateway Cities to Antarctica (Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa and Hobart, Australia).
Anne on top of Mascarin Peak, Marion Island (2009).
Anche in the interior, Marion Island (2014).
The DPS Manager, DMC Manager, together with ALSA need to manage a space that makes the community feel it is their own, and to showcase the work done by all those in the community. The DPS node has a cross-cutting role and the DMC Manager needs to engage with the other SAPRI components to transform the perception of the polar environment in society. The DPS node will play a major role in transforming, consolidating, and strengthening polar sciences.
SAPRI proposal has been approved by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) as part of the South African Roadmap Infrastructure (SARIR) in 2021. As Principal investigator of the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) Project I have been involved since the start of the SAPRI proposal. SAPRI is also based on the Antarctic and Southern Ocean plan (2014) and the Marine and Antarctic Strategy (2016).
Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 17 January 2023
by Ria Olivier | Jan 28, 2023 | Announcement, Marion Island, Marion Island Newsletters, Overwintering Team, SANAP, sub-Antarctic
October and November were two enormously busy months. The elephant seals’ breeding season came to an abrupt end and immediately shifted to the moulting season. Brown skua nests and small chicks have started to appear widespread across the island. Flowers are in full bloom from the coast to the midlands; and the new Wandering Albatross breeding pairs have suddenly made their appearance on the Marion plains, while the past year’s Wanderer-juveniles have almost all fledged by now. The team is in high spirits as we approach the festive season and we are enjoying sunnier days. The wind speeds, however, have kept their ‘Roaring Forties’ name, respectably high. Enjoy this edition of The Wanderer! – Elsa van Ginkel
In this Issue – download Newsletter here
- A word from the editors
- Meet the Astrophysicist and the SAWS team
- Fashionable Field Gear
- Marion’s Marvelous Birds
- Memorable Shots!
- Battle of The Bulls
- A Job to ‘Killer Whale’
- Island Life
- Circle of Life – Round Island for the Readers
- What have the team been up to in October and November?
- Memorable shots
by Ria Olivier | Jan 10, 2023 | Announcement, Antarctica, Current Event, Environment, News, SA Agulhas II, SANAE, SANAE IV, SANAP, Science, Stations
Media Release by the Department of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment
Minister Barbara Creecy visits Antarctica, 9 to 12 Jan
Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister, Ms Barbara Creecy, will on Monday (9 January 2023) visit the Princess Elisabeth Antarctic Research Station as a guest of the Government of Belgium for four days.
The Ministerial visit to the research station is being hosted by the Government of Belgium and the International Polar Foundation, as the operator of the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica under mandate from the Belgian Polar Secretariat.
While at the base the Minister will have an opportunity to learn more about the first zero emissions research station in Antarctica, which has become a showcase for best practice in the use of renewable energies to reduce the environmental impact of operations on Antarctica. The Belgians have expressed their desire to sharing Best Practice to improve the environmental performance of the South African Research Infrastructure in Antarctica.
The Belgian Antarctic Research Expedition (BELARE) uses Cape Town as its gateway.
On Tuesday, 10 January 2023, Minister Creecy will travel from the Belgian base to the South African Antarctic Programme’s Research Station, known as SANAE IV, in Queen Maud Land. At the base, which is managed and administered by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Minister Creecy will interact with station crew and also inspect the facilities used by the South African scientists. During the visit to the biodiversity hotspot, the Minister will learn about the threats of pollution and research into the human impact on ocean and marine ecosystems threatened by global climate change and earth systems observations.
The S.A. Agulhas II departed Cape Town in December with the team for 2023, also delivering equipment, supplies and fuel.
The department has maintained South Africa’s research presence in Antarctica and the Prince Edward Islands. The scientific data that is collected during voyages is critical to the understanding of amongst other things, the impacts of climate change and weather information associated with extreme events.
The first South African built Antarctic base, a wooden structure, SANAE I, was a Meteorological research station constructed in 1961/62. South Africa has not only maintained an uninterrupted presence in the Antarctic since 1960 but played an active role in the management and conservation of the vast continent and contributed to the pool of scientific knowledge.
For media inquiries contact:
Cell: 083 6490 2871
Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 10 January 2023
by Ria Olivier | Sep 30, 2022 | Announcement, Jobs, SAPRI
SAPRI – Transforming, Consolidating and Strengthening Polar Sciences
Four new positions are available as part of the SAPRI professional development acceleration program which ties in with the SAPRI transformation drive. These positions are not the integrated facility coordinator positions, but they are growth positions within each IF. The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) is a research platform funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF). SAEON is mandated to establish and manage long-term environmental observatories; maintain reliable long-term environmental data sets; promote access to data for research and/or informed decision-making; and contribute to capacity building. These positions are supported by the DSI’s South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI) programme.
From SAPRI Proposal: “South Africa is in dire need of transformation and capacity development within the polar science community. A key aspect of the uniqueness of South African Antarctic science is that it is the only African country involved on the Antarctic continent, and therefore has a leadership role to play in promoting African Antarctic science. Whereas SAPRI represents the transformation of an existing system and a new way of doing, the issue of transformation along demographic criteria is pertinent for SAPRI. The SAPRI needs to develop young black and / or female scientists, technicians and engineers. Antarctic research should not only be a workspace for those who study environmental science, but also attainable to those who study engineering, social sciences, creative arts, journalism, law, finance and management. SAPRI will promote the multidisciplinary nature of research possibilities in the Antarctic sphere, expanding our reach, our research footprint and the diversity of our community.”
Research Coordinator – Data, Products and Society
Research Coordinator – Oceans and Atmosphere
Research Coordinator – Polar Lab
Research Coordinator – Terrestrial
Please note SAEON/SAPRI has some data curator, ocean modelling and Senior IT systems administrator positions open, all of them can be found here.
It is important to note firstly that these are not pure academic/science positions but the aim is to train people in a broader scope of work, although there is a science component; secondly, the candidates do not have to have experience in the Southern Ocean/polar field but they do need to have experience in the relevant field.