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UWC Geography Students Excel

UWC Geography Students Excel

Students of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at UWC have done the institution proud during the annual national Geography student conference of the Society of South African Geographers (SSAG). They scooped up two awards at the conference, held at the University of Fort Hare (East London Campus) earlier this year (2014).

The event provides a national platform for mainly postgraduate students to present their research – from the conceptualisation of their investigations, methodologies and empirical work, through to the presentation of conclusions based on their findings. UWC was one of the first universities to break this tradition by also sending third-year students to these conferences. Over the years, both UWC undergraduate and postgraduate students have given a good account of themselves as reflected in the awards obtained in 2008 and 2009.   

This year was a particularly successful one as third-year students won two awards in the post-graduate (honours) category. Anthea Oliphant won the award for best paper (in the Environmental Geography category), for her work on The Role of the Working for Water Programme as an Integrated Catchment Management Tool in the Langeberg Catchment Area. Kyle Ford won the award for the best poster entitled, Give Saldanha a chance to breathe – Iron ore dust pollution challenges. The other members of his group, Lauren Fourie and Farren Sefela were unable to attend the conference.

Michael Dyssel, who primarily coordinated the undergraduate participants, said that “it is rewarding to supervise and prepare such committed students, and their success serves as vindication for the quality of work that can be produced at undergraduate level”.

The presentations of the other members of the delegation, namely Kyle Swartz, Faeeza Fortune, Lianelle Hartzenberg, Ndiphiwe Sigabi and Alana Johannes also stood the test of scrutiny and were well received. Other contributors who couldn’t attend the conference are Dale Patience and Andrea Garrad.