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You are here: Home eNewsletter Archives 2008 February 2008 SAEON Egagasini is firing on all engines

SAEON Egagasini is firing on all engines


Juliet in action at the Marine and Coastal Educators Network Conference in East London. Her dynamic presentation on oceanography around South Africa won the prize for best presentation at the Conference (Picture © Thomas Mtontsi)


Thomas Mtontsi, the Node’s newly appointed Education Outreach Officer, is networking with key oceanographic and climate scientists in order to start developing an outreach programme for the Node  (Picture © Jongikaya Mdumata)

The SAEON Egagasini Node has had an extremely active start to the year.

Dr Juliet Hermes, Node Manager, has been actively involved in developing a science plan and investigating possible ways to set up observing systems. At this point it seems that long-term observations will have to be a collaborative effort with partners due to complicated logistics and high associated costs.

Juliet participated in a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional science proposal which has been submitted to ACEP (the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme), as well as a SAEON Egagasini Node driven proposal for ACEP data management.

January has also been a busy month in terms of workshops where Juliet has represented SAEON. Juliet was an invited presenter for the World Wildlife Fund at the Madagascar Climate Change and Adaptability workshop. Here she was able to network with people skilled in marine GIS and with interesting projects over southern Africa (including the east coast of South Africa). Juliet hopes to collaborate with these important role-players in the future. She was also able to identify the potential key Madagascan role-players in order to enlist contacts for the ELTOSA network.

At the beginning of January Juliet gave a presentation on oceanography around South Africa at the Marine and Coastal Educators Network (MCEN) Conference  held in East London. The presentation was very well received and she won a prize for the best presentation at the Conference. 

Subsequently, she has been invited to give the same presentation at the Two Oceans Aquarium and at a number of other educational institutes. Juliet will modify the talk into a brief document which will be distributed to educators.

Building capacity

Three new staff members have been appointed - Dr Wayne Goshen (Marine Data Coordinator), Thomas Mtontsi (Education Outreach Officer) and Penelope Price (Scientific and Support Officer). They have started with great enthusiasm and have managed to achieve a great deal in their first month at Egagasini.

Thomas attended the MCEN conference, submitted a proposal for National Antarctic Month and is networking with key oceanographic and climate scientists in order to start developing an outreach programme. He has also discussed marine science education outreach with institutes such as the CSIR and Two Oceans Aquarium.

Penelope has been busy learning the intricacies of Marine and Coastal Management (MCM), the Egagasini Node’s host organisation, and setting up a number of systems to ensure good management of business processes.

Thomas and Penelope have both been working with the Leap Science and Maths School  on a project for Scifest, which is scheduled for April.

Stakeholder relations

The Node’s liaison with collaborating national and international scientists, organisations, node managers and stakeholders is ongoing and increasing. 

Discussions with Madagascan and Kenyan scientists have taken place with a view to both scientific and data sharing/GIS collaborations. As always, ongoing discussions are held with the SAEON Elwandle Node. There have been some discussions with the new Manager of the SAEON Fynbos Node about possible interactions.

Penelope and Thomas have both done considerable networking with key national and some international stakeholders. In particular, they have both spent time becoming familiar with people at MCM, both scientists and education and logistic staff. Such networking is very positive and cements SAEON’s partnership with MCM.

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