Practical help from IS students

18 August 2003
An exam question for final-year information systems students has boosted efforts to conserve South Africa's endangered national bird, the Blue Crane, and resulted in a new website.

The site was recently opened by Professor Douglas Pitt, the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, in the Lesley Commerce Building.

The project was the brainchild of senior lecturer Dr Eric Cloete who saw the need for a website and gave the project to his final-year students. Richard O'Bree and Sian Ross, two students, took up the challenge, using their skills to build a site for the Overberg Crane Group (OCG).

At the launch function, the chairman of the OCG, Wicus Leeuwner, said: "It says a lot about the staff and management of an institute like UCT when they produce students who are not only top assets to the industry but who also realise their obligation to nature at the same time."

The website,, provides information about the history, habits and demography of Blue Cranes and is a valuable resource to educators and learners. The site is regularly updated and forms a valuable link in the awareness campaign, which is directed by the Western Cape farming communities.

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