Students inspired on freshwater camp

25 July 2008 | Story by Newsroom

Frances Morling & Catherine Brown
Students Frances Morling (left) and Catherine Brown go fishing

Twenty-one UCT undergraduate science students took part in the Department of Zoology's annual third-year freshwater ecology field camp at Betty's Bay earlier this month.

This camp is a prerequisite for the BIO3003S (Inland Aquatic Ecosystems) course that trains students in the fields of freshwater ecology as well as in issues related to management of freshwater resources globally and in Southern Africa.

Students and staff on this year's camp were treated to a talk on freshwater conservation issues by Emeritus Prof Bryan Davies, who, with Professor Jenny Day, director of the Freshwater Research Unit (FRU) in zoology, established this "very successful" course almost 13 years ago.

"The conservation of freshwater ecosystems in Southern Africa is of urgent concern," said FRU lecturer Dr Cecile Reed, who co-ordinates the course.

"In particular, all indications point to a hotter, dryer Western Cape in the near future, with a tremendous decrease in precipitation and surface run-off within the next 20 to 30 years."

Reed said the course provided an invaluable source of expertise for training the future water resource managers needed to secure the sustainable use of freshwater in South Africa.

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