January 2016

Shortly after New Year, three of our team members, Thoralf, Robert and Thomas, headed for Botswana. But this trip was different. The trip is the result of a 2 year effort, led by Kelley and Thoralf, to pay back to the country that has hosted a lot of our group’s research over the past decades. In cooperation with Dr. Michael Flyman of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), the three developed a training program to help facilitate better monitoring procedures for DWNP. The program consists of 6 training blocks, covering subjects such as standard ecological monitoring procedures, the use of spatial software applications, data processing and availability and advance GPS technology. This January we conducted the first course at the Okavango Research Institute in Maun. This time GIS training was the main focus. A big help during the training was Francisco Ochoa, a recent graduate of the Geography Department. While Thoralf’s focused was on lectures about theories of GIS and Remote Sensing, Data processing and data availability, the three students were in charge of the practical training exercises. The students developed, coordinated and lectured for 3 days straight. Good team work guys. The training was a great success and we are looking forward to the next training block held in May/ June 2016.

Thoralf lectures to the group on the elements of sampling design.

Robert helping out with GIS applications.

Thomas leads an outdoor GPS training exercise.

Collecting GPS points.

Certificates were awarded at the end of the course.

The whole group, with Thoralf, Thomas, Robert and Francisco sporting the UT colors.