The SAWC was extremely honoured to have been part of the 43rd ESRI User Conference that was held in San Diego, California in July. The conference was a hub of ESRI users coming together to show what can be done with the software and associated ArcGIS tools. Under a mentorship programme with Shawn Morgan and Paul Hoeffler of GISCorps, we have been integrating ArcGIS Online tools into our day-to-day workflows and curriculum. This is with support from National Geographic. Click here to read the progress report as written by Shawn and Paul. 

We were represented by Peter Hamming, ALRD: Lecturer, who felt like a kid in a candy store after finding himself standing in a hall with approximately 18,000 people who also use geospatial data, all waiting for the charismatic Jack Dangermond to take them through the journey of ESRI.  

The conference started with lecturers coming together to discuss the best ways of managing and teaching about the software in a learning institution. This was very informative, and we made valuable connections that will help us better understand the use of GIS software for planning. 

The conference had many talks to choose from. There were also poster events where participants, including police, city planners, conservation teams, etc., showcased how they use maps in their everyday work. The conference gave us the opportunity to meet other conservationists using various solutions and tools to manage their parks and make a difference in conservation. According to Peter, this was ironically the best place to meet fellow South Africans and get a glimpse of the amazing work that they are involved in. Click here to read more about the conference. 

We would like to say a huge thank you to National Geographic for supporting the project, GISCorps for sending volunteers to assist us in the development of the Protected Area Management (PAM) solution and ArcGIS online in the College, and ESRI for working with everyone to make the very resourceful ArcGIS software available to the SAWC.  


TREPA (Threat Reduction for the Environment, People and Animals) is a 5-year multinational science team-based effort to help reduce the risks of zoonotic disease transmission to the environment, people, and animals. The TREPA Indaba for year one was held at the Southern African Wildlife College between 6 – 9 September 2023. The importance of the conference lies in fostering a space for all participants to share their views while aiming to inclusively create opportunities for learning about links between human and animal health as well as emerging disease detection. The focus was on the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Areas (GLTFCA) of South Africa and Mozambique.  

During the conference, there were different experiential learning activities such as the game drives, a K9 and Dog talk, as well as a memorable visit to Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center where we learned about Vultures. Different scientists gave presentations about various topics that align with the aim of the TREPA. After the presentations, participants had reflective discussions on what had been presented. The conference was a success as it allowed diverse participants such as local community leaders/representatives, scientists, agencies, and organization representatives to co-design the project elements.  

For more information click here.

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