The present crisis has affected us all. Technology will be one of the ways to help mitigate some of the resultant work-associated problems. However, we require the necessary staff to help in this regard, not just from an IT maintenance point of view but also in the development of systems to allow us to continue our work in conservation learning. As most of us in conservation have come from a biological background, we have felt it important to look for people with a more diverse background. In this regard, the Applied Learning team would like to introduce two new members to our team.
The first is Nandipha Thobela who is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal having completed in 2010 her Bachelor’s in Social Science Geography & Rural Resource Management. Nandipha is also finishing her Post-Graduate Diploma in Local Economic Development. Since graduating, she has been with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. She moved from her position there as she was looking for “new challenges” which she will certainly get under the present global situation. Nandipha Thobela will be helping the Unit build the College’s Conservation Technology Hub as Conservation Software Manager. Her focus in the first instance being on the implementation and training of Earth Ranger and SMART and assisting conservation areas with the deployment of these systems. She will be working closely with Dr Cleo Graf and Peter Hamming from the Applied Learning Unit and also the technology teams from Peace Parks Foundation, EarthRanger and SMART.
“Nandi has over 10 years’ experience in the conservation sector, with a broad range of stakeholders in a variety of conservation contexts. This experience stands her in great stead for working with our Earth Ranger, and other, partners,” said Dr Cleo Graf.
The second is Karl Ferriera who completed in 2014 his Bachelor of Business Science in Economics and Business with the Monash University South Africa. Karl comes with another set of skills having completed courses such as Excel Visual Basics Application for Microsoft programming and Python programming. Karl has previously worked as an Operations Analyst and a Market Risk Analyst. Karl will firstly be involved in the website development for the Greater Limpopo Trans-Frontier Conservation Area. From this website the conservation organisations will be able to look at the various conservation work positions and see what skills are still required by a staff member in that position. The user of the website can also search for courses and see what skills are provided. We hope to produce a customisable searchable Interface. Karl will also assist with communication both within the College as well as with its partners, most of this being done with the development of Sharepoint.