2016 Society of South African Geographers Centenary Student conference

2 Dec 2016 - 09:30

The 2016 SSAG student conference celebrated 100 years of geography and brought students together from universities across South Africa. This was held in Stellenbosch University and was the 48th student conference celebrated in September, South Africa’s heritage month. The conference provided us with the opportunity to get to know and network with other passionate geography students in our fields of research, and the wide range presentations was interesting and inspirational. Research topics ranged broadly, some of the research themes included: Environmental GIS; Hydrology & Erosion; Vulnerable Populations; Atmosphere & Climate; Water Management & Scarcity; and Tourism, Culture and Conservation were some of the topics that were explored by student researchers.

From left: Robin George, Jess Drewett, Leani de Vries, Chifundo Kamwaza, Fezile,Mathenjwa,  Nick Budlender, Ella Muhl, Lila Kelly and Daniel Smith.

The bar was set by the keynote speaker, Professor Abdi Samatar, who delivered a fascinating talk on the “Dialectics of Piracy in the Indian Ocean: the Rich versus the Poor.” This emphasized the importance of Environmental and Geographical Science in the complex real-world.

Top: Jess Drewett and Ella Muhl 

Bottom: Chifundo Kamwaza, Leani de Vries, Fezile Mathenjwa and Robin George

In addition to the jam packed student research presentation schedule, there was also the opportunity to explore Stellenbosch and Cape Town, with social activities such as the wine tours and a bus tour of Cape Town. The conference was closed with a stunning centenary gala dinner and prize giving, in which our own Leani de Vries was awarded best masters presentation in Environmental Geography. Overall, the conference was enjoyed by all and is a highly recommended experience for future post-graduates as a way to interact, share and generate new knowledge to create lasting connections and friendships between fellow students across the country.