On the 23rd of October Dr Natalie Haussmann led a number of GGY 361 students on a field trip to Lebenya Farm near Swartruggens, in the North West province. During the field trip, students had to think through research questions and sampling designs and subsequently set up camera traps to monitor aardvark burrows. Aardvark are important earth movers and are capable of creating new niche environments. The cameras were intended to monitor burrow use by species other than aardvark. The students were also taken to observe examples of soil erosion and to discuss mitigation measures with Pieter Bester, the module tutor.
This was the first field trip many of the students had taken since the start of the Covid pandemic and, as such, served as a welcome dose of normality. Most of the students attending applied for the Honours degree in Geography and Environmental Science and the trip was a great opportunity to meet peers and learn more about what the Honours will entail. All in all it was a great excuse to get outside and do some field work, for the first time in too long.
For more pictures of the field trip have a look at our gallery.
Text by Matthew Burnett