Wednesday 11th November

Isabelle Ansorge

How to teach “50 shades of Blue” – SEAmester South Africa’s Floating University



Professor Isabelle Ansorge is Head of Oceanography at University of Cape Town South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology.  To attract young researchers and excite their interest in aspects of global climate change, the SEAmester programme  builds capacity in the marine sciences through cross-disciplinary research projects and an innovative practical programme – open and free to all.

The state-of-the-art polar research vessel, SA Agulhas II, provides the ideal teaching and research platform for SEAmester; its size, comfort and shipboard facilities allow groups of 44 students and 30 lecturers from all over South Africa to productively interact over a period of 11 days. Started in 2016, SEAmester is now into its fifth year and with over 180 students trained at sea. SEAmester offers an unparalleled opportunity to live and work on a research vessel, and motivates these students to make a meaningful contribution to science. Greater awareness of the ocean’s physical, biogeochemical and ecological response to climate change, highlighted through these ship-board experiences, inspire students.

This talk will focus on South Africa’s SEAmester programme and the challenges and successes experienced over the past 5 years. More importantly, the talk will focus on current climate related projects involved in SEAmester, why these projects matter globally, and how the design of the SA Agulhas II is able to achieve many of these ambitions.


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