Science Interns at the Kirstenbosch Research Centre (KRC)

01 December 2011

KRC interns in the field

The past few months have seen a flurry of activity at the Kirstenbosch Research Centre with three internship programmes running concurrently.  These programmes which include the DST/NRF Internship Programme, the DNA Boarcoding Internship Programme and the CATHSSETA Science Internship Programme offer young scientists the opportunity to gain experience in the field and learn useful skills.

The Dept. of Science and Technology/ National Research Foundation (DST/NRF) Internship Programme.

This started in April 2011 and runs for a year. Five interns are hosted by SANBI this year and they are based with Climate Change and Bio-Adaptation, CREW, the Threatened Species Programme, Biodiversity Planning and also SAEON, a SANBI partner. The interns are all science graduates and post graduates and come from universities all across South Africa.

DNA Barcoding of Invasive Aliens

To assist with the drive to collect DNA barcodes of invasive aliens, the DNA Barcoding Internship Programme was advertised in July 2011 and 24 interns are at present hosted at universities and science organizations nationally, all funded by the Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Programme. Two interns are hosted at the KRC and are based at the Compton Herbarium and the Threatened Species Programme.

Interns on an Invasive Aliens fieldtrip

Threatened Ecosystems Programme

In October, eight interns started on the Culture Arts Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) Science Internship Programme, which will run for the next eight months. The interns contribute to the Threatened Ecosystems Programme, specifically the Vegetation Map Database, the Molecular Ecology Programme, Ecosystem Services, CREW - Conservation and Monitoring, and Threatened Species Programme, including iSpot.

GIS Interns

Skills and Activities Programme

In addition to contributing to the programmes in which they are based, the interns participate on a Skills and Activities Programme. This includes basic GIS training, an introduction to herbarium techniques, and several field trips including birding, vegetation surveys, and insect viewing up Table Mountain. In addition there are sessions on hypothesis formulation entitled: 'What is a hypothesis?', CV writing and interview skills, Powerpoint: helpful hints, and photography.


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