Biology, ecology and biomedical science at Brighton

University of Brighton biosciences blog

Inspirational South Africa

Renee Mcalister , 2nd year Ecology BSc(Hons), was inspired by the fieldtrip to South Africa. Here’s a taster of her experience on the trip.

Sundownwer on the Kopje

Sundownwer on the Kopje

I found the South Africa trip life changing on many levels; educationally, emotionally and intellectually. The beautiful intensity of the work served to underpin the concrete learning experience. There have not been many times in my life when I actually desperately wanted to wake up at 5.30am! To watch the dam change from dark to half-light to light and know that anything might happen – from an African fish eagle swooping in to the sight of a water buck watching its young caper in the reeds. And the dawn shrieks of the ibis were a bracing start to every day.

The camaraderie with fellow students, lecturers and staff at the reserve was warm and fun. The atmosphere between us was supportive and nurturing and laughter was as abundant and hearty as a kudu stew. The teaching was utterly amazing. The staff were incredibly knowledge, incredibly encouraging and incredibly just incredible. It was so well organised and flowed wonderfully.

It was an honour to be able to see African wildlife in such a well cared for environment. And a privilege to share the experience with people who have devoted their lives to conservation.

On my return I found I had changed. I felt that I could possibly become a scientist. I felt that I learnt more in those two weeks than I would over a year in a 20 credit module. Learning by doing consolidates knowledge.

Stephanie Thomson • May 18, 2016

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