National Atmospheric Sciences Workshop at UKZN
The 29th Annual Conference of the South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences kicked off with the first Atmospheric Remote Sensing Education and Training (ATM-Reset) Workshop hosted by UKZN’s School of Chemistry and Physics.
Attended by more than 43 students and researchers, the programme included presentations from renowned international speakers.
Professor Ramakrishna Reddy of Sri Krishnadevaraya University in India, assisted by UKZN’s Dr Raghavendra Kanike, delivered the opening lecture titled: “Aerosol and its Importance”, followed by Professor Sivakumar Venkataraman (UKZN) and Dr Mathieu Rouault (University of Cape Town) delivering a presentation on: “Matlab”.
Delegates were also treated to a lecture on: “High Power Radar Probing of Atmosphere and Ionosphere”, by Professor Balarama Rao of the National Remote Sensing Agency in India, assisted by Dr Nkanyiso Mbatha of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). The workshop ended with a presentation by Professor Hassan Bencherif of Reunion assisted by Mr Jeremiah Ogunniyi of UKZN.
The Workshop was followed by the 29th Annual Conference of the South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences, which attracted 120 participants from various countries, including 68 postgraduate students. The main theme of the Conference, held for the first time in the Durban area, was: “Towards Quantifying and Qualifying the Earth’s Atmosphere”.
SANSA Earth Observation Directorate’s Dr Jane Olwoch presented an overview of the recent national space agency initiatives on Earth Observations.
SASAS President Dr Mathieu Rouault said the aim of SASAS was to stimulate interest and support for all branches of atmospheric sciences and to promote collaboration between organisations and institutions interested in atmospheric science in Southern Africa. This included meteorology, agro-meteorology, climatology, air quality, ocean-atmosphere interaction, troposphere-stratosphere interaction, physical oceanography, hydroclimatology, numerical modeling and instrumentation.
The keynote address, delivered by Dr Thierry Lebel, Director of the Institute for Research Development in Grenbole, France, was titled: “The West African Monsoon: Contribution of the AMMA Multidisciplinary Programme to the Study of a Regional Climate System”. Lebel is the Project Leader of one of the European programme frameworks studying African monsoon and climate impacts.
Review Chair Dr Raghavendra Kumar said the Conference had produced about 200 pages of electronic conference proceedings which were now accredited by the Department of Education in South Africa. ‘The articles are of high quality and have been peer-reviewed by relevant experts,’ he said.
Professor Pendyala Balarama Rao of the National Remote Sensing Agency, India, described the Conference as ‘timeously organised and well planned with frequent communications and an attractive coastal venue’.
- Leena Rajpal