Being part of the AMS course this last year has been both interesting and thought provoking. I especially enjoyed the Habitable Planet module, which covered everything from basic life chemistry, paleo-climatology, ocean circulation and the biological feedback mechanisms which enable the earth to be habitable. Throughout the course the lecturers are often at the forefront of their fields of research and it is a great privilege to learn from them. There is a good variety of modules to choose from throughout the course from aquaculture, entrepreneurship, ocean circulation, fisheries modeling, ecology or remote sensing and many more all marine orientated.
The course was well structured and the mental input I received was intense. It has been a good year and I am most thankful that I experienced it. I am now employed by Lwandle technologies in Cape Town.
The AMS masters course was an opportunity for me to step back and view what I had previously learned in oceanography from the broader context of the earth systems. It introduced me to various aspects of current science, from the philosophical, to the technological and even the political. The AMS program is a good starting point for broad range of disciplines.
Where is Brandon now?
He is in Colorado (USA) working on a project looking at a new ocean-land-atmosphere coupled model to investigate regional and decadal climate variability. The model is a scaled up version of RAMS (regional atmospheric modeling system). He hopes to stay in contact with the department at UCT, and hopes to come back and contribute some day
I am from Francistown, a small city in the North East district of Botswana. I completed my BSc in (Applied Environmental Science) and BSc Honours Environmental Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) in 2004 and 2008 respectively. I have been working as an Agrometeorology Instrumentation Technician at UKZN in the Discipline of Agrometeorology for three years after which I came to University of Cape Town in February 2009 to do a Masters in Applied Marine Science and Earth Systems Science (Oceanography). My long term goal is to become an internationally renowned technician and researcher in agrometeorology.
The AMS course component: The entire course was well organized and very informative. The multidisciplinary nature of AMS course made it so intensive and for one to excel in all its components a high degree of discipline and commitment is required. I learnt a lot from the courses and found the weekly field trips to be quite useful in building one’s frame of reference.
Each and every module for this year was of benefit to me. Even though the modules were intense and the hours long, it was worth it and the feedback was always positive. All modules were focused on a good management and future sustainable improvement of each environmental aspect. I have understood that proper management of marine life depends not only on how effective we manage the future of marine ecosystem, but on how deep we understand and predict factors which determine the distribution and density patterns of the organisms themselves. The course gave me a broad overview of the applied marine sciences.
I hail from Malaysia, a country where summer is all year long. Prior enrolling to this programme, I had already been staying in South Africa for 2 years, mainly accompanying my wife who is doing her PhD but at the same time, working part time as a research producer at a community radio. I obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science (with Honours) in Aquatic Biology in 2003 and interestingly MSc in Aquatic Biology in 2007. Both were done at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. Reasons on doing second master was to broaden my knowledge in marine science, improving his language and communicating skills, and creating an international network with other marine scientist. I am hoping to continue my studies at a PhD level once this course completed in early 2010.
I am originally from Cape Town and have done all my tertiary education thus far at UCT. I graduated in 2008 with a Bsc(eng) – Mechanical Engineering from UCT and decided to change direction towards marine science and the AMS course fitted in perfectly with my ambitions since the taught component of the course taught me the concepts of marine science which I lacked. The combination of the mathematical/physical science skills learned during my engineering degree and the marine science concepts learned during the coursework component of the AMS degree has placed me in an excellent position to tackle a good project in the dissertation component of the AMS degree. As for the coursework component of this degree, I thought it was presented very well and gave a broad outline of most of the concepts in marine science and got me thinking about which branch of marine science I wanted to go more in depth with. Ultimately, physical oceanography is my key interest and I will hopefully learn more in depth about this branch of marine science during my dissertation. As for my future plans, probably look to get a job sometime next year relating to marine science and in a few years I would like to do a PhD project relating engineering with marine science (Ocean Engineering).
OTHER STUDENTS – 2009