Shared study started

Prof. Geofrey Mukwada
Prof. Geofrey Mukwada

The University of the Free State (UFS) has teamed up with the Appalachian State University in North Carolina to launch a collaborative mountain-to-mountain research programme.

It paves the way for developing two new master’s degree programmes, mountain studies and community development.

The two institutions launched the initiative virtually on Tuesday, 10 November.

The UFS will study Thabana Ntlenyana in Lesotho, of which the peak rises more than 11 400 feet above sea level, while the Appalachian State University has Mount Mitchell, the Appalachian Mountains’ highest point. The UFS Qwaqwa campus has been identified by the institution as home for its research programme.

The United States Embassy and Consulates in South Africa has availed R8 million for the ambitious programme.

The grant will involve the installation of five meteoro­logical weather stations in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains, which will be used to monitor the climate of the mountains’ highly fragile environment.

The programme will engage faculty staff and graduate students at both institutions in teaching and research, mentorship as well as scholarship.

Prof. Geofrey Mukwada, project leader at the UFS Qwaqwa campus, said the programme would bring together researchers from both the UFS and the Appalachian State University and enable them to work together to develop what is currently an underdeveloped research niche, mountain studies.

“It will also support innovation in climate change research,” said Mukwada.

“Through this project, it will be possible to receive climate data from weather stations that are situated in distant, isolated, and generally inaccessible locations.

“We will be able to understand how the climate of the region is changing and assist in developing adaptation measures and decisions that are applicable to agriculture, water, tourism, environment and other sectors,” he said.

According to Mukwada, the programme will enhance the capacity of the Afromontane Research Unit (ARU) to contribute to the development of research in mountain environments.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 364 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 642 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1718 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.15
(+0.77)
ZAR/GBP
20.39
(+0.20)
ZAR/EUR
18.41
(+0.57)
ZAR/AUD
11.28
(+0.41)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.33)
Gold
1838.30
(+0.51)
Silver
24.09
(+0.37)
Platinum
1033.00
(+2.73)
Brent Crude
47.96
(+1.75)
Palladium
2300.52
(-3.37)
All Share
58947.48
(+1.14)
Top 40
54171.85
(+1.29)
Financial 15
11399.33
(+0.82)
Industrial 25
79681.43
(+0.78)
Resource 10
56621.26
(+2.07)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo