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Gobabeb Research & Training Centre



As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Gobabeb proudly hosted the biennial conferences of the Southern African Association for Geomorphologists (SAAG) and the Southern African Society for Quaternary Research (SASQUA). The groups convened at Gobabeb from the 8th to the 12th and the 13th to the 16th of September, respectively, under the theme Celebrating 50 of Namib Desert Research at Gobabeb, Namibia.


Each conference attracted over 50 participants, from Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Australia and UK. These included some notable Gobabeb old -timers such as Ian Livingstone and John and Roddy Ward. The conferences also attracted university students who clearly enjoyed the opportunity to visit the Central Namib.

“Gobabeb has produced interesting research on the Namib Desert for decades and is a research station I’ve been wishing to go to ever since I was a child growing up in Namibia. It was, therefore, wonderful to not only be able to attend a conference covering my field but also having this conference take place at a research station I greatly respect”. Christel Hansen (Rhodes University).

“What stood out was how processes occur at the range of temporal and spatial scales and the various techniques used to understand and monitor these processes”. Nandipha Mabuza (Rhodes University)

"My understanding on Geomorphology was somehow limited to landscape forming factors until I attended the SAAG workshop on “Dry land Geomorphology held in Gobabeb, Namibia”. The workshop provided me with a platform on the basic understanding of the real concept which in my naïve understanding was rather an invasion of geology.Ngula Niipele. (University of Namibia)

The SAAG conference hosted 9 different sessions, from Antarctic weathering, dust emission to landscape evolution as well as a dedicated workshop on ground penetrating radar (GPR) and differential GPS applications. Special focus was also given to the Namib Sand Sea Digital Atlas which can be viewed at The conference also saw the book launch of "Southern African Geomorphology: Recent trends and new directions" by Peter Holmes and Michael Meadows. One afternoon saw a memorial service during which the ashes of Helga Besler were layed to rest on a small dune commonly known as Helga’s dune at Gobabeb. This is a dune whose movement she studied since the 70s.The conference delegates also took time to discuss possible geormorphological research that Gobabeb could start or get involved in. Gobabeb will therefore be considering possible angles of geomorphological studies.



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