Each year, Gobabeb hosts over one thousand students from across Namibia and around the world to take part in learning in the Namib Desert. Programmes range from day trips where primary school learners learn about living sustainably in arid landscapes to our five month long Gobabeb Training and Research Internship Programme (GTRIP) which brings together university students to develop and implement their own full-scale research projects.
Gobabeb's location at the intersection of three contrasting ecosystems (the gravel plains to the north, the Namib Sand Sea to the south, and ephemeral Kuiseb River bisecting the two) provides a unique opportunity for guided learning about our natural environment. Training staff use hands-on learning and inquiry-based projects designed to promote scientific inquiry, understanding of desert ecology, and an enhanced awareness of environmental challenges. The Centre works to align programmes with school curricula and provide practical experience with information the students learn in the classroom. The staff specifically tailors courses to the needs and interests of each group.
Gobabeb’s curriculum focuses on three areas:
- Sustainability and appropriate technology
- Desert ecology and environmental science
- Critical thinking and scientific inquiry
The Centre is also a demonstration site for hybrid energy, water recycling systems and sensitive environmental impact practices. Internships and training courses are offered to tertiary-level Namibians and international post-graduates, who focus on the application of theory to environmental problem-solving for sustainable development. At school level an 'outdoor classroom' offers scholars practical field experience and knowledge about arid ecosystems, with simultaneous exposure to sustainable living techniques. The goal is to facilitate the understanding of environmental concepts by Namibian learners, with the purpose of promoting ecologically sustainable development.