Community Engagement

Community engagement
The School of Life Sciences provides several facilities that enable the local community to engage in a rich
scientific experience, including the three hectare University Botanical Garden, the Bews Herbarium and online collections (the largest herbarium collection in KZN with over 130 000 specimens), and the SF Bush Zoological Museum.

In addition, School research projects such as surveys of endangered fauna and flora, and lion and elephant monitoring, often involve participation by local communities. One such example is the annual Cape Parrot Big Birding Day, which undertakes a count of these endangered birds under the auspices of Professor Colleen Downs and the Cape Parrot Working Group.

For many years, academics and postgraduate students in the School have played an important role in equipping communities in the upper uThukela catchment to monitor and rehabilitate their catchment system, as well as providing livelihoods for members of these communities.

The School actively participates in educational outreach projects to local high schools which are arranged by the College. It also facilitates an active public seminar series on both campuses through the Royal Society of South Africa, which encourages the dissemination of research findings and information 32 amongst academics, students and the general public.

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