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City Introduces Exciting Nature Reserve GIS Project for Schools

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City Introduces Exciting Nature Reserve GIS Project for Schools

by City of Cape Town
04 May 2007
City of Cape Town
City of Cape Town

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a hot new topic in the Geography curriculum for Grades 10 to 12. The City of Cape Town and partner organisations are developing an exciting hands-on GIS project for high schools based in urban nature reserves called YOUTH, URBAN NATURE and GIS. This project is part of the City's successful Youth Environmental School (YES) programme.


This YOUTH, URBAN NATURE & GIS project is being showcased at the annual GIS Week for learners, educators and general public which will be hosted by GISSA-Western Cape and the Western Cape Education Department from 8 to 11 May 2007 at the University of the Western Cape. At this event, teachers and learners will be able to interact with the City's Nature Reserve Environmental Education Officers.

The environmental education centres at Rondevlei and Tygerberg Nature Reserves are preparing to support GIS-based fieldwork. As part of the project, senior learners will be able to experience how nature conservators use GIS technology to monitor and care for nature. They will learn about GIS, not just in their textbooks and school computer labs, but through practical fieldwork.

Learners will use hand-held GPS (Global Positioning Systems) units to locate monitoring sites and record co-ordinates; monitor plants, animals and the environment and record observations in a database; and construct GIS layers, and display findings and digital photographs using GIS technology.

This is a great opportunity for learners to use sophisticated technology to investigate biodiversity, ecology and natural resource management in natural areas near their homes and schools. By monitoring the environment, learners will help the nature reserves to care for nature in the City of Cape Town. Schools will also have access to these records, and learners will be able to analyse data that different schools collect over months and even years. Based on the success of the project, the City plans to extend it to more nature reserves.

The Western Cape Education Department has chosen six schools to take part in the pilot project this year. In 2008 the reserves will make GIS-based fieldwork part of their senior high school programme.

END

MEDIA RELEASE
NO. 131/2007
3 MAY 2007


ISSUED BY:
DIRECTORATE: COMMUNICATION AND MARKETING
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 2201
FAX: 021 957 0023

MEDIA QUERIES:
LINDIE BUIRSKI
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CO-ORDINATOR
ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
CELL: 084 629 9305

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