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BRICS exchange visit to Russia

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Our current President, Professor David Hedding, and President-Elect, Dr Christel Hansen , recently participated in the 6th International Aktru Summer School. The School was held from 10-19 July at Aktru Research Station in the Altai Mountains of west Siberia and was organised by Tomsk State University. The visit was made possible by the BRICS exchange programme, allowing for the sharing of knowledge, skills, and a valuable networking opportunity for all those involved.

Professor David Hedding was part of the organising committee as the Scientific Coordinator for Geology and Geomorphology. The School had the theme Natural and Human Environment of Arctic and Alpine Areas: Relief, Soils, Permafrost, Glaciers, Biota, and Life Style of Native Ethnic Groups in a Rapidly Changing Climate, with the main goal to study the unique natural region of the Altai Mountains, lifestyles of native ethnics groups and their adaptations to the rapidly changing climate. In the process they shared, from a South African perspective, the challenges of human response and adaptation to climate change. The School comprised of lectures given by experts in their field, presentations by participants, as well as excursions to the big and small Aktru glaciers (Maliy Aktru and Bolshoy Aktru), the local Altai Mountain flora and forests.

Developments in monitoring and quantifying landscape response to these changes, as a means of overcoming environmental challenges, are ongoing. Collaboration is imperative for success so stay tuned!

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