To promote capacity building in the environmental education sector in Namibia and worldwide, NaDEET offers student internships. Our main partner is the Polytechnic of Namibia's Nature Conservation department. Our 6 month training includes practical experience in outdoor teaching, programme planning and centre logistics. In addition to the hands-on experience the student receives at NaDEET, the student is also required to complete a research project relevant to NaDEET. On occasion, NaDEET has also offered internships to international students.
Scroll down to see the students NaDEET has hosted to date and a summary of each student's project. If you are interested, a complete project report by each student can be downloaded by clicking on the title. Please note: The opinons expressed in these papers are those of the students and do not necessarily reflect on those of NaDEET. Any inaccuracy remain the sole responsibility of the students.
Aim: To gain an improved understanding with regard to relative abundance, current habitat preferred by Stipagrostis lutescens and, it’s distribution around NaDEET area.
Outcome: The results shows that Stipagrostis lutescens is the dominating grass species on the sand dunes 2 km south of NaDEET while Stipagrostis ciliate domites the gravel plains. Dunes habitat shows more species richness compared to the gravel plains with four species recorded. However the gravel plains habitat has more base cover of 84 %, while only 69% covered on the dunes.
Aim: To test and compare the effectiveness of four different kinds of fuel-efficient stoves using alternative fuel sources such as recycled fire bricks.
Outcome: The study concluded that although the Vesto stove was the most fuel efficient, a homemade fuel-efficient stove was the most user friendly and affordable. It was second in fuel-efficiency and therefore the one most recommended for rural Namibians.
Aim: To determine the preferred food of wedge-snouted lizards in their natural environment and to establish what food these lizards will eat when kept in captivity.
Outcome: The study concluded that wild wedge-snouted lizards usually eat small moths, sugar ants, Namib dune ants and detritus. However, when kept in captivity, Emilia found out that the lizards also are prepared to eat raw meat and cooked rice. This study will allow further research on the unique temperature adaptations of the wedge-snouted lizard to be done.
Aim: To investigate the most suitable waste paper components to produce the most efficient firebricks; to improve teir combustion; and to reduce the amount of water used to make firebricks.
Outcome: The study found that firebricks made out of newspaper, egg cartons, food wrapping materials and office paper are the best. The study also found that tin firebrick makers were the best when big holes were made in the firebricks and normal tap water makes the most effective firebrick. Also, soaking paper for one day will help to save time and produce effective bricks.
Aim: To determine the best recipe for making firebricks that would utilise as many waste paper products as possible and at the same time burn effectively in a fuel-efficient stove.
Outcome: This study found that firebricks made from newspaper, egg cartons, food wrapping material and some sawdust made the best firebrick when the contents are loosely compressed.
Alanna Pardee (July-December 2009)
Alanna Pardee holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Toledo and a MA in Global and International Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Her research interests include environmental education and sustainability, women's issues, human rights and NGOs. This internship served as the basis for her Master's project, which included the creation of an environmental education curriculum for English Language Learners who attend the NaDEET programme.
Aim: To determine the rate at which soil is removed from around tar poles planted into the dunes as a comparison to natural and human-made structures.
Outcome: It was found that 2-10 cm of soil was removed from vegetated areas.
Aim: To determine the occurrence of certain raptor species close to NaDEET. For this he relied not only on bird sightings on birding drives, but also on other signs betraying bird activity such as tracks and faeces.
Outcome: Seven raptor species identified in the vicinity of NaDEET. The study also able to determined typical patterns of activity for some species. However, a correlation between raptor presence and food availability in years of high annual rainfall could not be established.
Aim: To compare three fence maintenance methods along a boundary fence between NamibRand Nature Reserve and a neighbouring livestock farmer and provide recommendations to NRNR staff regarding the most effective repair method.
Outcome: Fence holes in dune sand substrate should be repaired with rocks while holes on the sandy plains should be repaired with iron poles.
Aim: To find the number and type of nocturnal animals in the grassy plains and sand dunes using non-lethal sherman traps.
Outcome: Two types of rodents were trapped: a Hairy footed dune gerbil and a Stripped mouse. Birds and some crickets were also found in the traps.
NB: After the completion of this project, it was determined that the gerbils were not properly identified as both the Hairy footed dune gerbil and the Hairy footed gerbil occur in the dunes.
Aim: To compare the quantity of water lost by different plant species into the atmosphere. To do this, plastic bags were tied to the plants for the experiment and a syringe was used to draw in water found accumulated in the plastic bag.
Outcome: The results of the project were that non-indigenous plants, like the Orange tree, lost more water because of their broader leaves.
Aim: To help NaDEET Centre develop an appropriate waste water system. Bornface compared different types of grey water and filtering methods to grow tomato plants.
Outcome: Unfortunately, the project could not be completed as the tomato plants did not produce fruit within the four month project period. However, the growth of the plants was not altered by different water quality.
Aim: To investigate the occurrence of small walking insects such as Tenebrionid bettles and fishmoths, which occupy the ecologica detritivoresl niche in the Namib Desert to improve the biodiversity of specimens caught in Centre activities such as “Insect Trapping and Identification”.
Outcome: The dunes do have a higher insect biodiversity attributed to food availability and diverse microhabitats. However, Uakendisa recommended trapping insects in the sandy plains as well and to use other trapping methods in order to increase the biodiversity of specimens caught.
Aim: To find out why Namibians do not use alternative energy sources for cooking. Michaella conducted interviews with 6 participants from each visiting school at NaDEET Centre.
Outcome: Rural participants use both electricity and open fires for cooking and would like to change to using alternative energy sources. Most urban participants use electricity for cooking and have shown interest in using alternative source but most still considered electricity to be much more convenient for them.