We have all gone through a period of uncertainty regarding careers in our adolescent years in high school. I am pretty sure there is handful of us who have boasted about becoming engineers and one day earning big bucks to buy all the stuff we love. More money or a deep passion for something? I chose the latter and have always long-yearned to be part of a movement that does not only look at the environment as source of benefit, but also with a deep adoration and concern for the natural world also.
Hi, I am Herman, I grew up in Northern Namibia, in Omusati region and even though there is nothing not much there regarding wildlife, I am grateful to say my passion for wildlife is not a made made-up thing but it is within me or shall I say, it is who I am.
I consider myself fortunate to have had an opportunity to study nature conservation at NUST and be able to meet a whole bunch of others who share the same sentiment as I in this realm of life. As part of our study programme, we have to do work integrated learning (WIL) for five months, during which we get exposed to the working environment and research. I was based at the beautiful Waterberg Plateau Park, I must say one of the places I admire the most in Namibia. I was specifically stationed at the Okatjikona Environmental Education Centre. Here I got an opportunity to interact and share knowledge about environmental awareness with youngsters that visits the centre. I also did a follow-up study on the impact of fire on the vegetation utilisation by herbivores in the park.
Recording herbivores’ vegetation utilisation.
As part of my honours study, with funding from the Southern Africa Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management project (SASSCAL), I got an opportunity to do something that I love, a study on the impact of fire on small mammals. I had two trapping sessions during which I used 320 traps per session for four consecutive days. The results were different from what I expected, but I am sure even so they say a lot about what is going on in the environment.
Elephantulus intufi, one of the small mammals found in WPP.
This year, I got a great opportunity to take part in the Conservation Leadership Programme at NACSO and have started with the internship, I am looking forward to gaining experience in the CBNRM programme and many other opportunities!