Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
26 March 2018 Photo Pixabay
Back to the drawing board to save water
We’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands.

Dr Cindé Greyling, a University of the Free State (UFS) DiMTEC (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa) alumni, studied drought mitigation with a strong focus on communicating important water-saving information. 

Can we run out of water?
Yes, and no, says Dr Greyling. “To our knowledge, water is not ‘leaking’ through our atmosphere. We have what we have, but that doesn’t mean we will have enough clean, fresh water forever. Nature has a magnificent way of purifying water through the water cycle. We, on the other hand, must use a lot of money and energy to purify water. Also, we’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands. The other problem is a simple supply and demand scenario. More people will need more water, but not only that, population growth calls for industry development and increased food supplies – all of which require more water.”    

A war over water
Besides some Hollywood impressions, it is difficult to imagine a war over water, but it is possible. “Some experts are convinced that we are heading there, and others claim that such tensions already exist. Personally, I don’t favour these kinds of shock tactics (or truths) – social research has shown us that it rarely leads to behavioural changes. We can learn a lot from what was has been done in Cape Town. Although we all think people were bombarded with ‘Day-Zero’-scares, they were actually encouraged to adapt their behaviour with a communication campaign that hardly ever used the term ‘Day-Zero’. This approach mobilised citizens to reach record lows of water usage.” 

Adapt a new normal
Dr Greyling encourages the “new normal” set in motion by Capetonians. “Water consciousness is needed, even when the rain comes again. We’ve taken water for granted for too long. As consumers, we have the power to turn this situation around – drop for drop. Be aware about the amount of water you use, how you use it, and for what. Keep in mind that any wastage and pollution (of ‘dry’ things) also wastes and pollutes water. Generally, we need to behave better regarding consumption.”  

News Archive

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching goes to trailblazer Dr Aliza le Roux
2013-11-15

 

Dr Aliza le Roux
Photo: Supplied
15 November 2013

 

Dr Aliza le Roux, Subject Head in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus, is this year’s winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

It came as no surprise. Dr le Roux has already been piling up numerous awards as a result of her outstanding work as an academic who is also an NRF-rated researcher.

In 2012, she joined the Teaching and Learning Champions group, which inspired her to take a more scholarly, research-focused approach to her teaching. Dr Le Roux has had huge successes in her teaching at the Qwaqwa Campus, propelling student pass rates from less than 50% to more than 90% in one course. As part of her approach, she makes use of interventions such as pre-class quizzes on Blackboard.

She is also doing Action Research on the teaching method known as ‘flipping’ the classroom, a process that essentially reversed traditional teaching practice. Dr le Roux is also looking into the impact of introducing Zotero (a free user-friendly online tool for research purposes) on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Her primary research outside of the classroom focuses on the evolution of wild mammals’ cognitive abilities. Dr le Roux and her students are starting fieldwork in November this year, investigating how paternal care impacts bat-eared foxes’ physical and cognitive development.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept