The Gobabeb Research and Training Centre held its annual Open Day on 22nd September 2012 to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. Six DRFN staff members supported preparations and participated in the event by arranging posters of past Summer Desertification Projects, past Summer Land Care Projects and a summary of the past participants and what they are doing now. DRFN staff also sent out the invitations on their much faster website, served as the focal point for attendance confirmations and organised participation of students who had worked with Gobabeb in various projects. DRFN also supplied some members of the volleyball team that won the floating cup initiated at this year’s Open Day.
In addition to the volleyball tournament, highlights included a display devoted to the nomination of the Namib Sand Sea as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which Gobabeb had prepared; a display of the Namib Ecological Research and Monitoring Unit in support of the Strategic Environmental Monitoring Plan for the Erongo Uranium Rush; an entire wall at Amabilis Hall illustrating the many activities of Gobabeb during their 50th anniversary year; one room displaying the desert animals occupying the three habitats – dunes river and plains – and particularly the three different adder species found in these three habitats
Other locations of note included the atmospheric sciences room highlighting recent developments at Gobabeb by the Max Planck Institute, Jena, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Basel. Four students currently pursuing MSc degrees displayed their research activities and NamPost launched three new stamps and a first day cover. DRFN’s energy trailer complemented the Solar Coffee Shop, one of the key attractions at Gobabeb.
The DRFN congratulates the Gobabeb Centre for fifty years of research and training and looks forward to participating in Open Days far into the future.