Dr.Ben Beeckmans was invited to give lectures on volcanology at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology.

The course was meant to help some students in acquiring knowledge of volcanic features in Tanzania. The week from March 9 to 15 was reserved for the course.

The Nelson Mandela Institute plans to start a school of earth sciences, and these lectures are meant as a first step  in the right direction. Earth sciences covers a broad spectre of sciences and Ben is one of those who believe volcanology has to be part of it!

The first 4 days were held at the Nelson Mandela Institute , the fifth day at Ecoscience where a field lab for volcanology is equipped. March 14 and 15 were spent on a field trip towards Lake Natron, one of the sites with more volcanic features in the Rift Valley.

Present were 5 students, most of them at a PhD level.

The participants were Nancy Mduma(engineer, going for a PhD),Edikafubeni Makoba (geologist, PhD student),John Mkungu (chemist, PhD student), Eliapenda Elisante(environmental sciences, PhD student), Jovine Malago (environmental sciences, master student).

Being of different backgrounds, the lectures were held in a way all participants could enjoy them.

The course itself included an overview of general volcanic  features, the Rift Valley, the Northern Tanzanian Divergence, its geology, tectonics, sedimentary basins and volcanoes, and volcanic hazards related to the area. This last course has been the topic of many conferences held in the area by Dr. Beeckmans (see more in the NEWS section of www.ecoscience.co.tz), who has insisted  for a long time that monitoring  Mt. Meru is a “must” for the security of a million people who live in the area.

On the field trip they were joined  by British journalist Chantal Cooke (“Passion for the Planet” radio station – www.passionfortheplanet.com) and her mother, who were enjoying Ecoscience at that time, and for whom this was a first geological field trip. We hope her contribution will be important in promoting Ecoscience and its goals!

At Ecoscience each student received a certificate of the volcanism course, from the i Ecoscience director, Dr.Ben Beeckmans

If students and university are pleased with the work of Dr.Beeckmans,  we are certain he will continue to participate with them with future lectures and field work!