Interns profit from foreign scientific expertise
Prof Christoph Heubeck, Geology professor from Jena University in Germany and well-known regular visitor to Barberton, took time off during his research last week. The reason for this was to teach the eight MTPA Tourism Monitors, who are currently doing internships at the Museum, Dusty Tracks and the Tourism office in Barberton.
“I am glad to do this. Future employees in the tourism sector need to know why the rocks of the Makhonjwa Mountains are famous among scientists worldwide. They need to be able to explain the significance of the World Heritage Site to foreign and South African visitors alike,” Heubeck said.
Head of the local tourism office, Astrid Christianson, added “There is no better way than to have the story of the rocks communicated by a scientist doing his research here. We urgently need highly motivated and well-trained young people to meet the staffing needs of the growing World Heritage Site.”
In two classroom sessions, Prof Heubeck first taught the students basic Earth history and the concepts of rock classification. Afterwards, he took them out for a one-day field trip on the Geotrail, accompanied by local ecologist, Tony Ferrar, and MSc-student, Phumelele Mashele. The MTPA sponsored transport and food.