I chose the Cape RADD Field Course because I was looking to get practical experience in the field. Even though I had a bachelors in environmental studies, I was also a bit bored in my current line of work, and was looking to transition into a career that was more rewarding. I wanted to build tangible skills in the field of Marine Science, in order to become a more competitive candidate for a Masters Degree and improve my resume.
“There is a purpose and objective to each dive, and that not only raises the stakes, but also the opportunities that we as students had to learn.”
I loved my experience with Cape RADD because we were out in the field every day. I was challenged both mentally and physically, and by the end of my two week field course I felt not only that I had learned how to use quadrats, transects and perform stationary point counts, but that I was now certain of what I wanted to do next in my career. Another rewarding aspect of the field course is that you get to contribute to research that Cape RADD is doing. They won’t just send you out on dives to collect random data. There is a purpose and objective to each dive, and that not only raises the stakes, but also the opportunities that we as students had to learn.
“Beyond the academic and professional development however, the field course is an absolute blast.”
The whole course is structured in a very practical way, but at the same time there is lots of flexibility to pursue topics that interest you most. Our group was very keen on applications of GIS, so we spent a day mapping kelp forests around False Bay. I had such an amazing experience that upon flying home, I immediately began my application to Graduate school. I would highly recommend the Cape RADD course to anyone interested in Marine Science.
Beyond the academic and professional development however, the field course is an absolute blast. I loved spending the days off traveling with my roommate Lydia, and our other classmate Camille. There’s a lot of serious learning that goes on, but we also had a great time joking about baboons, bananas, and staying warm between dives. Rooibos tea is a must! Cape RADD even helped facilitate a cage diving experience for us in Gansbaai, recognizing that it’s not everyday you get to dive with White Sharks. I would return to Cape RADD and South Africa in a heartbeat, should the opportunity arise.