Faculty News

Latest News, Events & Activities

  • FEES hosts SARS Workshop on Mangrove Forest Monitoring

    The University of Guyana’s Faculty of Earth and Environment Sciences (FEES) in collaboration with SERVIR Amazonia, NASA, USAID, Spatial Information Group (SIG), and CIAT hosted an International Course (workshop) from January 20 to January 24, 2020 at the Center for Information Technology (CIT) of the University’s Turkeyen Campus. The training workshop/course was titled “Using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to monitor mangrove forests in Guyana”.


    At the Opening Ceremony, Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement, PACE and Chair, Transitional Management Committee, UG, noted the importance of such an endeavour when she stated that “ this initiative is not just important for the University of Guyana, but for you the participants to acquire knowledge about the technology. On the grand scheme of things this technology will have a macro effect on Guyana,” she explained.


    The course brought remote-sensing resources, primarily Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), to bear on mapping the extent and structure of mangrove forests along the coast of Guyana. Outputs of the training by participants included, but not limited to: (1) mapping of mangrove extent, (2) evaluation of mangrove health, (3) generation of information that can be used for greenhouse gas reporting (4) availability of data that can be used for assessing land-use changes that contribute to the loss of mangroves, (5) analysis of the performance of mangrove restoration efforts, (6) full documentation on analysis methods, (7) exposure to open-source algorithms for processing remote-sensing data, (8) all data associated with the project, (9) extensive training on how to use remote sensing techniques for mangrove monitoring and on operating a mangrove monitoring programme.


    Participants were drawn from the University of Guyana (UG), Hydromet, National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI); Conservation International – Guyana; Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC); Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC); Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA); World Wildlife Fund Guyana Office; Ministry of Public Infrastructure – Sea and River Defence Division; Amerindian Peoples Association (APA); Department of Environment; and Ministry of Natural Resources.


    The main trainer was Dr. Mark Simard from NASA and the other two scientists Dr. Glenn Hyman and Ms. Andrea Nicolau, from Spatial Informatics Group (SIG) and NASA respectively were also involved in the workshop and provided the technical support. Dr Temitope Oyedotun, the Dean of the Faculty who initiated and facilitated the workshop stated that the ultimate objective of the initiative is for Government and civil society (decision-makers) to have access to up-to-date maps of mangrove extent and health. Such information can be useful for land-use planning and climate change mitigation efforts. The workshop was an enriching experience for participants.



    A Special Meeting of Head of Agencies

    On Wednesday January 22, 2020, there was a special meeting of the Head of Organisations and Agencies that have their representatives participated in the workshop. The special meeting was initiated: to share the objectives and goals of bringing Earth Observation (EO) and Geospatial Technologies to sustainable development challenges in Guyana;  to deliberate on how developmental challenges of the agencies can be addressed by these technologies; and, to explore collaborations of the agencies with SERVIR Amazonia.



    News about the workshop can be found at the following links:

    1. https://dpi.gov.gy/international-organisations-collaborate-with-ug-to-host-mangrove-monitoring-workshop/
    2. https://servir.ciat.cgiar.org/protecting-the-natural-seawall-of-guyana-with-a-sustained-monitoring-and-evaluation-systems-of-mangrove-forests/
    3. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield/2020/02/04/local-agencies-in-guyana-to-monitor-mangroves-in-face-of-a-changing-climate/?src=fromthefield-rss
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    GEOFEES hosts SARS Workshop on Mangrove Forest Monitoring
  • Exciting Opportunity – Study Semester Student Exchange


    Are you interested in partaking in a study semester abroad? The Trier University of Applied Sciences at Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld, Germany, is again inviting students to apply to their exchange programme. FEES students who participated in the exchange programme in the past have shared that it has been a rewarding part of their academic experience.


    View the videos and other links below to learn more about the international exchange programme:


    You can also view further information through the programme’s website and Instagram account: 



    If you’d like to know more about this programme, please make contact with the Head of Department of Environmental Studies, at hodes.fees@uog.edu.gy.


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    GEOExciting Opportunity – Study Semester Student Exchange
  • Geography Awareness Week Activities

    Geography Awareness Week is an annual event held in the third week of November. The event focuses on involving more persons in the geographical world; the interconnectivity of humans and the natural environment, to each other, and to the greater world we live in. The University of Guyana Geographical Society used the opportunity to engage members of the public on some of the critical geographical issues facing us, through a varied programme of events.


    The week began with an online article published on the society website and social media platforms. The ‘On-Campus Geography Day’ event featured interactive booths that served to engage visitors. GIS Day, seen as the central activity of the Week and done in collaboration with several governmental organizations, featured Society members at every aspect of the programme. Towards the end of the week, two primary schools were visited and the society held a public awareness project at Giftland, where members of the public were engaged in discussions.




    The society’s article for Geography Week was published on its website (https://geographicalsociety.weebly.com/news–activities). The article revolved around the theme of “THINK GEOGRAPHY: DEVELOP WISELY!” from this the nature, careers and Geography’s aid to national development were presented. The article sought to convey that geography is multidisciplinary, with a long history that feeds into disciplines such as planning and demography.



    On the 12th of November, the society would have organized for an ‘On Campus Sensitization Project’. This event took place on the GWLT Parking Lot from 11 am to 4 pm. Within this project there were a number of sub-activities, these were featured in the Medical Geography Booth, Mapping Instruments Booth, Research Project Booth, and Careers in Geography Booth.



    At the medical geography booth, society members engaged university students in aspects such as locating the highest ranking breast cancer country in the world, and also posited a case study on the possible spatial implication of mercury contamination in Guyana’s freshwater streams. Members also used statistics to create maps that showed alcohol usage per region in Guyana.

    At the mapping instruments booth, visitors were engaged in activities such as past and current tools used for mapping, how to read a map, how to use a compass, orienting a map, taking bearing, and understanding marginal information on a map.


    At the research projects booth, research undertaken by third year students was presented on comparison between two wetland types (Iturbisi Lake and The Victoria Mangrove Restoration Site); and land use issues in Potaro Siparuni; Sub-region 2 (Campbell Town and Maicobe).


    At the Careers in Geography booth, discussions were held with students on how geography covers a broad cross-section of career options. They also indicated the gaps that Guyana faces in the field of spatial sciences. Aided by a poster, visitors were able to understand the various branches of the core geography field.




    UGGS formed a critical part of the GIS Day Organising committee, together with representatives from the GGMC, EPA, CHPA, CI, and WWF. Observed on November 13th at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, the event featured speeches and presentations from the Minister of Telecommunications, Dean-FEES, head of Conservation International, and the UGGS Vice President, Jillyne Bell. The UGGS engaged participants in a participatory mapping activity using the OpenStreetMap platform, discussions on geography careers, and an open space discussion. The latter activity saw secondary school attendees brainstorming ways to apply GIS technologies in certain scenarios; to name a few – wildlife monitoring, deforestation monitoring, traffic management, mapping of malaria-prone areas, and mapping of alternate routes to remote locations.



    Activities on November 15 featured visits to two secondary schools: Friendship Secondary School and Cummings Lodge Secondary School.



    At Friendship Secondary, members were tasked with encouraging the study of geography by teaching map reading to teens. The target group of this exercise were fourth and fifth for students currently doing geography at Caribbean Examination level, and the topic taught was four and six figure grid reference. An opening description of careers that rely heavily on geography peaked students’ interest and ignited a discussion since many students indicated they were unaware of the jobs rooted in geography.




    At Cummings Lodge Secondary, presentations were made on the history of geography through the use of temporal maps. This featured notable geographers from the Greeks to current day specialists. Geography career options and links to various agencies in Guyana were also discussed, followed by an interactive exercise on location and grid systems. At both events prizes were awarded to students who successfully completed their task, which helped garner much excitement.



    The final activity was held on November 16, 2019 at the Giftland Mall, to sensitize members of the public on the usefulness of Geography and its importance to national development. Presentations and flyers were made available to passersby to engage persons on various geographical concepts.



    In conclusion, the weeklong sensitization events were a success as persons left with a better grasp of the discipline and Society members were afforded with a wide range of exposure.

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    GEOGeography Awareness Week Activities
  • UGGS hosts ‘Guardians of the Earth’ Climate Change Rally




    The University of Guyana Geographical Society partnered with Policy Forum Guyana and UG Female Empowerment Movement in order to sensitise the public on the need for climate action in Guyana. This issue is close to the heart of the Society as it embodies the ideas of sustainable development and as we see the effects of climate change and sea level rise in our country.


    The project falls under the larger theme of the ‘Global Climate Strike’ held under the leadership of Miss Greta Thunburg. Millions of students, parents, scientists, people of all backgrounds, ages, regions and faiths came together in all corners of the globe calling for climate action. More than 6,100 events were held in 185 countries. See link: https://globalclimatestrike.net/7-million-people-demand-action-after-week-of-climate-strikes/



    This local event involved a march from the Bank of Guyana to the Kingston Band Stand. Short talks and cultural events were held to engage and educate participants. Some participants included Namilco, GIT, Marion Academy, Bishop High School among others. Approximately 500 persons took part in the successful event. It is our hope that Guyana’s youths be resolute in the pursuit for climate action.




    Read more at: https://geographicalsociety.weebly.com/news–activities

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    GEOUGGS hosts ‘Guardians of the Earth’ Climate Change Rally
  • Seminar on Tepui Robotics PhD Project Research

    On September 12, 2019, the FEES invited Mateusz Wrazidło to present his PhD thesis work as part of a research group specialised in robotics applied to environmental monitoring. His research topic is “Conservation through Cultivation. TEPUI-SAT: Autonomous environmental monitoring and simulation system for habitat research and cultivation of vulnerable tropical flora species.”


    This research is made possible through the support of a MOU between UG and the Institute of Fundamentals of Machinery Design, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland.



    Wrazidło’s research focuses on creating devices for remote study of environmental conditions of the habitat of tepuian HeliamphoraDroseras, and other species that are important to and part of the biogeographic richness of high table mountains. The study also considers fragile wetland ecosystems in water-saturated peatlands that are key for the hydrology of the Guiana Shield River Basins.



    The main objective of the project is the development of a prototype of an environmental monitoring probe and using it for field measurements of various environmental particulars in given locations of the Guyanese Pakaraima mountains, especially with the aim of collecting long-term measurements at given locations characterized by the presence of the highland Pantepui environment and its endemic flora species.


    His chamber design is intended to be under controlled environmental conditions determined by the original ecosystems that remotely send the signals to the internet cloud. This interesting research idea opened the enthusiasm of several lecturers and students at the University of Guyana.

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    GEOSeminar on Tepui Robotics PhD Project Research