Proceedings of Merensky Young Scientist Seminar : valuation and evaluation of forest resources
CITATION: Ham, C., Kleinn, C., Ham, H. 2018. Merensky Young Scientist Seminar : valuation and evaluation of forest resources. In: Proceedings of the Merensky Young Scientist Seminar, 19 – 23 September, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Stellenbosch University celebrates its 100 year birthday in 2018. Agriculture was one of the first four faculties established in 1918 and merged in 2006 with the Faculty of Forestry to become the current Faculty of AgriSciences. Although the Faculty of Forestry was only established in 1931 the Stellenbosch centennial celebrations provide a good opportunity to give credit to people and organisations who were involved in the establishment of the Forestry Department at Stellenbosch. One such person was Dr Hans Merensky. Archival records indicate that he was instrumental in establishing the first chair in forestry at Stellenbosch and though his continual support in those early years the then Faculty of Forestry could expand and increase its academic footprint not only in South Africa but world-wide. His involvement included much more than financial support. The Stellenbosch Archive contains many examples of communication between him and the academic staff members on technical matters and research visits to his farm and to forestry schools in Germany. To honour his contribution the Merensky Young Scientist Seminar was held from 20 to 22 September 2018 in Stellenbosch. The objective of the Seminar is to allow 15 students from Stellenbosch, Venda and Nelson Mandela University as well as 15 students from Göttingen and Dresden Universities in Germany to present their research under the theme of “Valuation and Evaluation of Forest Resources”. This workshop enabled students from different forestry schools, countries and cultures to experience some of the colloquial academic interaction that Dr Hans Merensky maintained with academics from Stellenbosch and other German universities and where he supported serious young academics in an unprecedented manner. This Seminar is also the sixth joint student exchange event organised since 2010 by the Department of Forest and Wood Science at Stellenbosch and the Chair of Forest Inventory and Remote Sensing at Gottingen University. An example of how this academic interaction, kindled by Dr Merensky, can still have a positive impact on the lives of students.