Please send any news items to  Mathieu.Rouault at This includes new job, graduations, new papers, newborns, news from overseas member or former members, SASAS history, new web sites, new projects, promotions, trip overseas, field trips, experiment: We will do a web newsletter every  few months if we get enough news.

Abstract and registration is open for the 10th anniversary of the Nansen Tutu Centre for Marine Environment Research symposium to be held at the Breakwater lodge, situated at the waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa from 10 to 12 of March 2020. It will run in parallel with the Ocean Observation Panel for Climate meeting. The overall symposium theme is Ocean, weather and climate: Science at the service of society. Key topics will include operational oceanography; role of the ocean on climate and weather; regional marine ecosystem; air sea interaction, Southern Ocean, biogeochemistry and the CO2 cycle. There will be several invited talks already listed on tour web site. The Symposium is endorsed by CLIVAR. First 30 students to send an extended abstract will not pay registration fees. Postdoctoral fellow will pay a reduced fee too.

More info on the symposium web site


Eulogy at SASAS Annual Conference 2018

Dr Eugene Poolman, forecaster, scientist and career-long SASAS member passed away on 9 September 2018 due to complications after suffering bleeding on the brain at the end of December 2017. Dr Poolman started his career at the South African Weather Service (SAWS) as a weather forecaster in 1982, but excelled to become a manager in the Research Division of SAWS from 1991 to 2009. It was during this time that he completed his MSc in Meteorology, obtaining the degree from the University of Pretoria in 1993. He moved away from a managerial role and became the forecasting specialist on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) related activities as Chief Forecaster: DRR in 2009. While holding this position, Eugene obtained his PHD in Meteorology at the University of Pretoria in 2015. He continued to serve the South African Weather Service faithfully holding the position of Chief Forecaster: DRR up to his passing on 9 September 2018. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Dr Poolman presented a course where he brought the complex atmospheric equations to reality by giving examples of how these equations could be applied in practical forecasting. During these engagements, his passion for weather and weather forecasting made a great impression on the students. As lecturer, Eugene played an important role in the development of many meteorologists by shaping their knowledge in weather forecasting. His mentorship unquestionably contributed to the professional way in which the weather forecasters in SAWS perform today. Eugene was a focussed researcher. His approach was not only to engage in theoretical research, but especially to focus on impact research aimed at serving the South African public. This approach led to the ground-breaking work he did in developing a Flash Flood Guidance product for South Africa, which without doubt contributed in many cases to the prevention of property damage and the loss of life. During his Doctoral studies, his research in developing early warnings for flash floods contributed considerably to the advancement of SAWS towards a world-class meteorological entity geared at bringing solutions to the people of South Africa. Under the risks posed by climate change, Eugene’s achievements, contributions as well as the firm basis that he had laid will continue to play a major role in future adaptation and risk reduction initiatives. During his service at SAWS, Dr Poolman was a prominent member of numerous international teams including the Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS) Technical Team of the WMO. He also made a significant contribution at a regional level by taking a leading role in the WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP). More recently, Dr Poolman, working with the National Weather Service (NWS) through the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), initiated a project and developed the Impact-Based Severe Weather Warning System for South Africa, which is currently underway. At a local level Dr Poolman also played a key role in representing SAWS at Disaster Management Advisory Forum meetings. And while all who knew him personally and professionally will miss him dearly, we’re comforted that his passion and drive for practical and applied meteorology are enduring and will continue to exemplify the very best in South African weather scientists. In his own way, Eugene was a giant in the development and application of meteorology in South Africa. May his soul rest in peace.

Nansen Tutu Center seminar serie no 1: Role of the Ocean on Southern African Rainfall:  0930 to 1200 Friday 2 of February 2018, Oceanography Department seminar room, University of Cape Town. Download program here

Atmospheric Remote Sensing Education and Training (ATM-RESET) is part of the UKZM-ATMRes ( intiation since 2013, and organizing the 3rd student's training workshop on “Atmospheric Remote Sensing using Ground and Space Borne techniques”.  The workshop is planned to run for 3 days during 03-05 October 2017, focussed to train the young researcher and students on various topics of Atmospheric remote sensing.   The workshop has been supported through ALC (African Laser Centre), NRF (national Research Foundation) and ICSU (International Council for Science).  There are 55 participants registered for it which includes about 38 of them as students from SA and Africa.  Currently the workshop is funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) on International Council for Scientific Union (ICSU) and Africa Laser Centre (ALC).  More details are available at

The National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP), a multi-institutional postgraduate programme training graduates in astronomy, astrophysics and space science, was launched in the School of Chemistry and Physics.  The programme has been successfully run at the University of Cape Town (UCT) for a decade, and has now been introduced at UKZN and at North West University (NWU).  Funded by the Department of Science of Technology through the National Research Foundation (NRF), the programme is intended to develop human capital in what are scarce skills in the country.   A national curriculum approach for all the three units is foreseen, and may begin from 2018.  More details are in or

Natalie Burls (top center in photo) was awarded a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Ocean Science. The 126 Research Fellows from oceanography, physics, and the other branches of science are chosen by the Sloan Foundation to “represent the most promising scientific researchers working today” whose “achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders.” Since 1955, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 43 Sloan Research Fellows, including ozone-hole pioneer Mario Molina and theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. The fellowship comes with a two-year, $60,000 stipend. Originally from South Africa, Natalie Burls came to Mason in January 2015 following a postdoctoral position at Yale University. Her research investigates how the ocean and atmosphere interact to determine climate. Her work looks at both today’s climate and climate over the past five million years. In addition to her research, she teaches courses in the AOES department, including the “Gen-Ed” class CLIM 102 Introduction to Global Climate Change Science (co-taught with Kathy Pegion). She is pictured here with Climate Dynamics PhD students in Great Falls Park. Natalie Burls Home Page

The 32nd Annual Conference of the South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences (SASAS 2016) – “Innovation For Information” was hosted by the Climate System Analysis Group (University of Cape Town). The conference was held at the Lagoon Beach Hotel, Milnerton, Cape Town from the 31st October – 1st November.

SASAS presence was strong at the ICRC-CORDEX 2016 conference that took place on 17-20 May 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. Below Zane Dedekind (CSIR) to the left and and Chris Lennard to the right in the other, both SASAS members.


Stanley Jackson Award for best peer rewieved paper open


SASAS medal nomination open


Applications are open for the  Applied Ocean Sciences (AOS) Master of Science hosted by the Marine Research Institute (Ma-Re) at the University of Cape Town. The MSc degree in Applied Ocean Sciences aims to produce marine professionals with a strong academic foundation who are knowledgeable about the major topics in interdisciplinary ocean sciences.This course will provide academic and technical skills to deal with the most applied aspects of oceanography and marine biology. It is designed for both recent graduates as well as those with several years’ experience and who wish to work in the ocean services sector, with a focus on operational and conservation activities and other aspects of the Blue Economy. This is achieved by exposing the students to a range of disciplines, to provide them with the requisite skills to carry out research and to use the products of research. The course also reinforces essential skills such as scientific communication, numeracy and analytical thinking, and  demonstrates the ability to perform independent research through the project component.

DEADLINES for 2017 applicants:  International students: 31 August 2016,  South Africans: 30 September 2016

Download flyer:

For course details and how to apply:


Congratulation to Dr Asmerom Beraki and Dr Christien Engelbrecht for obtaining their PhD.  We have seen Asmerom and Christien growing their skill SASAS conference after SASAS Conference. They have also managed to publish their research in numerous international peer review Journal and they are also member of the SASAS committee. We want to extend our congratulation to their advisor Prof Willem Landman who recently joined University of Pretoria


Congratulation to Prof Bruce Hewitson for his recent NRF A rating. I believe it is the first time since Prof Lutjeharms 10 years ago that one of our members become A rated. A rated researcher is a researcher who is unequivocally recognised by their peers as leading international scholars in their field for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs. I also want to congratulate all CSAG members and students past and present who have contributed to Bruce International recognition.