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Workshop Registration

To register to one of our workshops, send us an email at afqua.congress@gmail.com . Note that since the number of seats are limited, participation will be granted on a "first come, first served" basis. If you select more than one workshop, please order them based on your own preference.
W01: Global Paleofire Working Group: Africa on Fire!
Convener(s): Vanniere, Courtney-Mustaphi, Aleman, Adolf, Colombaroli & the GPWG
Duration: 3 days
Description: Two major challenges are emerging from recent and ongoing GPWG2 work: 1) local, regional, continental, and global fire history must be connected to and understood in relation to modern fire data and activities, and 2) understanding the dominant controls of fire (e.g. climate, vegetation and humans) during the late Quaternary in each region is highly dependent on collaborative, interdisciplinary research.
     Africa poses a particularly critical gap in our knowledge of fire history at this time. With this workshop, we aim at building a strong network of researchers focused on fire at different temporal and spatial scales (paleoecologists, archaeologists, historians, , etc.) and identify laboratories that can act as hubs to disseminate methodologies, materials and training to other facilities. The workshop will have a significant capacity-building component and it is hoped that it will inspire new work on paleofire across the continent.
W02: Radiocarbon dating and age-models
Convener(s): Stephan Woodborne (part A), Maarten Blaauw (Part B)
Duration: 1.5 days
(A) We will provide a brief overview of the underlying principles of AMS radiocarbon and cosmogenic dating to give participants a basic understanding of the technique. We will provide a practical set of guidelines for field sampling and sample submission. We will describe accessibility to the iThemba LABS setup and the possibility that users will have the opportunity to come to Johannesburg and run samples themselves with the guidance of the in-house scientists. We will provide a basic set of criteria that should be used in assessing radiocarbon analyses.

(B) This will be a hands-on workshop on the production of robust and reliable chronologies for palaeoecological records using radiocarbon and other types of dates. The workshop will cover details on dates and different approaches to age-modelling, and through practical computer sessions we will discuss, learn and practise with some of the latest software in age-depth modelling.
     Themes to be covered include radiocarbon dating, producing chronologies, combining multiple sources of dating, quantifying chronological uncertainties, and performing simulations to explore how dating decisions affect age-model precision and accuracy. Participants can bring their own or existing data to work on. Last but not least, based on short presentations by the workshop participants, one project will be selected to receive five free radiocarbon dates from the 14CHRONO Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland."
W03: GIS techniques in Quaternary science
Convener(s): Felix Henselowsky & Christian Willmes
Duration: 3 days
Description: The use of GIS-techniques, integration of paleoenvironmental data, paleoclimate models and analyses of DEM's as application in quaternary sciences is nowadays a fundamental tool. Especially in context of human behavior and the modelling of the migration of humans, different approaches and methods have been developed during the last years.

The workshop will deal with three major topics:

  • The general availability of GIS-based (palaeo-)data

  • Different methods and approaches to reconstruct palaeoenvironments

  • Challenges of future interdisciplinary modelling in geosciences and archaeology

We warmly invite participants to tell us the topics they are particular interested in. We try to adapted the content of the workshop depending on the participants scientific background, experience and discipline. Integral parts will be practical GIS training (with open source software – QGIS), round-table discussion, discussion of future developments.

W04: Understanding environmental risk and hazards using lake sediments
Convener(s): Erin Martin-Jones & Heather Moorhouse
Duration: 1 day
Description: The International Continental Scientific Drilling programme have successfully collected sediment cores from Lake Chala, a 92m deep crater lake on the flank of Kilimanjaro.  Sediment records from lakes like Chala are exceptionally useful in understanding the timing and severity of past environmental changes. The record from Lake Chala also documents the scale and frequency of geohazards through time, including volcanic eruptions, drought and water pollution.

     This workshop will give a broad introduction on lake sediment reconstructions of palaeoclimate, and use this as a basis for two focussed sessions on understanding environmental hazards using lake sediment records. Firstly, we will explore lake sediment approaches to understanding the character of past volcanism and why these volcanic records are particularly relevant in East Africa.  We will use lake-sediment eruption records for high-risk volcanoes along the East African Rift, to determine volcanic hazards and discuss the potential impacts of future events. Secondly, we will explore organisms trapped within lake sediments such as diatoms (algae) that respond to changes in the water chemical environment.  These diatoms are excellent indicators of increased levels of nutrients from human activities in lake catchments as well as of changes in climate especially periods of drought. 

     We offer this workshop to students who want to better understanding of techniques and the principles of using lake sediment records to understand environmental changes of the past, as well as to explore future scenarios.  In areas like eastern Africa lake sediments are often a unique and exceptionally valuable resource to understanding this dynamic region.

W05: Use of Animal remains to document Environmental/Climate Change– Basic Techniques Training Workshop
Convener(s): Mwebi O, N. Gitahi and O., J. P. Brugal and C. Ogola
Duration: TBA
Description: Use of animal prey remains from carnivore scat and kill sites to gather biological/ecological data such as the species presence, diet, behaviour, territory, parasites, and home-range use, is a common practice in both conservation management and ecological studies. Bones and hairs, given right conditions are known to preserve for millennia. Given that certain animals only survive in specific habitats, their remains serve as important archives that record the presence of such habitats in that area long after it changed. Hence, animal bones and coprolite hair remains have been important data sources for palaeobiology, palaeoecology and palaeoanthropology or zooarchaeology for many years. We therefore propose to hold one day training workshop during the AFQUA conference to promote the use of basic morphometric techniques to analyse animal remains to reconstruct environmental/ecological dynamics during the quaternary. We will emphasize basic morphometric techniques for the diagnosis as this permits the primary identification of the taxonomic group origin to support the best choice of subsequent analyses. This workshop will present and discuss practical and theoretical bone identification, scatological (hair and bone analysis from carnivore scats/coprolites) and taphonomic analysis techniques using carnivore scat and prey bones remains collections in the Osteology Section of NMK. This workshop is targeted at students and earlier career scientists.
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