Umvoto Africa is pleased to congratulate the following employees on their promotions. Gemma Bluff on her promotion from Junior Climatologist to Climatologist, Sasha Dean Singh and Zandri Rademan from Junior Geologist to Geologist and Kirsty Gibson from Intern Hydrogeologist to Junior Hydrogeologist.
Gemma joined Umvoto Africa in August 2017 as Personal Assistant and Technical Secretary to the Directors, working closely with Rowena Hay on the United Nations (UN) Environment’s chapter on Freshwater. This included writing case studies for the chapter, research and understanding of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This later helped Gemma partake in the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the UN Global Compact SDG Ambition Accelerator programme in 2021 and become a member of the UNs SDG Community of Practice. Gemma was promoted from Personal Assistant and Technical Secretary to Junior Environmentalist in January 2018. She specialised in environmental and climatological work – the latter being what Gemma achieved her Master’s degree in in 2017. Her background in atmospheric science has allowed Gemma to create an organised climate database for and on the environmental side, Gemma was also one of the lead Environmental Control Officers at Umvoto. Gemma’s newest promotion to Climatologist sees her continuing her work under Senior Climatologist and department head Paul Lee, who has provided much mentoring and knowledge over the years. Gemma will continue to provide input on the climate-related side of future proposals and projects – currently this is for a project in Windhoek, Namibia. Under the continued guidance of Paul Lee, Gemma hopes to further her professional experience at Umvoto Africa while bringing in more climatological work and is excited about what lies ahead in this next chapter of her career – “anything is possible when you just believe, and I believe strongly in the environment and the effects climate change will have on our society and the world at large. We have the opportunity to be a part of a sustainable future, and that’s one I want to be involved in creating”.
Zandri joined the Umvoto Africa team in June 2018 as an intern after completing her Master’s degree in Geology at Stellenbosch University. In that time, she has progressively gained critical hydrogeological and geological skills under the supervision and guidance of Umvoto’s extremely knowledgeable Principal Geologist, Dylan Blake. She has played a key role as the acting on-site Hydrogeological Engineer’s Representative on the City of Cape Town Table Mountain Group Aquifer Project, set in the scenic and variable high mountain ranges of the Kogelberg and Hottentots Holland Nature Reserves, along the City of Cape Town Steenbras Dam, and the wide valleys around Theewaterskloof Dam. Zandri has also gained much needed experience completing several smaller consulting projects and regularly collaborating and engaging with various professionals and clients, from private homeowners, drillers, environmentalists, farmers, engineers to municipalities. Zandri’s newest promotion to Geologist sees her continuing her current project work, in addition to diversifying her involvement in other geological and groundwater projects at Umvoto Africa. Zandri is a firm believer in taking every interaction as a learning opportunity, to think critically and find collaborative solutions to challenges. In her terms: Stay humble, work hard and never lose that sense of wonder in geology.
Sasha Dean joined Umvoto Africa in November 2017 after completing his honours degree in Geology at the University of Johannesburg. In the past three and a half years, Sasha Dean has worked as a Junior Geologist predominantly the Cape Flats Aquifer Management Scheme. Sashas’s stewardship has seen him coordinate and manage all field activities related to the scheme. In addition, he is self-taught in planning and undertaking infrastructure surveys and river profiles for hydrological analysis using Trimble differential GNSS. Sasha has also enjoyed working for The Umvoto Foundation, mainly on their Moretele Water Stokvel project where he taught hydrogeological concepts to school children in the rural Northwest Province. His experience over this time has allowed him to recently qualify as a professional natural scientist with SACNASP under the mentorship of Senior Geologist David McGibbon. Sasha is excited for the next chapter and cannot wait to further improve his scientific skills and knowledge.
Kirsty joined Umvoto Africa as an intern Hydrogeologist in January 2021 after completing her MSc in Geohydrology at the Institute of Groundwater Science (IGS) of the University of the Free State. Since joining Umvoto, Kirsty has gained many skills through a variety of tasks, one of the highlights for Kirsty was doing field work in beautiful areas in the Western Cape like the Koeberg Nature reserve. As much as she enjoys fieldwork, Kirsty also has a keen interest in data analysis and machine learning which she intends to further expand. Kirsty enjoys the diverse dynamics at the Umvoto office as well as the after-work runs in Muizenberg with her colleagues. We look forward to seeing her grow as a Junior Hydrogeologist at Umvoto Africa.
Umvoto wishes these employees the best of luck and welcomes them to grow further in their new roles!