Gemma is the Senior Climatologist at Umvoto having started at the company in August 2017; before which she achieved Summa Cum Laude for her Master’s degree in Environmental and Geographical Sciences (specialising in climatology) from the University of Cape Town. She started as a Personal Assistant to the Directors, working closely with the late founder Rowena Hay on the UN Environment’s Freshwater Chapter of the sixth edition GEO-6 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, after which Rowena nominated Gemma as a UN Environment GEO-6 Fellow. Gemma was then promoted to Junior Environmentalist in 2018 where she gained experience as an Environmental Control Officer on the Cape Flats Aquifer Management Scheme New Water Programme project. As Climatologist and Senior Climatologist, Gemma works on various climate-related projects throughout South Africa and Africa, most recently in Oromia, Ethiopia and Windhoek, Namibia. Gemma is a registered Professional Natural Scientist (Environmental Science and Atmospheric Science Fields of Practice) with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP).
Gemma has completed two rounds (2021 and 2022) of the UN Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambition Accelerator programme, which is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative – a call to companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. Gemma is also a member of the UN’s SDG Community of Practice. Further to this Gemma works closely with the Marketing Department on various marketing initiatives and is a Collaborator to The Umvoto Foundation, a non-profit company established to support people and communities to achieve clean and healthy water systems, and through this vibrant, safe and resilient communities. The foundation also has a strong interest in promoting geoheritage and geoethics, and Gemma is currently working on the first in a series of geoheritage field guidebooks with colleagues looking at the history of the Table Mountain Dams and Cape Town’s Water Supply.
In her spare time Gemma is an avid baker and proud plant mom, as well as enjoying green belt walks and getting into nature.
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