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Marum scientists are responsible for the third leg of a special training and capacity building cruise in Namibian waters during 23. September – 21. October 2011. The coordinators of this project, at the Universities of Hamburg and Namibia, invite up to 33 young scientists and students from Namibia and other countries in southern Africa to take part in one of the three legs of this cruise.

The aim of this cruise is contributing to a better understanding of the Benguela Current Ecosystem and thereby fostering the cooperation within the SPACES ("Sciences Partnership for the Assessment of Complex Earth System Processes") 1 programme by helping in setting up partnership projects in research and development. This research-based capacity building will bring together researchers and students from Africa and Germany on board RV Maria S Merian. A second major goal is educating undergraduate and graduate students in different marine disciplines – physics, bio-geochemistry, biology and geology - by using an integrated Earth System Science approach.

During the third leg (chief scientist: M. Zabel) the benthic boundary layer and the underlaying sediments will be sampled for biogeochemical and microbiological investigations as well as for the reconstruction of paleo-environmental conditions. Furthermore, geophysical methods will be applied for surveying the bathymetry of the seafloor and to get information on its deeper structure.

The cruise is financed by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

RV M.S. MERIAN (Oct. '09; photo: N. Verch)

In June 2011, a German delegation met the Namibian partner institutes in Windhoek, Swakopmund, and Hentiesbaai for coordination of the cruise program.