GroundTruth awarded for miniSASS
GroundTruth were honoured in 2013 with the ‘WRC Knowledge Tree Award’ for the development of miniSASS. miniSASS being a user-friendly river health monitoring tool used by non-experts to aid in the education of learners, on the importance of river health. Dr Mark Graham, the founder of GroundTruth was a participating member in the development of miniSASS and its success. The miniSASS tool has been used for over 10 years by environmental educators and the South African River Health Programme (RHP). There has been an increasingly high demand in the integration of environmental education aspects in school curricula.
miniSASS is a derivation of the South African Scoring System - SASS. SASS is an aquatic biomonitoring tool used in South Africa for the past 30 years. This low cost, educational tool was developed by reducing the 90 plus traditional SASS aquatic invertebrate taxa, into a simple 13 groups used to derive river health classifications. It has assisted with the production of citizen science data which provides an indication of river health and a ‘red flag’ for areas of concern.
The skills obtained from using this technique include a level of understanding in the environment. Many rural and urban children had never seen the organisms that live in their rivers. Discussions around the role and functions of the organisms enriched their knowledge of the environment.
GroundTruth Receives the 3rd National Wetlands Stewardship Award
GroundTruth was presented with the 3rd National Wetland Awards' “Stewardship” award in recognition of the wetland rehabilitation associated with the Greater Edendale Mall development, which was described as “challenging our perception of the value of transformed natural capital assets, from potentially “hopeless lost cases” into inspiring opportunities for managing natural capital assets within a transformed landscape, sponsored by Mondi and hosted by the South African Wetland Society.