Getting to know Nomcebo

Nomcebo describes herself as passionate about birds and conservation. She works as a technical assistant for the Ornithology Collection at the Durban Natural Science Museum. Growing up surrounded by nature piqued her interest in birds, and she is now dedicated to preserving and documenting avian biodiversity.

As a technical assistant, Nomcebo plays a crucial role in securing collections by ensuring proper specimen preparation, curation, and documentation. She works diligently to maintain the integrity of the museum’s ornithological specimens and contribute to ongoing research and conservation efforts. Her most significant lesson so far has been gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of meticulous documentation and preservation techniques in maintaining the integrity of collections, as well as the value of collaboration and knowledge sharing within the scientific community.

Her typical day at work involves tasks such as specimen preparation, data management, and research assistance. She handles incoming specimens, catalogs them into the collection database, and assists researchers with access to the museum’s resources.

Nomcebo’s views on the importance of collections: 

“Collections are important and valuable because they serve as repositories of biodiversity, scientific knowledge, and cultural heritage. They provide invaluable resources for research, education, and conservation, allowing us to better understand and protect our natural world.”

Nomcebo as a young leader: She has learned the importance of communication, organisation, and adaptability. She strives to lead by example, fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment where everyone’s contributions are valued.

She believes that the knowledge gained from this workshop will enhance her skills and broaden her perspectives, enabling her to contribute more effectively to her institution’s goals of research, education, and conservation. She is excited to implement new ideas and best practices to further the museum’s mission.

Nomcebo’s workshop expectations: Nomcebo is most looking forward to networking with fellow emerging leaders in the field of conservation and learning from their experiences and insights. She is eager to engage in discussions, workshops, and collaborative projects that will inspire and empower her to make a positive impact in her work and beyond.

She believes that it is crucial for young leaders to be identified and capacitated, as they represent the future of conservation and scientific research. Further, Nomcebo is of the view that investing in the development of young leaders ensures continuity, innovation, and sustainability in addressing global environmental challenges.

Anticipated challenges in stepping into the young leader role: Nomcebo anticipates challenges such as adapting to new ideas and methodologies, balancing workload and professional development, and overcoming obstacles in implementing change within her institution. She is, however, confident that these challenges will provide valuable learning opportunities and strengthen her leadership skills.

She sees herself stepping up into her young leader role by fostering open communication, collaboration, and mutual respect with colleagues and superiors. She believes in leading by example, seeking guidance and feedback from experienced mentors, while also taking initiative and demonstrating accountability in her work.

Preparation for the workshop:

“I am preparing myself for the workshop by familiarizing myself with the topics and themes, reflecting on my goals and aspirations, and engaging in self-assessment and skill-building activities. I am also reaching out to colleagues and mentors for advice and insights, and I am eager to fully participate in the workshop discussions and activities.”

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