The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) is pleased to announce four staff members that joined its fold recently. The four experts in research, science and climate related matters include Ms. Maria Sigopi, Mr. Anacleto Diogo, Mr. John Isaac Molefe, and Dr. Vasco Chiteculo.


Ms. Maria Sigopi joins SASSCAL Namibia Node as Scientific officer. She holds an Honours degree in Geo Information Technology and an MSc degree in GIS and Earth Observation from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Her Masters degree was fully funded by SASSCAL. Ms. Sigopi held different positions before joining SASSCAL. She was a Cartographer in the Regional Science Division at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, an external examiner for research and a Part-time Lecturer for GIS and Remote Sensing at the University of Namibia. She has research interests in developing and mapping applications of GIS and Remote Sensing focusing on Climate Change, environmental monitoring and water resource management.



Mr. Anacleto Diogo is the Scientific Officer of SASSCAL at the Angolan Node. His experience spans across earth sciences, computational systems, and research amongst many other fields. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Analysis and Modeling of Environmental Systems at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a Masters in Remote Sensing and Geoprocessing at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.  Mr Diogo graduated in Meteorology at the Federal University of Alagoas and in Systems Analysis and Development from Alagoas College of Technologies in Brazil.

He brings to SASSCAL practical knowledge in Earth Sciences, with emphasis on Orbital Remote Sensing and Meteorology, working mainly on earth surface processes, climate, vegetation, droughts and applied geotechnologies. He has technical expertise in management, analysis, interpretation, manipulation and treatment of various data formats, applying the appropriate techniques programming languages software. Mr Diogo worked in the area of Evolutionary Maintenance of Computational Systems at the Information Technology Division of the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region (TRF4), in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and in research related to vegetation, drought and climate studies, in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil, Caatinga biome, as well as in different parts of Angola. His scientific research for Angola, his home country especially during his Masters in Remote Sensing resulted in scientific articles published in different journals.

Also of note is that Mr. Diogo is currently part of the Federal University of Minas Gerais team of Scientists/Researchers to analyze and spatialize the Covid-19 outbreak in the State of Minas Gerais considering health, environmental and social aspects.



Mr. John Isaac Molefe was appointed to the position of Scientific Officer at SASSCAL Botswana Node in January.  Mr Molefe holds a Master of Science (Environmental science) from the University of Botswana, a Post Graduate Diploma In Education (PGDE) as well as a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science and History. Prior to joining the regional science service center, Mr Molefe held various positions. He worked as an independent consultant, GIS and Environmental Analyst at Aqualogic, lecturer at the University of Botswana, and Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as Earth Observation and Thematic Expert at the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa. He is currently pursuing an MPhil/PhD in Environmental Science at the University of Botswana with a focus on the  reconstruction of long term fire regimes and land use land cover changes in northern Botswana.



Dr. Vasco Chiteculo who worked for both his home country, Angola and the Czech Republic brings to SASSCAL a wealth of experience in research, forest development and management, as well as remote sensing.  He joins SASSCAL as Programme Coordinator at the Angolan Node.

Dr. Chiteculo holds a doctorate degree in Forest Management specializing in Forest Management Planning, sustainable development and technologies, a Masters in Economics of Sustainable Rural Development, another Masters in Forestry, Water and Landscape Management, and a bachelors degree in Agriculture of tropics and subtropic countries. His doctoral thesis focused on forest management and planning in miombo forest in the Huambo province.

His experience spans across organizations in scientific research and development at EGOE KOVO in Czech Republic, where he occupied a position of Foreign Cooperation and Business Development Manager. He lectured at the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, in the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, where he devoted his time sharing knowledge in forest production and forest management to Master students. Dr Chiteculo also led the Czech-Angolan Chamber of Industry and Agriculture. He lead research and development projects in conjunction with Mendel Universities in Brno, Czech Republic and private companies in development and assessment of ecological technology for wood modification and converting the research results into products for the market.

His research focused on development of forest management zones in Miombo, food security, timber trade, product value a chain, remote sensing and decision supporting methods. Amongst his many achievements, Dr. Chiteculo has published many articles in peer review journals, one of them being widely cited in the field of remote sensing (Determining tree height and crown diameter from high-resolution UAV imagery).

He has developed tree growth models of the representative tree species of miombo in Angola and created forest management zones for miombo.

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