Working with the world-renowned N/a’an ku sê Foundation we’ve designed a brand-new Conservation Medicine course unlike anything else. Our one-of-a-kind course brings together the unique experience of Dr Rudie van Vuuren (physician and conservationist), Marlice van Vuuren (conservationist), resident vets and the N/a’an ku sê Foundation’s medical team.
Meet this highly specialised team who will be delivering an unrivalled syllabus of content:
Dr Rudie van Vuuren
Possibly best known for representing his country in both the 2003 Cricket World Cup and the 2003 Rugby World Cup, this former sportsman is now one of Namibia’s leading physicians (he is personal physician of the President of the Republic of Namibia Dr. Hage Geingob) and a well-respected conservationist.
In 2000 Dr Rudie van Vuuren married Marlice van der Merwe (as she was known then) and it was in 2006 after following his passion for wildlife and conservation that along with his wife Marlice and other founding members they created N/a’an ku sê Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary, Namibia’s only charity lodge; a place where the conservation of animals and culture are interlinked.
True to its name, N/a’an ku sê means ‘God will Protect us’ in the San language, and the N/a’an ku sê Foundation’s vision is an Africa where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together. The foundation aims to conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia through encouraging participation, education and innovative activity.
Marlice van Vuuren
Marlice van Vuuren (née van der Merwe) grew up surrounded by the orphaned and injured animals on her parents’ farm,
Harnas, where, for more than 30 years, injured or orphaned animals have found refuge. Her strong bond with Namibia’s San Bushmen, with whom she grew up with on her parents’ farm, not only made it possible for Marlice to learn their language fluently, but also instilled in her a deep affinity for their culture, their traditions and the plight they face in being considered third-rate citizens in Namibia.
In 2000 Marlice married Dr. Rudie van Vuuren, a man sharing her love for Namibia, its often-threatened animal species and unique people. Marlice’s inherent calling, prompted by her lifelong work and dedication to rehabilitating animals and advocating for Namibia’s dwindling cultures, led to the birth of the N/a’an ku sê mission – to conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia, and rescue species threatened by an ever-shrinking habitat.
Besides her ongoing work in animal care and involvement in N/a’an ku sê’s varied research projects focusing on evidence-based findings in mitigating human-wildlife conflict, Marlice has lent her expertise with animals to a significant number of filming projects. Since the age of 13, Marlice has been involved in various film productions and documentaries, including ‘Beyond Borders’ with Angelina Jolie and in 2008 her life was covered in the documentary directed by Philip Selkirk, ‘Marlice – A Vision for Africa’.
Other notable clients have included BBC, ITV, SKY and National Geographic, with prominent documentary series’ featuring Marlice and a number of the N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary animals. The vast list includes BBC’s ‘Big Cats’, National Geographic’s ‘One Strange Rock’ (the most ambitious National Geographic documentary series to date), SKY’s ‘A Day on Earth’, BBC’s ‘The Hunt’, SKY’s ‘Cats: An Amazing Animal Family’, BBC’s ‘Animals with Cameras’ plus many more.
No doubt Marlice will continue to dedicate her life to a cause that has formed the crux of her existence for so long – that of conservation.
Dr. Kobus Hoffman, BVSc. Veterinary Science, BSc. Veterinary Biology
Dr. Hoffman qualified as a veterinarian from the world-renowned Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Since qualification in 2012, Dr. Hoffman has worked in various disciplines of veterinary science including private practice wildlife and large animal veterinarian, as well as working as a companion animal (cats, dogs and horses)
His passion for veterinary science, however, lies in wildlife conservation and immobilisation. Dr. Hoffman attended the Zimbabwe wildlife capture course held at Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, presented by some of the most experienced wildlife veterinarians in Africa, where he was awarded the top student award for 2014. He has further completed a practical wildlife forensics course and attended an Advanced Wildlife Immobilisation and Field Practice course held in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Dr. Hoffman assisted in the translocation of 85 elephants in Zimbabwe and was involved with the immobilisation and implantation of activity and temperature monitors in 20 wild lions for a research project. Currently living in Windhoek, Dr. Hoffman is the head veterinarian for the N/a’an ku sê Foundation.
Burton is a wildlife conservationist and human capacity development practitioner, leveraging capacity for social change and responsible stewardship for our planet.
His enthusiasm for wildlife conservation, the environment, and human capacity development started two decades ago in his home country of Namibia and led to his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography, Regional Studies and Globalization Theory at Bard College. Following his undergraduate experience, Burton became an educator in the state of Massachusetts and decided to pursue further academic training. He has since earned a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.
The conservation career path Burton has embarked on has led him to a number of fascinating places and given him equally rewarding experiences and impactful projects both in America and Tanzania. He’s recently found himself back in Namibia, doing what he loves by joining the N/a’ an ku sê Wildlife Foundation’s Research Department, where he has the wonderful privilege of being involved with the human-wildlife conflict initiatives nationwide.
Join us this December; learn with this experienced, knowledgeable team and be part of something amazing. Book your place today!
The WEM Conservation Medicine is a ‘One Medicine’ course. The origin of the One Medicine concept has been linked to the 19th-century German physician and pathologist, Rudolf Virchow, whose discoveries on Trichinella spiralis in pork led to valuable public health measures (1). Virchow coined the term “zoonosis” and proclaimed that there should be no dividing line between human and animal medicine. Source Article.
Other blogs that may be of interest, include:
- 5 excellent reasons to attend the amazing 2019 Conservation Medicine Course
- What is Conservation Medicine?