For the second consecutive year, a Geological Sciences Honours graduate from the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) at UKZN has been awarded the prestigious Haughton Award from the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA).
This year Mr Kreesan Palan won the award in recognition of his 2015 Honours thesis, deemed to be of exceptional merit by adjudicators from the Fellows Committee and the Council of the GSSA.
Palan’s thesis was titled: “Beachrock Facies and Carbonate Cement Variability at Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal”, in which he aimed to account for the variability of beachrock units at a locality in Umhlanga, and to examine the controls that exist on beachrock formation, destruction and preservation.
According to Palan, results from this study assist in the understanding of the relationship of beach rocks to sea level, through detailing sedimentological observations of the rocks at the bed-set scale, combined with microscopic and geochemical analyses.
He said he felt honoured to receive the award and join a long list of UKZN Geology graduates before him.
Palan, who is now pursuing his Master’s degree in Geology at UKZN under the supervision of Professor Andrew Green, says his choice of subject was inspired by a lifelong spirit of curiosity about the natural world and a love of the outdoors. He hopes to pursue a career in Geology after completing his degree, using the skills UKZN has furnished him with.
Palan says he feels privileged to have studied under the guidance of academics such as Professor Mike Watkeys and Professor Steve McCourt, saying his education has left him well-prepared for life as a geologist. He thanked Professor Green for the encouragement to think outside the box.