Claude Schippers

Claude has journeyed from the vibrant landscapes of Cape Town's Cape Flats to the vast realms of conservation. He grew up close to the Cape Flats Nature Reserve, which was created to protect Cape Flats Dune Strandveld and Cape Flats Sand Fynbos. Despite growing up near this reserve, Claude's early years were marked by a limited connection to nature due to the distance between the Cape Flats and other natural environments. However, this changed when he discovered the world of scouting during his school years. Through scouting, Claude engaged in hiking, camping, and various forms of environmental education, which opened up a new world to him and nurtured his passion and love for the natural world.

Driven by this love, Claude volunteered at various organisations, including the Two Oceans Aquarium and Tygerberg Nature Reserve, further fuelling his commitment to conservation. Claude's academic journey included completing a National Diploma in Nature Conservation, an Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation, and a BSc (Honours) in Natural Resource Management at Nelson Mandela University, George Campus.

His diverse experiences include being a nature guide at De Hoop Collection, a research assistant at UCT, and volunteering at Pendjari National Park in Benin, West Africa, where he learned skills required for monitoring cheetahs and navigating the complexities of community conflicts surrounding conservation efforts. Claude's work-integrated learning (WIL) year at Cape Nature provided practical experience in biodiversity surveys, bird identification, and community-based projects at reserves such as the Outeniqua, Goukamma, and Gamkaberg Nature Reserves. This solidified his understanding of wildlife conservation, ecological research, and the importance of community engagement.

Motivated by a desire to delve deeper into conservation, Claude is doing the MSc Conservation Biology. His goals include conducting research to contribute to the survival and rehabilitation of animals, combating extinction resulting from poaching, and assisting in the implementation of environmental-protection laws. Claude also aspires to expand his knowledge of the plant and animal kingdoms and their evolution, and to engage actively in planning management projects in reserves

Beyond academics, Claude finds joy in athletics and swimming. His adventurous spirit finds expression in activities such as hiking, camping, mountain climbing, mountain biking, and abseiling. Claude's interests extend to scuba diving, shark cage diving, sailing, and hands-on field research. He is deeply passionate about educating local communities on the importance of environmental conservation and addressing issues like extinction and pollution as they pertain to both plants and animals.