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Overview

The Department of Ecology and Resource Management was established as an anchor for the diverse academic programmes in the School of Environmental Sciences. It offers core modules that all students in the School have to take and pass irrespective of the type of degree being pursued.

Its teaching and research activities are geared towards integrating the geographical, geological, hydrological, planning and ecological perspectives on the environment and its management. Through its teaching and research activities, the Department seeks to impart knowledge and skills, and to develop sound strategies for restoring, sustaining and enhancing environmental quality for sustainable development.

Vision

The Department will pursue excellence in ecology and resource management by being a community of critical and imaginative thinkers, well versed in established principles and sound research practices, and up-to-date with the latest developments in our field.

Mission

To take centre stage in up-to-date, socially relevant ecological research and to equip its students with all the knowledge and skills they require to be leaders in the field of environmental science and its applications.

The following is a list of academic programmes offered by the department. Click on the programme listed below to read more about it:

In addition, the Department is now offering the following Diploma and Certificate courses:

  • Diploma in Natural Resource Management (DipNRM)
  • Certificate in Environmental Management (CertEnvM)
Bachelor of Environmental Sciences (BEnvSc)

Duration

3 years

Entry Requirements

  • Matric exemption with the minimum of either D (SG) or E (HG) pass levels for at least two of the following: Agricultural Sciences, Biology, Economics, Geography, Physical Science.
  • Minimum of E (SG) or F (HG) pass levels in matric mathematics. Students who do not satisfy this requirement will have to take and pass bridging mathematics modules offered in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences in the University.
  • Relevant prior learning and/or work experience in environmental management fields may qualify a person into the programme after due evaluation by the School's Admission Board.

Curriculum Structure

Students take all core modules in Ecology and Resource Management (ERM) and in another one Department in the School at all levels of study as a minimum. Thus, we have the following streams of Bachelor of Environmental Science (BEnvSc) students:

  • Ecology and Resource Management + Geography Majors
  • Ecology and Resource Management + Environmental Geology Majors
  • Ecology and Resource Management + Hydrology Majors
  • Ecology and Resource Management + Environmental Planning Majors

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Bachelor of Environmental Management (BEnvM)

Duration

4 years

Entry Requirements

  • Matric exemption with a minimum of either C (SG) or D (HG) pass levels in at least two of the following: Agricultural Sciences, Biology, Economics, Geography, Physical Science

  • Minimum of E (SG) or F (HG) pass levels in matric mathematics. Students who do not satisfy this requirement will have to take and pass bridging mathematics modules offered in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences in the University.

  • Relevant prior learning and/or work experience in environmental management fields may qualify a person into the programme after due evaluation by the School's Admission Board.

Curriculum Structure

Students take all core modules in Ecology and Resource Management (ERM) as well as the additional specialised Environmental Management modules which fall in the following career areas:

  • Pollution and Waste Management
  • Applied Ecology and Biodiversity Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment, Auditing and Modelling
  • Techniques of Resource Analysis and Land Information Systems
  • Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis

In addition, the student is expected, as a minimum, to do and pass the core modules from one other Department in the School up to the Third Year level.

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Bachelor of Environmental Sciences Honours (BEnvH-ERM)

Duration

1 Year Postgraduate

Entry Requirements

A Bachelor of Environmental Science Degree or related science degree with an average of 60% pass in the final year.

Curriculum Structure

Three core modules and four electives all from Ecology and Resource Management as minimum. Students may opt to add more electives from sister Departments in the School.

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Master of Environmental Sciences in Pollution (MEnvSc-Poll)

Duration

1 year postgraduate taught course work and mini-dissertation masters programme.

Entry Requirements

An Honours Degree in Environmental Sciences or related fields.

Curriculum Structure

4 core modules including a mini-dissertation and 3 electives all offered within the division of Pollution and Waste Management in Department of Ecology and Resource Management as minimum.

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Master of Environmental Sciences by Research and Thesis (MEnvSc)

Duration

1 Year

Entry Requirements

An honours degree in Ecology and Resource Management or related fields.

Curriculum Structure

A fully research based degree leading to a thesis. Current students on this programme are working in the following research fields:

  • Wetland Management and Rehabilitation
  • Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Species
  • Environmental Impacts of Mining

Prospective students are urged to make prior contacts with the Department to see if their research projects can be supported in terms of supervision expertise and other research facilities available in the Department .

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Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Sciences (PhD - EnvSc)

Duration

Minimum of 3 years

Entry Requirements

A Masters Degree in Ecology and Resource Management or related fields.

Curriculum Structure

A fully research based programme. Prospective students are urged to make prior contacts with the Department to see if their research can be supported in terms of supervision expertise and other research facilities available in the Department.

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Dr Eduart M. Stam [M.Sc.(Armsterdam); PhD (Free University, Armsterdam)]

Research Interests

I am interested in patterns of biodiversity and the underlying processes that cause the observed patterns to be as they are. Through improvement of our understanding of the processes behind biodiversity patterns I hope to contribute to the development of more effective management strategies. To give a concrete example: I am currently working on a project which aims to examine the effect of elephant damage on biodiversity in order to determine what would be the optimum density of elephants in a given landscape in the Kruger National Park. I am also interested in the question how to measure and compare biodiversity between areas, given that it is impossible to determine an area's total biodiversity. With regard to this I will attempt to develop surrogate measures, such as the diversity of particular taxa that are relatively easy to sample and identify. Furthermore, I am interested in the effect that the predicted climate change will have on the species conserved in our parks.

Selected Publications
  • Dawood, A. & Stam, E.M. 2005 The taxonomic status of the monotypic frog genus Anhydrophryne Hewitt from South Africa: a molecular perspective. Submitted to South African Journal of Science

  • Smit, C. Els, Stam, Ed M ., Baas, Nicolette, Hollander, Ronald & Van Gestel, Cornelis A.M. 2004 Effects of dietary zinc exposure on the life history of the parthenogenetic springtail Folsomia candida (Collembola: Isotomidae). Env. Tox. Chem. 23, pp. 1719–1724

  • Stam, E. 2002 Does imbalance in phylogenies reflect only bias? Evolution 56: 1292 - 1295

  • Stam, E. , Isaaks, A. & Ernsting, G. 2002 Distant lovers. Indirect sperm transfer and maximisation of reproductive success by male springtails. J. Insect Behav. 15: 253-268

  • Stam, E. & Hoogendoorn, G. 1999 Indirect sperm transfer and male mating strategies in soil invertebrates. J.Invertebr. Repr. Dev. , 36: 187-189

  • Stam, E. , Isaaks, A. & Ernsting, G. 1998 Negative maternal effect revisited: a test on two populations of Orchesella cincta L. (Collembola: Entomobryidae). Evolution , 52: 1839-1843

  • Stam E. 1996 Temperature responses and physiological time: A comparison of three European populations of Orchesella cincta. Pedobiologia , 41: 88-93

  • Stam E.M. , van de Leemkule, M.A. & Ernsting, G. 1996 Trade-offs in the life history and energy budget of the parthenogenetic collembolan Folsomia candida (Willem). Oecologia , 107: 283-292

Dr. Chris Munyati

Research Interests

Application of Remote Sensing in environmental change detection, particularly use of high spatial resolution satellite imagery in rangeland and wetland habitat change detection.

Selected Publications

  • Munyati, C ., 2004, Use of principal component analysis (PCA) of remote sensing images in
    wetland change detection on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, Geocarto International ,
    19(3):11-22.

  • Munyati, C ., 2000, Wetland change detection on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, by classification of a
    multitemporal remote sensing image dataset, International Journal of Remote Sensing , 21(9):1787–1806.

  • Munyati, C ., Kapungwe, E.M. and Singh, R.Y., 1999, The role of remote sensing in wetland
    habitat carrying capacity change studies for endemic lechwe ( Kobus leche kafuensis ) on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, Annals Nat. Assoc. Geog., India , XIX(1&2):126–133.

  • Munyati, C ., 1997, Extremes in climatic parameters as indicators of change on the Kafue basin, Zambia, University of Zambia Journal of Science and Technology , 1(2):59–66.

  • Munyati, C. , 1998, Evidence of environmental degradation on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, Kobus ,
    April – June 1998, pages 6 – 7.

  • Munyati, C. , Effects of climate change on forests, montane systems, savannas, protected areas
    and coastal systems: an analysis for Zambia and Southern Africa, Report Extracts In: Markham, A., Dudley, N. and Stolton, S., 1993, Some Like it Hot: Climate Change, Biodiversity and the Survival of Species , WWF International, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland, pages 104-105 & 121 [ISBN 2-88085-130-0].

Mr. N I Sinthumule

Research Interests

Global environmental problems; system approaches in environmental management; wetland ecology and management; and the ecology and control of alien species. Currently has a team of honours students researching on various aspects of wetland ecology and management.

Mr. Jacobus (Koos) N. Steyn

Research Interest

Research interest in the fields of agroecology, rangeland ecology and management and wildlife management. Main interest is in the field of agroecology with the emphasis on improving long-term sustainability in agricultural systems. Topics of special interest involve cultivation practises like polyculture, cover cropping and mulching, crop rotations and agroforestry systems, ecological strategies to manage weeds, pests and crop diseases and practises for the restoration of soil health.

Ms. LF Lefawane

Research Interests

Pollution monitoring and control.
Handles all practicals related to pollution and waste management.

The Department is in a continuous process of acquiring necessary facilities to support high quality teaching and research activities. At the moment, it has a 60-seater Pollution teaching laboratory and with Pollution research laboratory. These are being equipped. Already a Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry has been donated from Anglo platinum and a Gas chromatography with both flame ionisation detector and electron capture is being purchased. The teaching laboratory is equipped with 8 PCs for students.

Career Prospects

Graduates of Ecology and Resource Management have proved to be marketable. They have been absorbed by:

  • Government Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism; Agriculture, Conservation and Land Affairs; Forestry and Water Affairs; Local Government at both National and Provincial levels. Graduates have been employed as far as Springbok in Northern Cape and East London in Eastern Cape. Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province have so far absorbed the majority of ERM graduates.
  • Private sector and parastatals including mining companies, ESKOM and TELKOM

  • The National Parks Board
  • Local Councils and Municipal Councils
  • Academic and vocational institutions such as Technikons, Technical Colleges, Universities and Southern African Wildlife Colleges.
  • Environmental Consultancy Companies
  • Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) dealing with environmental issues
  • Research Institutions such as the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Agricultural Research Centre (ARC).

The following is a list of staff members in the Department of Ecology and Resource Management:

Designation Name Contacts

Dr. Chris Munyati

Tel: +27 15 962 8074
Email: munyati@univen.ac.za

Mr. N I Sinthumule

Tel: +27 15 962 8574
Email: innocent@univen.ac.za

Mr. Jacobus N. Steyn


Tel: +27 15 962 8594
Email: eunit@univen.ac.za