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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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Conference Paper:

Taylor PJ., Steyn, J. and Schoeman MC. Bats as biocontrol agents suppressing nocturnal flying pests in macadamia orchards in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Abstracts, 21st International Conference of Zoology, Haifa, Israel, 2-7 September, 2012.

Peer-reviewed publications

Richards, L. R. Taylor, P. J., Schoeman, M. C., Goodman, S. M., Van Daele, P. A. A. G., Lamb, J. M. 2012. Cranial size and shape variation in AfrotropicalOtomops: testing species limits using a morphometric approach. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106: 910-925.

Taylor, P. J., Goodman, S. M., Schoeman, M. C., Ratrimomanarivo, F. H. and Lamb, J. M. 2012. Wing loading correlates negatively with genetic structuring in eight species of Afro-Malagasy bats (Molossidae). ActaChiropterologica14: 53-62.

Taylor, P. J., Stoffberg, S, Monadjem, A, Schoeman, M. C. Bayliss, J. and Cotterill, F. P. D. 2012. Four new bat species (Rhinolophushildebrandtii complex) reflect Plio-Pleistocene divergence of dwarfs and giants across an Afromontane Archipelago. PLoS ONE 7(9): e41744.
 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041744

Monadjem, A., Richards, L., Taylor, P. J. and Stoffberg, S. 2013. High diversity of pipistrelloid bats (Vespertilionidae: Hypsugo, Neoromica and Pipistrellus) in a West African rainforest with the description of a new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 167: 191-207.

Taylor, P. J., Monadjem, A. and Steyn, J. N. 2013. Seasonal patterns of habitat use by insectivorous bats in a subtropical African agro-ecosystem dominated by macadamia orchards. African Journal of Ecology doi: 10.1111/aje.12066

J VAN HEERDEN

Paper published in refereed journal

Ndebele, C., van Heerden, J. &Chabaya, O. 2013.Development and Implementation of a Mentoring Programme at a Historically Disadvantaged South African University.Journal of Social Science 34(2): 123-133.

Book

Skepping en Evolusie. Louis Trichardt: U-Print.

DR W M GITARI

Publications in refereed journals

MuriithiNyambura Grace, Gitari Mugera Wilson and Petrik F Leslie. "Statistical testing of input factors in the carbonation of brine impacted fly Ash". Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A (2012) 47, 245-259.

Musyoka, N. M., Petrik, L. F., Balfour, G., Gitari, W.M and Hums, E. 2011. "Synthesis of hydroxysodalite from coal fly ash using waste industrial brine solution" Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, 46:14, 1699-1707.

Muriithi N. Grace, Gitari M. Wilson and Petrik F. Leslie  (2012): Statistical testing of input factors in the carbonation of brine impacted fly ash. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A (2012) 47, 245-259.

Viswanath R.K. Vadapalli, Mugera W. Gitari, Leslie F. Petrik, Olivier Etchebers& Annabelle Ellendt (2012):Integrated acid mine drainage management using fly ash. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, 47:1, 60-69

Akinyemi, S. A., Ojo, O. I., Gitari, W. M., Akinlua, A., Fatoba, O. O., &Petrik, L. F. (2012). Mobility and Transport of Inorganic Species in Weathered Hydraulic Disposed Coal Fly Ash: An Insight from Geochemical Fractionation and Statistical Evaluation. Energy Science and Technology, 3(1), 10-20.

Akinyemi, S. A., Akinlua, A., Gitari, W. M., Nyale, S. M., Akinyeye, R. O., &Petrik, L. F. (2012). An Investigative Study on the Chemical, Morphological and Mineralogical Alterations of Dry Disposed Fly Ash During Sequential Chemical Extraction. Energy Science and Technology, 3(1), 28-37.

Nicholas M. Musyoka, Leslie F. Petrik, Wilson M. Gitari, Gillian Balfour and Eric Hums. (2012). Optimization of hydrothermal synthesis of pure phase zeoliteNa-P1 from South African coal fly ashes.Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A (2012) 47, 337-350

S.A. Akinyemi, A. Akinlua, W.M. Gitari, N. Khuse, P. Eze, R.O. Akinyeye, L.F. Petrik. 2012. Natural weathering in dry disposed ash dump: Insight from chemical, mineralogical and geochemical analysis of fresh and unsaturated drilled cores. Journal of Environmental Management 102, 96-107

A. Momoh, T.C. Davies, H.A. Akinsola, S. Akinyemi, S. Mhlongo, W.M. Gitari and G.K. Pindihama. Human bioaccessibility of Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu from consumed Earth materials in Vhembe District, South Africa. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, DOI:10.1080/0035919X.2012.755715

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Publications in refereed proceedings

Godfrey Madzivire, Wilson M. Gitari, V.R. Kumar Vadapalli and Leslie F. Petrik. 2012. Application of a jet loop reactor to enhance removal of sulphates from mine water using coal fly ash, lime and Al(OH)3. A paper submitted for the upcoming International Mine Water Association conference in Perth Australia.

Book chapter

S. A. Akinyemi, W. M. Gitari, A. Akinlua and L.F. Petrik. 2012. Mineralogy and geochemistry of sub-bituminous coal and its combustion products from Mpumalanga province, South Africa: In Analytical Chemistry, 2012. ISBN 980-953-307-199-7.

Conference presentations and conference attendance

WM Gitari, 2012. Integrated Acid mine drainage Treatment Using Bentonite clay and coal combustion fly ash. Paper presented at the IGCP/SIDA project second Workshop on small scale mining in Kumasi, Ghana, 27th -30th June 2012.

Masindi V, WM Gitari, P. Mojapelo and T. Hlanganani 2012. Adsorption of oxyanions As, B, Cr, Mo and Se from coal fly ash leachates using Al3+/Fe3+ modified bentonite clay. Paper presented at the IGCP/SIDA project second Workshop on small scale mining in Kumasi, Ghana, 27th -30th June 2012.


R M BAXTER


J N STEYN

Taylor, P. J., Monadjem, A. and Steyn, J. N. 2013. Seasonal patterns of habitat use by insectivorous bats in a subtropical African agro-ecosystem dominated by macadamia orchards. African Journal of Ecology doi: 10.1111/aje.12066


I. SINTHUMULE

Conference Paper

Sinthumule N.I. 2012. Unfulfilled promises: an exposition of conservation in Mapungubwe Region, South African Geographical conference 20-22 June, Cape Town, South Africa


Article in refereed journal

Munyati C. and Sinthumule N.I. 2013. Assessing change in woody vegetation cover in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, using spectral mixture analysis of a Landsat TM image time series, International Journal of Environmental Studies, 70:1, 94-110.

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 Hydrology and Water Resources:

Designation Name Contacts
Professor

Prof PJ Taylor         

BSc, PhD

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

Senior lecturer

Dr W M Gitari

Bed-sc, MSc, PhD

Tel: +27 15 962 8572
Email: Mugera.Gitari@univen.ac.za
Professor

Prof J van Heerden

BSc, PhD, UED

Tel: +27159628635
Email: Jacques.vanheerden@univen.ac.za
Acting HoD& Senior Lecturer

Dr NelwamondoT

B.Ped, BSc(Hons), MSc. PhD

Tel:
Email: Tshililo.Nelwamondo@univen.ac.za
Senior lecturer

Mr R M Baxter

MSc, PGDHET

Tel: +2 715 962 8573
Email: Roderick.Baxter@univen.ac.za
Lecturer

Mr JN Steyn

B.Sc. Agric; B.Sc. Hons; MEnvM

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

Mr I Sinthumule

MSc

Tel: +27 15 962 8574
Email: mundalh@univen.ac.za
Chief lab technician

Mss T Sonqishe

MSc Chemistry

Tel: +27 15 962 8575
Email: Thantaswa.sonqishe@univen.ac.za