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Overview

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computerized system used for storing and analyzing information which is referenced to the surface of the earth. A GIS makes use of hardware (computers) and specialized programs (software), to perform spatial queries.

GIS is becoming increasingly important today, as more and more users find it applicable. Areas such as agriculture, environmental management, local government and many more make use of GIS. Qualifications in GIS are very popular with employers, and will increase your employability.

Education and Training

The School of Environmental Sciences at UNIVEN has committed itself to provide the community with knowledge and skills relevant to the needs of the people. To ensure this, degree and certificate courses, with the focus on GIS, are offered.

The GIS certificate course is a 10-day, instructor led course. Students will acquire a basic theoretical foundation of the principles on which a GIS is built, as well as practical experience in the use of GIS. Students will become acquainted with ESRI's ArcView, the leading commercial software package, used by many companies. The course is also certificated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). After completion of the course, students will be required to complete a minor project where GIS is applied.

Course Requirements

To enroll for the GIS certificate course, candidates will have to show competence with computer usage in a Windows environment (MS-Word & MS-Excel). A standard entry test will have to be passed before candidates will gain access to the course.

 

The School of Environmental Sciences has a state of the art GIS Resource Center, The Resource Center is used for GIS support to members of staff and also to the general public. In future, GIS research will be conducted from within the Center. UNIVEN also has a GIS laboratory where instructor led courses in the use of GIS is offered.

The GIS laboratory is conveniently situated next to the Resource Center.

Services

Various products and services are offered by the Resource Center. Amongst others, these include the following:

  • A Digitizing Service
  • GIS analysis
  • Creating of Maps
  • Printing of Text Documents and Maps (up to A0 format)
  • Creating of Data CD's
  • Ring Binding of Documents

Environmental Advisory Unit - background

Within the recent past, the University of Venda has received an increasing number of requests from community leaders, NGO's and government departments for advice on environmental issues.

The School of Environmental Sciences has pledged to provide a service to address this need. This has led to the establishment of the Environmental Advisory and Assessment Unit which provides advisory and consultancy services for the entire community in Limpopo and adjacent provinces.

Structure and Objectives

Services of the Unit function through three sections i.e. Advisory Section, Assessment Section and Capacity Enhancement Section.

The primary objectives of the Unit are to utilize the expertise in the School of Environmental Sciences and, where necessary, expertise from other schools to:

  • Provide advisory services on all matters relating to environmental quality and safety, and strategies for natural resource management.
  • Undertake research in order to provide information and create a knowledge base for decision making on environmental issues at community level.
  • Provide affordable consultancy services by undertaking environmental impact assessments of development projects.

This section provides affordable services on a consultancy basis. The following areas are covered:

  • Environmental Impact Assessments(EIA) - This service covers all aspects required by the various relevant laws and authorities with regard to the natural, cultural and social environment.
  • Environmental Management Plans (EMP).
  • Pollution prevention and solid waste management.
  • Community based natural resource management .
  • Environmental reporting.
  • Sustainable biodiversity utilization.
  • Nature conservation, planning and management.

Capacity Enhancement Section

This section is involved in developing short courses. Offering of courses depends on the register of interest by a minimum number of applicants and availability of suitable staff. Some short courses are:

  • Certificate in Environmental Management
  • Certificate in Remote Sensing
  • Certificate in GIS
  • Diploma in National Resource Management
  • Diploma in Mine Health and Safety

Advisory Section

Advisory section to the community on all aspects of environmental management. If applicable, the unit will assist in soliciting additional funding to undertake the research neccessary to sustain a project. This section works in co-peration with relevant institutes, NGO's, CBO's, experts and other professionals.

School of Environmental Sciences
GIS Resource Centre
Private Bag x5050
Thohoyandou
0950

Tel: +27 15 962 8084
Fax: +27 15 962 8594
Email: eunit@univen.ac.za and farai.dondofema@univen.ac.za

The following is a list of staff members in the Department of GIS Resource Centre:

Designation Name Contacts
Professor Natural Science

Farai Dondofema

Tel: +27 15 962 8084
Cell: +27 15 962 8594
Email: farai.dondofema@univen.ac.za