Courses Catalogue

Natural Resource Ecology, Conservation And Management

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Science
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course describes how ecological concepts and processes are applied at various scales to conserve and manage renewable natural resources (e.g., plants, animals, water, soil) in terrestrial and aquatic systems—it explains how ecological science is applied to help solve real-world problems. In most cases, these problems are caused by the actions of people, and the course emphasizes potential conservation and management strategies to mitigate anthropogenic issues such as, but not limited to, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, disease, and climate change.


The need to analyze the role of climate change in this context and discuss strategies for mitigating negative effects of climate change on renewable resources


By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Introduce the principles for successful natural resource management NRM
  • Discuss the process of recognizing and defining NRM issues within an ecosystem management framework
  • Explore the techniques of collecting, handling and interpreting NR data
  • Consider a range of management methods and their applicability in different situations
  • Explain how different ecological principles are applied to solve specific problems affecting the conservation and management of natural resources at different spatial and temporal scales
  • Understand and define the concept of biodiversity, describe ecological and socioeconomic values of biodiversity, and make science-based arguments as to why biodiversity should be conserved
  • Describe how and why natural systems are organized at scales ranging from biome to population and provide examples
  • Explain how biotic and abiotic factors affect the abundance and distribution of plants and animals and understand how organisms adapt and evolve in response to changing environments;
  • Explore different practical approaches to conservation of natural resources and the limitations of each.


A doctoral student completing the course is expected to:

  • Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for providing management relevant information about natural resources and environmental issues
  • Review and give examples of other techniques and tools for increasing availability and accessibility of environmental information such as indicators
  • Effectively communicate environmental conservation and policy issues to the broader society.
  • Critically think, analyze and compare both intended and unintended consequences of diverse conservation measures and environmental policy instruments.
  • Develop the ability to relate principles of NRM to successful NRM planning
  • Assess what data is needed for specific NRM projects and how to gather it and analyze it.
  • Describe a range of management methods and gauge their appropriateness to the solution of particular problems
  • Gain exposure to comprehensive NRM projects 
  • Develop the ability to critically evaluate NRM projects