OVERVIEW OF SCHOOL OF NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
The School of Natural Resources Management, formally School of Forestry and Horticulture is one of the new creations of Njala University. It was established in 2005 by the University Act but became operational in 2007. The School was established to train professionals with skills and knowledge in areas of managing natural resources that could enable them to balance economic exploitation with a sustainable environment. The livelihoods of most Sierra Leoneans depend on the use of natural resources and the environment. With increasing human populations and limited natural resources and habitats, managing natural resources is increasingly becoming important. As of recent, the forest, wildlife, fish, and recreational resources are depleting at a rate that could not support sustainable development. Programmes in the School of Natural Resource Management are designed to help balance the needs of people with the ability of ecosystems to sustainably support soil, water, forests, wildlife, fish, and recreational resources. A combination of coursework in natural resources management prepares students for resources management positions in which a balance between environmental, economic, and social concerns is sought, the core elements for the achievement of sustainable development goals.
To train professionals with critical thinking, practical and demand-driven skills in areas of managing natural resources that could enable them to balance economic exploitation with a sustainable environment.
As a School, we want to be recognized as a leader in the provision and maintenance of excellent and quality educational-related services in natural resources management that are accessible, affordable, efficient and acceptable to all our clients.
- To teach – innovative teaching to train the human resources;
- Conduct research – investigate issues to generate new ideas on issues relating to natural resources;
- Outreach/Extension - Land-Grant University, i.e. learning activity should serve the needs of the people and provide opportunities in the community;
- Production – undertake some production activities in crops, forestry, fisheries, plant nursery etc.
Departments in the School of Natural Resources Management
The School comprises five (5) departments, namely;
- Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries
- Department of Forestry
- Department of Horticulture
- Department of Wildlife Management, Biodiversity Conservation and Ecotourism
- Department of Wood Science
Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management
The Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management teaches the student how to produce, manage, process, preserve and market fishes. In addition, how to construct and maintain fish ponds in one’s backyard, farm, communal land or anywhere is taught to students. Graduates can stand on their own as entrepreneurs, grow, harvest, process and preserve fish for domestic use or for export.
Department of Forestry
The Department of Forestry teaches students how to nurse, cultivate and manage trees and forests. Students are taught to know the value of trees and importance of forests to mankind and the environment. This knowledge and skills are imparted into our students through the teaching of some core forestry courses embedded in the NRM curriculum, such as silviculture, forest mensuration, forest economics, forest policy and land use, community forestry and rural development, urban forestry etc. They incorporate the need for joint forest management, tenets of climate change and the role of the public, individuals, families and corporate bodies in forestry development, both for social and economic gains.
Department of Horticulture
The Department of Horticulture trains students how to produce, process and market vegetables, fruits, flowers and ornamentals. The department also develops the middle manpower in the horticultural sector, improves crop yield, quality and nutritional value through innovative teaching, research and outreach. The department trains students to use horticulture as a new approach in solving the prevailing environmental problems as no single discipline can now solve the world’s environmental issues. Principles of propagation and domestication of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and ornamentals, nursery management, plant nutrition, postharvest technology, agri-business, amenity tree management, turfgrass management, research methods, landscape and environmental horticulture are the major components of the syllabus. The training offered by the department enables students to put principles into practices to produce excellence.
Department of Wildlife Management and Conservation
The Department of Wildlife Management and Conservation teaches students about wildlife in their natural environment and how they can be used to attract tourists to the country to boost the economy. Wild animals can be domesticated and reared in one's backyard for sale as bushmeat to improve one’s diet and to improve one’s earnings. How to increase the number and variety of species of living things is also taught in this Department. Graduates can be self-employed selling domesticated animals for food domestically or selling processed and reversed animals for export
Those who get employment can spend their private time keeping the domesticated animals in order to earn extra money.
Department of Wood Science
The Department of Wood Science teaches students how to identify good quality wood, and how to preserve, process and utilize wood. Students are also taught with principles of wood pulp, particle boards and plywood production of for paper and timber industries. Graduates can be employed b in logging and sawmilling companies, wood research institutions or can be self-employed as rich entrepreneurs and grow rich with what they produce from wood.
Academic Programmes offered in the School
The School is mandated by the University Senate to run Certificate, Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes. The following programmes are currently offered by the School of Natural Resources management;
PhD in Aquaculture and Fisheries
- PhD in Forestry
- PhD in Horticulture
- M.Phil. in Aquaculture and Fisheries
- M.Phil. Forestry
- M.Phil. Horticulture
- M.Sc. in Aquaculture and Fisheries
- M.Sc. in Forestry
- M.Sc. in Horticulture
- M.Sc. in Wildlife Management and Conservation
- M.Sc. in Wood Science
B.Sc. in Natural Resources Management General
- B.Sc. with Honours in Aquaculture and Fisheries
- B.Sc. with Honours in Forestry
- B.Sc. with Honours in Horticulture
- B.Sc. with Honours in Wildlife Management, Biodiversity Conservation & Ecotourism
- B.Sc. with Honours in Wood Science
- Ordinary and Higher Diploma in Aquaculture and Fisheries
- Ordinary and Higher Diploma in Forestry
- Ordinary and Higher Diploma in Horticulture
- Ordinary and Higher Diploma in Wildlife management
- Ordinary and Higher Diploma in Wood Science
- Certificate programmes in the above Departments
The School offers lucrative programmes with numerous opportunities such as job, research, business, consultancy etc. The programmes are appropriate for students seeking a broad understanding of natural resource management principles and environmental issues. A combination of coursework in natural resources management prepares students for land management positions in which a balance among environmental, economic, and social concerns is sought. Graduates of the School of Natural Resources Management have a high prospect of getting employment in Mining companies, Educational institutions, Research institutions, Wood-based industries, Private or Public sector. They are easily employed as the programmes are new disciplines of study with less competition for a job. Our graduates are also trained as job creators rather than job seekers. They will always be making progress in the act of career development, research and production.
There exist the 15-calendar month masters’ degree programmes in all the Departments of the School of Natural Resources Management. Also, M. Phil. and PhD degree programmes are offered in all the departments of the school.
- A good first degree (not lower than second class) and a good master degree from any recognized University are respectively required for the masters’ and PhD programmes.
Undergraduate and non-degree Programmes
B.Sc. Natural Resources Management General (Duration 4 years)
- General University Requirements: 5 Credits passes at GCE ‘O’ level/WASSCE, including English language in not more two sittings, is required. In addition to the above, candidates must have credit in one of the following: Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Agricultural Science as a departmental requirement.
B.Sc. [Hons] Programmes (Duration 4 years)
All honours programs in the School are strictly by invitation based on academic performance in the first and second years of study. Students whose cumulative grade points are 3.60 or above in the second year of study in the general Degree of Natural Resources Management are invited into honours programme of their interest.
Diploma and Certificate Programmes
- 4 credits at GCE ‘O’ Level/WASSCE including English language and one credit related to the programme of study in not more than two sittings for a higher diploma.
- 3 credits at GCE ‘O’ Level/ WASSCE including one credit related to the programme of study in not more than two sittings for an ordinary diploma.
- 2 credits at ‘O’ level/WASSCE including one credit related to the programme of study in not more than two sittings for the certificate.