About the Department of Environmental Sciences
Guyana has a rich diversity of people and natural resources that form part of our environment. Managing our natural resources for economic development that meet this needs of our diverse population today and tomorrow is the impetus driving our programmes. Our programmes therefore utilise active and collaborative learning strategies to engage and motivate our students to adopt practices and action for the environment. In this way, our students are able to experience the challenges and complexities of managing our environment for a people of diverse needs. These experiences are nurtured through critique and reflection to foster an understanding of the importance of exercising evaluative judgement in the design of practical solutions for national development.
To this end, students are exposed to learning from the natural and social sciences. From the natural sciences, students learn experimental techniques and methods of analysis needed to make accurate observations, to document change, and to understand the dynamics of healthy landscapes and functioning ecosystems. From the social sciences and humanities, students gain insights into human behaviour as it relates to the natural environment and the workings of social, political, legislative, and economic institutions in the context of environmental and natural resource management.
Our curriculum therefore offers a wide variety of courses such as Environment and Development for Guyana and the Caribbean, Environmental Health, Environmental Chemistry, Practical Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Policy and Governance, Energy and the Environment, Ecotourism and Parks and Protected Areas, Aquatic Sciences, Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Management for Oil and Gas, Occupational Safety and Health, Climate Change Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation, Community-Based Disaster Risk Management, Introduction to Problem Solving, Introduction to Environmental Modelling, Geographical Information Systems, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Law, and Environmental Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Students are also able to do courses external to the department in a wide variety of areas inclusive of Soil and Water Management and Conservation, Forest Management and Planning, Wildlife Management, Environmental Geology, and The Study of Society.
Our students are taught by academics with expertise in the theoretical and practical underpinning of their content. Our courses are delivered in a blended mode making use of the learning management system Moodle to enhance engagement within our teaching and learning environment. More than 90% of our courses include field exercises where students journey to hot spots in Guyana to gain hands on experience. Students are able to make use of our array of field kits to tests water, soil, and air quality. Students are also able to interface with stakeholders in an attempt to understand their challenges or to gain their perspectives on new policy directives or to learn from their best practices. Compulsory in all of our programmes is the element of research, which draws on knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme.
Our students are also in extracurricular activities through EcoTrust, an environmental club attached to the Department. Students active in this club gain leadership, communication, and organisation skills. They learn how to work in teams to foster change. EcoTrust is at the heart of all of our observances of international events/occasions such as World Water Day, Earth Day, World Environment Day and World Soil Day. Annually they collaborate with World wildlife Fund for Nature to observe Earth Hour. See link to their Facebook page.
Our graduates are employed at several of the national environment related agencies such as Environmental Protection Agency, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Protected Areas Commission, Guyana Forestry Commission, Office of Climate Change, and Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Hydrometeorological Service, Ministry of Agriculture. Our graduates are also employed at United Nations Development Programme, Conservation International Guyana, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development. Our graduates have little difficulty furthering their studies with several being the recipient of international and regional scholarships such as Chevening, Nuffic, Fulbright, Commonwealth Share, and CARPIMS.
The Department of Environmental Studies seeks to offer programmes that are relevant and current in such a way that it makes a lasting impact on our students. We invite you to join our exciting and dynamic programme!!