Environmental Science

Nelson Mandela University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Environmental Science

  • Host University

    Nelson Mandela University

  • Location

    Port Elizabeth, South Africa

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview



    To introduce students to ecological principles and an understanding of the impacts of global climate change on the natural world.
    To develop an understanding of South African biogeography, conservation planning, vegetation management principles and Integrated Environmental Management.

    After completion of this module students will be able to:

    explain the science of population ecology;
    identify different sampling methods;
    describe factors driving the rates of change / population as well as distinguish the conditions under which it will lead to extinction rather than change;
    explain the current and potential impact of global change to populations through to ecosystems;
    distinguish the different biomes of South Africa based on their botanical, climatic and economic characteristics;
    explain relationships between organisms and their environment;
    recognise ecological forces driving co-evolution and the effects thereof on animal interactions;
    describe the role of ecotourism in ecology;
    explain environmental legislation in South Africa and the Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) procedures;
    identify different invasive plants in South Africa ;
    describe the advantages and disadvantages of the various control mechanisms;
    explain the significance of biotechnological influence on agricultural and horticultural practices;
    describe the impact of development on the environment, with emphasis on the coastal zone.


    Ecological principles.
    Global environmental problems.
    South African Biomes.
    Plant ? animal interactions and environmental responses.
    Integrated Environmental Management.
    Environmental Law.
    EIA, EMP, SEA.
    Coastal Zone Management.

    Evaluation criteria

    This module will be assessed in:

    Two semester tests (50 marks);
    Six practical submissions;
    Two written assignments (essays);
    A 120-minute written examination in November (50% Class Mark + 50% Examination Mark).




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