STUDY NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - GET A START
A great foundation program for those people wishing to gain employment in zoos, nature parks, wildlife parks, national parks, forests and reserves. This course comprises of two core modules and a wide range of electives allowing students to focus on an area of interest. Students can incorporate ecotourism, wildlife management, marine studies, ornithology, conservation and environmental management and more.
Note that each module in the Certificate in Natural Resource Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Nature Park Management 1
There are 12 lessons in this module as follows:
- Introduction to Nature Park Management – the role and scope of nature parks; the importance of indigenous vegetation in nature parks.
- Basic Ecology – the environment, plants and animals; ecosystem concepts.
- Soil Management in Nature Parks – soil characteristics and problems; earthworks.
- Plant Maintenance – basic gardening techniques; natural gardening; plant selection; succession planting; equipment.
- Design of Nature/Wilderness Parks I – collecting site information; preparing concept plans.
- Design of Nature/Wilderness Parks II – drawing the final plan; construction estimates; designing animal enclosures.
- Weed Management – characteristics of weeds; weed control; environmental weeds.
- Pest and Disease Management – management strategies; chemical safety.
- Culture of Indigenous Plants – techniques for establishing vegetation; planting design.
- Tree Management – role of trees in nature parks; tree maintenance plans; pruning and tree surgery.
- Turf Care – turf varieties in nature parks; lawn preparation, establishment and maintenance.
- Rehabilitation: Problems and Solutions – aims and strategies; soil problems and solutions in degraded sites.
Nature Park Management 2
There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:
- Natural Environments – preserving natural environments; plant associations and environment rehabilitation
- Recreation and the Environment – impact of recreation on natural environments
- Wildlife Management in Nature Parks– impact of park visitors on wildlife; managing wildlife
- Visitor Amenities in Nature Parks – design; provision of visitor amenities including picnic areas and campgrounds; management of facilities
- Park Interpretation – interpretative facilities including signs and education programs
- Trail Design and Construction – designing access routes in parks; designing and constructing walking tracks
- Water Areas – conserving and managing natural water bodies in nature park; impact of humans on water areas
- Marketing Nature Parks – strategies used to promote nature parks
- Risk Management I – identifying, minimising and managing natural hazards; safety issues
- Risk Management II – preparing a risk management plan
Examples of some Natural Resources
National parks are relatively large areas of land set aside by government designation. In most cases, the land is relatively undeveloped and has significant natural landscape value.
The main role of national parks is to preserve the natural features of the landscape, including topography, flora and fauna. National parks are also important for their roles in education and recreation.
National parks are usually managed by state, shire or territory government bodies. Rangers are employed to look after the park. Their role is to protect the flora and fauna in the park and to ensure visitors safely enjoy the features of the park without significantly impacting on the environment.
Public access is usually limited to areas that are specifically designed and managed to cope with visitors. Within these area there may be boardwalks, scenic lookout platforms, and natural features of interest (e.g. waterfalls, valleys, or a unique geological or historical feature). Access within the park may be via walking trails, roads, car parks, picnic areas and campgrounds.
Zoos and Wildlife Parks
Zoos and wildlife parks and enclosed areas where animal species are cared for and housed for the purpose of conservation, education and research. These may be privately owned, managed by a private conservation trust, or managed by the government. In about 1500 BC Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt decided to build a zoo, and about 500 years later the Chinese emperor Wen Wang founded the Garden of Intelligence. Many small zoos were set up between 1,000 and 400 BC by leader from Africa, India, and China to display power and wealth. The ancient Greeks established public zoos to study animal and plant life. Near the end of the 1,400's, global exploration brought Europeans to the New World and explorers brought back with them exotic species to be housed in zoos.
The above shows how many different reasons there are for establishing a zoo. Today conservation, research and education are the primary reasons for developing and maintaining wildlife parks (wildlife parks focus on these goals whereas some zoos still have animals on display purely for interest, education, and profit). Being able to house different species on one given park provides the ability to study these creatures up close and give visitors the opportunity to experience some interaction with species in order to appreciate their fragility and importance in the grander scale of things. These establishments often have animal hospitals, trained vets, animal carers, and researchers who are dedicated to preserving species and housing them in best possible environments whilst educating the public on their importance. A lot of the parks provide volunteering opportunities, educational programs for school and other visitors, and research opportunities.
These are usually smaller areas of land, either owned and managed privately or managed by council, shire or state departments. Reserves are set aside for many different reasons:
- They may have significant natural features, such as remnant vegetation or wetlands.
- They may be important for cultural or historic reasons; for example, the site may contain
relics of previous inhabitants.
- They may offer opportunities for passive and active recreation, such as bushwalking,
nature studies, bird watching, camping, boating, orienteering.
- Its purpose may be to rehabilitate a degraded site, such as a disused quarry or landfill.
- They offer people special opportunities to study or learn about nature or simply to enjoy it.
Most reserves are open to the public, but not always. Some are managed by private trusts or landholders, and access is restricted for privacy reasons. Some are manage by local councils or botanical gardens. Environmentally-sensitive areas may also be restricted to protect threatened species or fragile landforms.