Background of the College
The College of Natural Resources and Environment science is about the things people value — water, soil, trees, forests, wildlife, renewable materials, agroforestry and physical and cultural environments. We are developing the next generation of foresters, soil and water resource conservationists, managers, environmentalists, consultant experts, scientists, and leaders. Our responsibility to society, our students, and the environment is to look forward. The College is more relevant than at any time in the past, and we are moving forward. We invite you to be a part of our future. A commitment to sustainability as an environmental imperative as well as a sound business strategy is the foundational strength of the College of Natural Resources and Environmental Science at Oda Bultum University. The concept of sustainability continues to move into the global mainstream culture and is a passion of the young people who come to the college.
Advancing the science of sustainability, the college’s brand promise, is a position of great potential — relevant to the university and the country; relevant to landowners, businesses, and industry; and relevant to our students, their future careers, and their ability to sustain quality of life on Earth. The college creates and shares the knowledge needed to sustain clean air, clean and plentiful water, productive soil, healthy forests, and physical and cultural diversity, and to provide renewable materials, products, and energy. We train professionals and leaders capable of balancing conservation, management, and the use of natural resources in the context of ecological, political, and economic challenges. We conduct relevant, timely and cost-eﬀective research on the critical issues of conservation, management, and sustainable use of natural resources. Our students and graduates tell us that they appreciate the opportunities to follow diﬀerent passions and interests, and that varied experiences prove to be professionally helpful. Employers ﬁnd such experiences add value to graduates’ skills. They report that when students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, they enter the workplace with broader perspective, more curiosity and passion, and a can-do attitude.
Once again The College of Natural Resources and Environmental Science is progressive, relevant, impactful, focused, and timely. We are working on the important issues of preserving ecosystems and biodiversity while enhancing water, energy, and economic security. We are advancing the science of sustainability and making a diﬀerence today while training students to be advocates and leaders for sustainability of our natural resources in the future.
1. Establishment of the College
The College of Natural Resources and Environmental Science was established in response to the country’s rapidly expanding natural resource and environmental needs for graduates with a broad multidisciplinary approach to identifying and addressing the complex, intertwined requirements of modern society while maintaining a sustainable relationship to the natural environment.
The College offers a high quality, interdisciplinary program that prepares undergraduate students with the knowledge and skills to assume professional roles to address local and global environmental issues in line with the country’s National Strategic Plan for a sustainable environment and infrastructure. There is a growing demand for research and graduate/postgraduate programs in this field with a focus on national needs in Ethiopia, including the need to sustain living and working environments that are safe and healthy.
College of Natural Resources and Environmental Science aspires to be nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in teaching and research within the fields of Forestry, Natural Resource Management and Soil Resource and Watershed Management. It aims to foster qualified professionals who can contribute to achieving our national goals and advancing the nationby applying scientific and critical thinking and through innovation.
The mission of the College of Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences is to:
· Provide a high quality learning experience for our students, allowing them to build a solid scientific foundation with particular focus on Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Soil Resource and Integrated Watershed Management and Environmental sciences;
· Nurture effective, competent and sought after Natural Resources, Forestry, Soil Resources and Integrated Watershed Management and Environment professionals that are ready for the national and international job market.
· Create opportunities for undergraduate/graduate research and innovation that support national goals within Natural Resources and environmental sciences.
· Encourage and support cutting edge college-research that advance scientific knowledge and address national goals, helping further development of Nation within Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.
The strategic goals for the College of Natural Resources and Environmental Science are to:
· Enhance the international recognition of our respective under graduate and graduate programs by acquiring program specific international accreditation;
· Continue to increase the number of students registering in our different programs, as well as their retention and the number of students graduating on time;
· Continue to develop and improve our current programs to reflect“best teaching practice” and to adjust to the needs and requirements of the job market for Natural Resource and environmental science professionals;
· Increase the retention, personal development and career advancement of programs within our College;
· Continue to increase the research and innovation output from the College by encouraging and enabling programs to undertake research and Community Engagement activities;and
· Further develop and strengthen our collaboration and interaction with internal (OBU) and external (public and private sector) stakeholders.
2. STAFF COMPOSITION OF THE COLLEGE
Currently the college has a total of 46 academic staffs of which 40 are on-duty and 6 are on training for their MSc and PhD in different universities. The academic rank of the staff comprises from the level of Technical Assistants to Associate Professor as can be seen from the Table 1 below. The academic staff of the college also comprises various specializations.
3. On-going Programs of the College:
The College currently houses four Departments:
· Natural Resource Management,
· Soil Resource and watershed Management
· Environmental Science
Currently the college hosts a total of 46 academic staff. CoNRES that offers a wide range of undergraduate courses in four different majors resulting in either a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in Natural resource Management; BSc in Forestry, BSc in Soil Resource and Watershed Management and BSc in Environmental Science.
In the near future, the College also plans to deliver two Graduate programs ( MSc. in Agro-forestry and Soil Management, MSc, in Integrated Watershed Management). The Programs of CoNRES are research active in their respective fields and published for their scholarly work. The College is also actively participating in Community Engagement Works.
4. MAJOR ACTIVITIES OF THE COLLEGE
5. LEARNING –TEACHING
The College of Natural Resources and Environmental science is recognized for its undergraduate education. Programs focus on managing natural resources and preserving the diversity of the Earth’s physical and cultural environments. The college’s is dedicated to mentoring students through experiential learning toward the development of sustainable solutions to society’s natural resources-related problems.
Learning-teaching is delivered through continues assessment session supported by practical oriented activities as: Lab works; practical field trip activities and Practical Field attachment engagements.
Practical Field Trip: students under the three departments of the college are taken to different sites in the country for practical field visit.Students during their field trip are expected to a written report of what their have observed and done practical field trip
Practical Field attachments: All the students at the end of their second year under the three programs have Field Practical attachments related to their field of study during their summer vacation. The students are attached to the hosting institutions working basically in relation to the field of students. Students are evaluated both by their respective departments and hosting institutions as well.The hosting institutions evaluate allthe activities of the studentsduring the attachment. The results of evaluation are reported to their respective departments under the College. The students are also expected to submit and present their field practical attachment of written report which is again to be evaluated by departments. Placements are arranged for the students and in the past have included government agencies dealing with natural resource and environmental issues (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate) as well as private employers. Besides providing real-world experience, practical field attachments are a great way for students to begin networking with potential employers.
1. OUTREACH AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The College of Natural Resources and Environmental science’s engagement program partners with different institutions and communities to provide science-based solutions to natural resources and environmental issues facing the world. Its goal is to improve the lives of the citizens of West Hararghe and beyond by providing information to make better decisions to sustainably manage and use natural resources.
A central mission of the college is to serve people’s needs through outreach and engagement, which takes the form of economic development, community and natural resource professionals training and agricultural input supply
The College participates in an extensive array of outreach and engagement activities coordinated by the directorate director for Research and Community Engagement. The college delivers different training services basically in Natural Resource Management, Forestry, Integrated Watershed Management, Participatory Forest Management, Biodiversity Conservation Agroforestry, Environmental issues for both farmers and experts at both zonal and woreda level. The college also provides different agricultural inputs for small-scale farmers. About 2400 improved grafted Avocado and Mango seedlings have been provided to a total of 70 small-scale farmers at Nole watershed, Tullo district and in Chiro Qel’a watershed in 2017/18.
The College has also made Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) through the university with Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity to manage natural resources through scientific methods for the benefit of the local community. The college is also working with different institutions locally and nationally.
The college is actively participating in research works under the Major Research Theme of Sustainable Natural Resources & Environmental Development with five sub-themes. The research is a demand driven to solve local community problems.
Areas of research include among others forest biology, Environmental Development and Management, Environmental Protection, Pollution& waste management, Climate Change Modeling and Risk Management, Soil Conservation and Erosion Management, Natural Forest Ecology and Management, Non-Timber Forest Product, Timber Characterization, Design and Utilization, Bio-Energy and Bio-chemical, Forest Pathology and Entomology, Forest Fire and Parasitic, Tree Seed Sources Management and Procurement, Agro-forestry, Silviculture, Soil mapping & Characterization, Soil resource analysis, use and management, Soil Conservation and Erosion Management.
Consistent with its size and diversity, the college engages in research and creative activity across a multitude of disciplines under the thematic areas of OBU and disseminates the outcomes through different publications by reputable journals and the staff members involved in research and publication have been promoted from the rank of Assistant Professor to Associate Professor and from the rank of lecturers to assistant professors.