Botswana International University of Science & Technology - BIUST

Earth & Enviromental Sciences

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Please note that the ongoing inaugural Graduation Ceremony can be watched live online by following this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu05p27Gj3w

Introduction

The Vision of our department is to be a leader in Earth and Environmental Sciences with emphasis on teaching, service, and industrial/community-based research. We take advantage of our unique position as a specialized Earth and Environmental Sciences department located in the center of southern Africa’s mineral industry to foster disciplinary excellence in environmental geosciences, proficiency in critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning and problem solving to assist in exploiting and managing our natural resources, as well as ensuring a safe and sustainable environment.
Our mission is to provide comprehensive field and laboratory integrated academic training (that will involve theoretical, practical and a social science approach especially in the domain of policy development, environmental management and protection) in the fields of Earth and Environmental Sciences.


Our emphasis shall be to:

  Train highly skilled manpower, capable of addressing various facets in the minerals, energy and environmental sectors.

  •  Conduct world-class research in collaboration with national and international academic institutions and industry
  •  Use a multidisciplinary approach to make important and critical contributions to the scientific understanding of issues such as environmental protection, nature and landscape management, soil and water management, exploitation of earth resources and climate change and its attendant effects.

The Department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees:
At the undergraduate level, the following 4 year degree programs are offered:

  • BSc Geology
  • BSc Environmental Science
  • BSc Earth and Environmental Sciences

At Graduate level the department offers MSc and PhD degrees. The research areas include, but not limited to:
Economic Geology, Sedimentology, Geophysics, Petrology, Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Mineral Exploration, Structural Geology and Tectonics, Natural Hazards, Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change Analyses, Ecology and Environmental Systems Analyses, Groundwater/Aquifer Modeling, Contaminant Transport Modeling, Air Pollution Analyses, Environmental Noise Analyses, Quantitative Environmental Risk Analyses.
Details about these degree programs can be found in the College Handbook.

HOD's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, a department within the College of Science.
The Department takes a broad view of the Earth and offers courses that develop an integrated scientific understanding of our planet, its history, natural systems, resources, and recent global change. Our students explore the origin of the Earth and solar system, the distribution and availability of natural resources, exploration and exploitation of natural resources and the impact of humans on the environment.
Our department operates a field and laboratory-based education that is designed to inculcate in our students a passion for life-long for learning about the Earth, its resources, exploration and exploitation in a sustainable manner. We offer three undergraduate degrees (BSc Geology, BSc Environmental Science and BSc Earth and Environmental Sciences), MSc and PhD in Geological Sciences and MSc and PhD in Environmental Sciences. Our students are uniquely placed to study and understand the vast Kalahari area with its abundance of natural resources. We are located close to the hub of mining activities in Botswana and that gives our students the unique opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of the Mining Industry of the Country and beyond. Our students also have the unique opportunity to study recent and ancient climatic changes using available resources and environments available within Southern Africa, and internationally.


Our department offers a rich, dynamic and diverse intellectual environment and a closely-knit community that helps students develop a sound foundation for postgraduate studies and prepares them for a range of career opportunities available to Earth & Environmental science graduates. In Collaboration with Mining Industry, Government, Private and Non-governmental agencies, we aim produce graduates that meets the needs and aspiration of industry, private sector, government etc., and hence drive change in Botswana and Africa.
Welcome to our website and we hope you have a memorable and informative experience

Elisha M. Shemang PhD
Professor and Head of Department

Undergraduate Programmes

Degree Programmes offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

BSc Geology
The Department offers a 4-year Bachelor of Sciences in Geology (BSc Geology).
This course aims at giving students sound understanding of the Earth and its resources which are at the heart of many economic, social, and environmental issues. Oil and mineral exploration; safe disposal of industrial and municipal wastes; exploration, exploitation and  preservation of water resources, the choice of sites for dams, nuclear power plants, and high-rise building issues that will become more complex as demands on the Earth and its resources increase.

Curriculum
The curriculum starts with courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, Biology, statistics, communication and study skills. Students then take introductory courses in earth materials, structural geology, field methods, and mineralogy. At higher levels students take more courses in field mapping, sedimentology and stratigraphy, petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, structural economic geology, mineral exploration, GIS and remote sensing. They also take courses in business management and entrepreneurships. As part of the training, students will spend some time in industry on industrial attachment and carry out an independent research project in the final year. Fieldwork is also a major component of the training which is aimed at equipping students with essential hands-on skills and exposing them Geologic mapping and reporting

Career Prospects
The programme allows graduates to become Professional Geoscientists in a range of careers in mineral and petroleum exploration, mining and quarrying, geosciences information analysis, and engineering consultancy.  Graduates may go on to postgraduate study, either at Master’s level, usually with a particular specialized career path in mind, or at doctorate level for those wishing to pursue an academic career. The communication, numeric and IT skills you will gain also make you a good candidate for business or education-oriented careers.


BSc Environmental Sciences
Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the interaction of processes that shape our natural environment and that deals with the impact of human activities on natural systems. Instruction is offered in the areas of Ecology, Earth sciences, Water, and Atmospheric Sciences. Various tools that are of use in addressing environmental problems, such as environmental modeling, GIS and Remote Sensing are applied to aid students’ understanding of the physical set up of the environment.

Curriculum
The Environmental Sciences major starts off with developing grounding in the basic sciences of chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics in addition to the introductory courses. At the upper levels of the programme students take core courses and electives which fall in the areas of earth/natural resources, environmental management and policy, climate change, water resources, pollution and atmospheric sciences. Students are also expected to design and conduct a research project of their choice in the fourth year. Fieldwork is also a major component of the training which is aimed at equipping students with essential hands-on skills and exposing them to the natural and manmade environments through site visits and fieldwork.

Career Prospects
The BSc degree in Environmental Sciences programme is designed to prepare individuals for careers in environmental consulting, business, industry, government, NGO and education; or to pursue graduate studies in environmentally-related sciences, law and public health.


BSc Earth and Environmental Sciences
This is an interdisciplinary degree that enables students to understand how our planet works, how it has evolved, its natural resources, exploration and exploitation of these resources in a sustainable way, the present and the future of our planet earth. The ideas and principles of Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Biology, mathematics and statistics are integrated in the exciting and stimulating studies which make up the Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Curriculum
The Earth and Environmental Sciences double major starts off with developing grounding in the basic sciences of chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, statistics, communication and study skills. At the higher levels of the programme students take core courses and electives which fall in the areas of earth/natural resources, environmental management and policy, climate change, water resources, pollution and atmospheric sciences. The students are able to select a suit of courses from the geology and environmental Science curriculum to suit their career path. Students are also expected to design and conduct a research project of their choice in the fourth year. They will also spent time in industry on industrial attachment. Fieldwork is also a major component of the training which is aimed at equipping students with essential hands-on skills and exposing them to the natural and manmade environments through site visits and fieldwork.

Career Prospects
This programme will equip graduates the skills and knowledge necessary for a range of career opportunities within the Earth and Environmental Sciences in such wide ranging areas as: Mining, Geological, Environmental, engineering and ecological consultancies;  Regulatory authorities and government agencies; Industry and private companies; Conservation and natural resource management;  and research.
Graduates may go on to postgraduate study, either at Master’s level, usually with a particular specialized career path in mind, or at doctorate level for those wishing to pursue an academic career.

Postgraduate Programmes

MSc and PhD in Geological Sciences
MSc (2 years); PhD (3 years)

The programmes are aimed further developing the concepts, knowledge and understanding of the students in the area of Geological Sciences. Advanced concepts and modern methods applied to geological resources exploration, evaluation and exploitation are further investigated.

Areas of Research

Postgraduate students can specialize in:
•    Economic Geology,
•    Sedimentology,
•    Geophysics,
•    Petrology and Geochemistry,
•    Mineral Exploration,
•    Environmental/Engineering Geology
•    Structural Geology and Tectonics, Natural Hazards, Groundwater/Aquifer Modeling,
•    Contaminant Transport Modeling,
•    Air Pollution Analyses,

Career Opportunities
Career opportunities in geological sciences include large and small scale exploration and mining companies, construction companies, environmental protection agencies, Geological Survey Department, Department of Water Affairs, Mines Department, Department of Energy Affairs, Universities and research institutions, and other governmental and non-governmental agencies.

MSc and PhD in Environmental Science 
MSc (2 years); PhD (3 years)

The Postgraduate programmes aim at producing motivated and highly qualified Environmental Scientist who can to identify and solve the numerous environmental /issues problems confronting society in general. The programme is aimed at further developing the concepts, knowledge and understanding of the students in Environmental Sciences and issues. It is also aimed at the developing the ability of graduate to assists in addressing numerous environmental issues confronting society today

Areas of Research

Postgraduate students can specialize in:
•    Natural Hazards,
•    Meteorology,
•    Hydrology and Climate Change Analyses,
•    Ecology and Environmental Systems Analyses,
•    Contaminant Transport Modeling,
•    Air Pollution Analyses,
•    Environmental Noise Analyses,
•    Environmental Land degradation
•    Quantitative Environmental Risk Analyses.
•    Geographic Information Systems
•    Remote Sensing
•    Natural Resources Management
•    Sustainable land Management
•    Climate Variability and Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation 
•   

Career Opportunities
Career opportunities in environmental sciences include large and small scale exploration and mining companies, environmental consultancy, construction companies, environmental protection agencies, Geological Survey Department, Department of Water Affairs, Mines Department, Geographic Information System and Technology units, Department of Energy Affairs, Universities and research institutions, and other governmental and non-governmental agencies

Staff

  • Professor Elisha Shemang Prof. Elisha Shemang HOD & Professor - Earth & Enviromental Sciences
    Professor Elisha M. Shemang holds a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Geology and Mining; an MSc and Ph.D in Applied Geophysics. He has over 25 years’ experience in Teaching and Research, Consultancy and human resources development in the areas Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Science.
  • Professor Hariharan Rajesh Professor Hariharan Rajesh Professor - Geology in Petrology
    His current research interests include:Archean crustal evolution,Igneous petrology, geochemistry and isotope systematics, Metamorphic petrology, P-T-t characterization of high-grade terrains, Geochemistry and provenance, Application of Remote sensing and GIS in mineral resource mapping
  • Dr. Sithabile Tirivarombo Dr. Sithabile Tirivarombo Lecturer - Environmental Sciences
    She joined the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at BIUST in August 2013. Before joining BIUST, she also worked as an academic at the Ethiopian Civil Service University (Addis Ababa) and the University of Zimbabwe.

Research Projects

Prof Elisha M Shemang



Current Researches:

•    Study of the Quaternary Ecosystem Dynamics of the Lacustrine Kalahari Basins with focus on Environmental and Climatic Change, Hydrological systems and Biogeography Collaborative Research with Frank Riedel  and Prof Kai Harman of the Free Univesitat Berlin

•    Integrated Studies of Early Stages of Continental Extension: From Incipient (Okavango) to Young (Malawi) Rifts. A Collaborative Research funded by National Science Foundation (NSF)(USA Partners): E.A. Atekwana, E l Atekwana, J. Pablo Canales, R. Evans, D. Lizarralde, A. Shaw, M. Behn, S. Gao, K. Liu, J. Hogan, M. Abdelsalam, S. Harder, R. Buck International Partners;  E. M. Shemang , K. Laletsang,  M. Moidaki, L. Molwalefhe (University of Botswana, Botswana); Geological Survey Department Botswana; University of Zambia; D. Mutamina (Geological Survey of Zambia); L. Kalindekafe, H. Mdala, R. Nyirenda, P. Chindandali (Geological Survey of Malaw); University of Dodoma Tanzania; University of Lubumbashi, DRC and Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies.

•    Imaging of flow through the vadose zone of the Kalahari sands using time lapse resistivity measurements.

•    Monitoring and Evaluating groundwater recharge in well fields in Botswana using time lapse gravity measurements

Prof Rajesh Hariharan



Current Researches:


•    Detailed characterization of Neoarchean spodumene-bearing pegmatites from Kaapvaal Craton
•    Mineralization in the Molopo Farms Complex
•    Characterization of syn-Bushveld units in Botswana
•    Kfs metasomatism in Archean cratons
•    High-grade rocks in the Mahalapye, Selebi-Phikwe and Beit Bridge Complexes

Prof Felicia Akinyemi



Research interests include the following: 

•    Geographic Information Science – GIS, Remote Sensing, Cartography applications
•    Land use/cover assessment, change detection and projections
•    Climate variability and climate change assessment and adaptation
•    Human dimensions of global environmental change with focus on the human - society relationship to the environment
•    Land degradation and sustainable natural resources use and management
•    Spatial assessment of urban poverty
•    Spatial and environmental dimensions of land and urbanization

Current Researches:

•    Monitoring land degradation in the Central District of Botswana: A three-tier land degradation index mapping approach. An on-going interdisciplinary research project is tagged the LDIMapping. Funded by SERVIR (a joint development initiative of NASA and USAID) through its small grant program and BIUST with Palapye Administrative Authority as a major partner. For more information, visit and download a factsheet, http://catalogue.servirglobal.net/Product?product_id=90


Dr Sithabile Tirivarombo



 Researches are in the areas of:


•    Water Resources Management
•    Hydrological / Environmental modelling
•    Climate change, adaptation and resilience
•    Food security


Current Researches:


•    Hydrological and social impacts of climate change on water resources in trans boundary water basins, with special focus on adaptation and resilience in the SADC region. I am mostly interested in the application of various hydrological models and Global Climate Models (GCMs) to solve real environmental problems. Given the issue of uncertainty surrounding most prediction models, uncertainty and model performance analysis are part of my research methodology.

Some of the graduate students I am supervising work in the areas of:
•    Water quality and pollution
•    Climate change-agricultural production-adaptation-mitigation-livelihoods
•    Open dam evaporation modelling


Dr Fulvio Franchi



 Current Researches:

•    Geochemical and sedimentological characterization of carbonate buildups in the Moroccan Anti-Atlas (Early to Middle Devonian).  This includes the study of a full array of petrographic and geochemical data (XRF, XRD, Raman spectroscopy, SEM-EDX, ICP-MS, microprobe analyses).

•    The petrographic and (bio) geochemical characterization of both recent (Adriatic Sea) and ancient (Plio-Pleistocene, Northern Apennine) methane-related carbonates in in collaboration with the CNR-ISMAR Bologna,

Other researches
•    Occurrences of botryoidal aragonite and quartzitic rocks in peculiar depositional settings (methane seeps, volcanic hydrothermal settings, impact craters, etc.).
•    Geomorphology, sedimentology and stratigraphy of the equatorial region of Mars (remote sensing data, DEM, high resolution imagines elaboration, etc.).
•    Terrestrial analogues of martian morphologies and their astrobiological implications.

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