This module will provide students with the skills to use biophysical information and data obtained by undertaking a natural resource inventory. This will be supported by taught methods of critically evaluating data and information obtained through assessment methodologies and an understanding of sampling design (choosing reference sites, spatial replication) and monitoring methods (e.g. recording biomass vs vegetation cover vs species richness; aspects of seed biology etc.). Through the additional understanding of ecological and agricultural concepts (e.g. productivity, decomposition rate, carbon uptake, pollinator abundance, erosion protection, dust reduction) students will acquire the skills to provide reclamation and restoration solutions to land degradation challenges in South Africa.
A site visit or field trip during which students will get exposed to the realities of reclamation and restoration and apply their knowledge and skills will be a compulsory component of this module.