The CSIR-College of Science and Technology (CCST) has signalled its readiness to lead efforts at tackling the threat of climate change in the West African sub-region.
It has introduced a two-year programme in climate change and natural resources management – to produce a core of well-trained professionals to expertly manage the phenomenon.
The programme, which would lead to the award of Master of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees, is targeting natural resource managers, forestry professionals and students seeking specialized training in forestry.
Dr Mark Appiah, Deputy General Coordinator of the Climate Change Programme, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), that it was also opened to people working in different sectors of forestry and eager to build a new career pathway.
He said the College was determined to provide an elevated level of professional and technical expertise to address the challenges of climate change and natural resources management in the sub-region.
This would be done through the running of unique, empirically grounded and conceptually rich courses, to turn out graduates with the knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to the needs of the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
He said it had the requisite manpower – scholars within the CSIR-FORIG, renowned for their research and education in the fields of climate science and natural resources management
Courses taught at the College include climate science, climate change impact, adaptation and mitigation, climate change modelling, geographical information systems (GIS), project planning and management, scientific communication, innovative processing and sustainable utilization of biomaterials.
Dr Appiah, throwing more light on the climate change and natural resources management programme, indicated that, it had been structured in a flexible and convenient manner to benefit students.
It involved problem-based group work activities, presentations, interactive students-led seminars, laboratory work, literature-based research and/or assignments and discussions online and offline in the distance learning platform (Moodle), alongside limited face-to-face teaching.
He said the Moodle platform – an open source software learning management system would enable students to learn at their own convenience, while the face-to-face classroom interactions would be organized at a time convenient to both students and lecturers.
Dr Appiah said students would undertake one year intensive taught courses and another year for industrial attachment and thesis writing.
The practical training during the industrial attachment would provide the opportunity for students to have hands-on training and experience required for the job market.
He added that students, especially, those already working and aspiring to get to leadership positions were going to be exposed to practical scientific writing and communication skills, adequately equipped and prepared for the task.
The products could work in diverse fields of climate change and natural resources management in government, private, NGOs and other international organizations.