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Natural Resources Management

Learn to apply Earth observation data, spatial information, and remote sensing to come up with sustainable solutions for Earth's natural resources management.

By 2040, the world’s population is predicted to grow to 10 billion. This will lead to a massive increase in demand for food, water, minerals, and timber which are already being affected by climate change. How can natural resources be managed in a sustainable way to prevent deforestation, soil degradation, water shortages, mineral depletion, and extinction of species? For example, in what ways can the natural resources from a tropical forest be used to supply critical raw materials for a country’s economy and people’s livelihoods while protecting its biodiversity and wetland? In the specialisation in Natural Resources Management, you will apply GIS and the latest remote sensing technologies to develop sustainable solutions for natural resources management.

drs. Raymond Nijmeijer, Lecturer at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente.

Properly mapping and monitoring a rainforest is key in designing sustainable solutions for its natural resources management. By using laser scanning, for instance, you can measure the number, height, and size of the trees there and then you can calculate how much biomass can be covered.

drs. Raymond Nijmeijer, Lecturer at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente.

Master's Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation

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What is Natural Resources Management

In order for cocoa production in Ghana to be maintained, farmers need areas of land for their plantations. They also need to prevent forest elephants, which are protected species, from feeding on and destroying the cocoa beans. How can they keep up with the rising demand for cocoa without causing deforestation and hurting the elephants? Or what about tracking the movement patterns of wild bees, assessing the human impact on their behaviour, and eventually coming up with a solution to save them from extinction? In the specialisation Natural Resources Management, you will apply Earth observation data, spatial information, geo-information systems modelling, and remote sensing to investigate these and similar complex problems focused on biodiversity, food security, and forest biomass.

Examples of courses you will follow during this specialisation:
  • In the course From Data to Geo-Information for Natural Resources Management, you will learn to acquire data about a forest or an agricultural or environmental system from various online and offline sources, process, and analyse the data using a statistical tool.
  • How to map the state of the environment using a qualitative landscape guided approach and a physical quantitative approach? What are the changes over time? How can they be used as indicators of success or failure? In the course Mapping and Monitoring for Natural Resources Management, you will gain the theoretical background and practical skills to answer these questions.
  • In the course Environmental Modelling: Causes and Impact of Changing Resources, you will learn different methods and techniques to understand processes that degrade a particular environmental system and to develop models that predict changes in the state of the resources base.

Thanks to the state-of-the-art geoscience labs, visualisation and usability labs, and satellite and sensor databases available at ITC, you will gain hands-on experience and work on real-life problems and solutions. You can focus on biodiversity and, for example, learn to remotely monitor the movements of tiger populations in India, which are in danger of extinction, and predict the probability of poaching across certain districts. Or what about going in the direction of food security and analysing how mismanagement of a particular forest and river system can result in water pollution, flooding, or drought and, therefore, affect food security and the welfare of people living there?

Other Master's and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. You can also find out more about related Master’s at the University of Twente: