About The Programme
The major goal of the MSc in Forest Biology is provision of graduate level training in the biology neo-tropical forest ecosystems. The programme is designed with an appreciation for the University of Guyana philosophy that higher education emphasise the development of skills of analytical enquiry and investigation through appropriate research techniques. Thus the programme aims to prepare persons for entry into the upper technical levels of the work force and doctoral studies.
Other goals of the programme are to:
- develop methodologies and techniques necessary for researching the biological processes of the forests of the country;
- produce a cadre of experts to help manage the forests of Guyana;
- develop a data bank of information on the forests of Guyana for their management.
- increase the students’ probability of securing jobs in the field of biology or places in PhD programmes
Neotropical forests are of particular importance because of their high biodiversity, the wealth of natural resources contained in them, the ecosystem services they provide and their contribution to climate change mitigation. Many economies in the neotropics are highly dependent on forest resources and therefore forests are significantly under pressure in most places. Understanding the biology of neotropical forests and, in particular, the impacts of various human activities on such forests, is critical to the sustainable management of these ecosystems.
The Master of Science in forest biology focuses exclusively on these critical ecosystems and the related issues. It provides for students to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of these systems and how we impact them so as to mitigate impacts and assure sustainability. This programme would be of specific interest to forest resource managers and academic and non-academic researchers.
Student research focuses on one of the following priority areas;
- Floristic diversity and ecosystem structure
- Forest resources inventory and productivity
- Impacts of forest resources extraction
- Plant ecophysiology
- Forest ecosystem interactions
- Forest ecosystem services and climate change
Students are expected to take significant responsibility for their own learning, with lecturers providing advice and guidance. In keeping with the research emphasis, most of the assessment will be done using coursework, research and seminar papers and presentations rather than final examination. The total number of credits for this programme is thirty-three (33).
The major output for each MSc student will be a thesis paper defended at a graduate seminar which makes a clearly defined contribution to the science of the biology and management of neotropical forest. The thesis must be of the quality to allow for at least one peer reviewed journal publication to be derived from it.
The programme is designed for two years of full-time study but students must complete the requirements for graduation by the end of the fourth year of study.