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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Natural Resource Management Certificate Course

A foundation program for people working or intending to work in nature parks such as zoos, wildlife parks, national parks, forests and reserves. Six modules must be completed including Nature Park Management I and II.


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Training to work in land management -woodlands, wetlands, parks and reserves, land rehabilitation and conservation


Duration: Approximately 600 hours - to be completed as your situation permits


Course Structure

The Certificate in Natural Resources Management is a vocationally oriented course. It is comprised of core studies in Nature Park Management and electives in other areas of environmental interest

  • CORE STUDIES - Nature Park Management I and II (explained in greater detail below)
  • STREAM STUDIES - a further four modules chosen from the list below (click on the course name for more detailed outlines on each course)
  • Ecotour Management
  • Ecotourism Tour Guide Course
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Weed Control
  • Wildlife Management
  • Conservation and Environmental Management
  • Ornithology
  • Practical Horticulture I
  • Marine Studies I
  • Vertebrate Zoology
  • Animal Health Care
  • Environmental Assessment
  • Workplace Health & Safety

    Nature Park Management 1

    There are 12 lessons in this module as follows:

    1. Introduction to Nature Park Management – the role and scope of nature parks; the importance of indigenous vegetation in nature parks.
    2. Basic Ecology – the environment, plants and animals; ecosystem concepts.
    3. Soil Management in Nature Parks – soil characteristics and problems; earthworks.
    4. Plant Maintenance – basic gardening techniques; natural gardening; plant selection; succession planting; equipment.
    5. Design of Nature/Wilderness Parks I – collecting site information; preparing concept plans.
    6. Design of Nature/Wilderness Parks II – drawing the final plan; construction estimates; designing animal enclosures.
    7. Weed Management – characteristics of weeds; weed control; environmental weeds.
    8. Pest and Disease Management – management strategies; chemical safety.
    9. Culture of Indigenous Plants – techniques for establishing vegetation; planting design.
    10. Tree Management – role of trees in nature parks; tree maintenance plans; pruning and tree surgery.
    11. Turf Care – turf varieties in nature parks; lawn preparation, establishment and maintenance.
    12. Rehabilitation: Problems and Solutions – aims and strategies; soil problems and solutions in degraded sites.

    Nature Park Management 2

    There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:

    1. Natural Environments – preserving natural environments; plant associations and environment rehabilitation
    2. Recreation and the Environment – impact of recreation on natural environments
    3. Wildlife Management in Nature Parks– impact of park visitors on wildlife; managing wildlife
    4. Visitor Amenities in Nature Parks – design; provision of visitor amenities including picnic areas and campgrounds; management of facilities
    5. Park Interpretation – interpretative facilities including signs and education programs
    6. Trail Design and Construction – designing access routes in parks; designing and constructing walking tracks
    7. Water Areas – conserving and managing natural water bodies in nature park; impact of humans on water areas
    8. Marketing Nature Parks – strategies used to promote nature parks
    9. Risk Management I – identifying, minimising and managing natural hazards; safety issues
    10. Risk Management II – preparing a risk management plan

    Fee Options

    You can pay either

    • Full Fees
    • As a two part-payment plan
    • As a four part-payment plan

    If you pay in full on enrolment, the fees are discounted.

    If you pay in 2 parts, the first half of the course is supplied initially; and the second part payment is not made until you have completed the first half (at which time the second half of the course is supplied).

    If you pay in 4 parts, the first half is still supplied; you are then billed a second payment (due 2 months later). The third payment becomes due when you commence the second half of the certificate. The fourth part is due 2 months after that.



    The quality of human life is linked to the quality of our environment. Mankind depends upon the earth, either directly or indirectly, for his survival. The food we eat, the clothing we wear, the energy that prevents us from overheating or freezing; as well as our building materials, water and everything else, is derived ultimately from the soil, air, animals and plants that are found in our environment.

    All of these natural resources need to be managed so they do not degrade, and ultimately disappear.  Consider the following:

    Fossil Fuels

    The use of fossil fuels to create energy is the biggest contributor to climate change. The use of fossil fuels to provide energy includes industry, households and car use, and combined they account for some 80% of carbon dioxide emissions. Other by-products include around 20% of the earth’s methane emissions as well as a significant amount of nitrous oxide.

    As well as the energy sector, other industries play a significant role in carbon dioxide release, most notably agriculture. Agriculture results in changes to vegetation cover on the earth’s surface which can influence the absorption or refraction of solar energy and light, and ultimately influence climate. 

    Dairy cattle such as cows, goats and sheep along with other farm animals like pigs emit methane. So too do horses, buffaloes and camels. 
    Rainforests around the world are thought to absorb some 20% of carbon dioxide emissions which they use to produce carbon, oxygen and sugars during photosynthesis. The loss of trees is said to account for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s transport combined (including aeroplanes, ships, trains and vehicles). There has been a trend of cutting down rainforests quicker than they are able to replenish and the net effect of this is thought to account for around a 17% increase in greenhouse gases. We know that trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air, and so deforestation and land clearance result in more carbon dioxide finding its way into the atmosphere.

    The expanding human population means that there is a continuing need to clear land for housing development which is often the reason for deforestation. The agriculture, housing projects or industries which then make use of the land may also produce further emissions.  

    Nitrous Oxide
    Whilst much of the focus in climate change has been on carbon dioxide emissions, nitrous oxide is believed to be the third most important gas that influences global warming. It is a by-product of agriculture and burning fossil fuels. Although much less is emitted than carbon dioxide each molecule is up to 300% more active in terms of its effect on global warming. 

    In the past, some of the most influential chemicals affecting the disappearance of the ozone layer are the continuous use of refrigeration and air conditioning coolants, cleaning agents (solvents and degreasing), harmful aerosols (propellants) and blowing foam agents. Along with many other substances widely used by man, these chemicals release destructive chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs slowly but effectively into the atmospheric ozone layer. 

    Since CFCs and HCFCs have been largely phased out, and continue to be so, nitrous oxide now provides the greatest risk to ozone depletion. 

    Other Pollution
    Other sources of methane gas emissions include waste tips and landfill sites. The mining industry also releases methane from land drilling for oil, fracking, and coal mining. Leaking pipes also play a role. Other emissions from aerosols, insecticides, and so forth may also make a minor contribution. 



    Career Tips

    Qualifications are essential for furthering your career in Natural Resource Management, however there are many other things you can do to get ahead. These include:

    • experience tips - unpaid or paid, experience is highly valued by future employers.
    • networking tips - become a member of relevant environmental networking groups and join website groups related to your field.
    • membership - become a member of relevant groups in your field eg. the National Parks Association or Bird Observer Clubs. This is another way to demonstrate your commitment to your career.


    After Studying

    Graduates of this course will have both a heightened awareness of natural resources industries, and a fundamental understanding of how a range of different natural resources can be managed.  

    • This course can be a foundation for you to launch a career or business, or advance a career you have already started.
    • You will see more possibilities for employment or business than you recognised before studying.
    • You will understand things that you read better; and be able to communicate better with people working in the management of natural resources.

    Opportunities to specialize and move forward are always changing, depending upon many things (eg. what is being funded by governments at the time, where environmental problems have become most critical). It is difficult to predict where the work opportunities will be greatest in the future; but with a broad based understanding and heightened awareness of the industry, you will be ideally placed to both see and respond to opportunities as they emerge.





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    Meet some of our academics

    Alison Pearce (animal)B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Masters Degree in Ecotourism. P.G.Cert. Ed. (Science). Alison's first job was in 1982 as a stockwoman, working with pigs in Yorkshire. Within a few years she of that she was working for the University of Western Australia as a Research Technician and instructor with their school of Agricultural Science.In 1989 she moved to Melbourne University as Unit Manager and Instructor in Animal Husbandry. By the mid 1990's she moved back to England to work in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing at Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture. Throughout her career, Alison has developed and delivered courses in veterinary nursing and animal sciences for vocational colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Australia. She has built a high level of expertise and an outstanding international reputation as an expert in animal sciences.
    Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
    Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
    Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

    Check out our eBooks

    BirdsIdeal for Ornithology students or the budding bird enthusiast, this ebook offers an ideal foundation on birds. Learn to identify birds from around the world with over 130 colour photographs and 117 pages of fascinating bird facts.
    Marine AnimalsWith colour photos splashed throughout, this Marine Animals e-book is designed to provide a guide for some of the more common animals found in marine ecosystems around the world. Learn about the creatures hidden by the other 70% of the earth's surface. Explore more...
    Organic GardeningFor decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
    WeedsThis book helps you understand different types of weeds, and how to control them. Many of the more commonly occurring weeds around the world are both illustrated and described.