Damien1-100x100I studied and obtained my degree in Nature Conservation through the George branch of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). The course consisted of a 3 year diploma (2 years theory, 1 year practical/experiential training) and a 4th year of combined theory and practise for the degree. The NMMU George campus (Saasveld) is nestled away in the Afromontane forests surrounding George, approximately 15 km from town. Here the natural environment is an exceptional stimulant for all the nature based degrees and diplomas on offer, including Nature Conservation, Game Ranch Management, Agricultural Management, Wood technology, Sport Technology and more recently a number of new courses have also been offered.

I was lucky enough to experience the best of nature as a child, and there the bug bit me. From then on I enjoyed every opportunity to be in the great outdoors. Once I completed Matric I wasn’t sure what I wanted, except that it be something to do with nature. Luckily my family and I found out about the courses on offer at the NMMU, and naturally 4 years later I found myself the proud recipient of a degree and a diploma which I received Cum Luade. I spent my practical (3rd year) on the Fransmanshoek Conservancy as a junior ranger where I had the opportunity to conduct several conservation related activities including environmental education, maintenance, erosion control, administration, monitoring, research, etc. The year spent on the conservancy brought many environmental issues to my attention, and from then on I strove to live my life as sustainably and “green” as possible. Today I am still learning and believe I always will be. This is a new chapter in my life, and I believe that through working with the Clarens Village Conservancy the conservation possibilities are endless.

August 2013

Author: Clarens Guide