The Department of Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM) is the first of its kind in any university of the country. With the advancement of science and technology, we have to think about the changing environment as well as the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and proper management. Keeping these points in mind, the Department sailed its academic activities on 29th April 2004 with 40 students and two full time teachers through an orientation program with a mission to build up young green warrior who will fight for the mother earth as save guard of the life of this living planet. Now the students of this Department are around 300 including B.Sc. (Honor’s) and MS program. The MS program of ESRM Department started its academic activities on December 2009.
Environmental Science and Resource Management is a multi-disciplinary subject including physical environment, biological science, chemical science, social science, natural resources studies etc., which can address the issues and concerns in environmental arena. Considering the overall situation, the Department has been designed with the combination of various subjects for 160 credits in the B.Sc. (Honors) program including 4 credits of practical research and more than 20 credits for laboratory sessional (laboratory and field works) including physical, chemical and biological analysis in undergraduates courses and MS program includes 36 credits of which 6 credits are research works on various environmental issues.
The founder Chairman of the Department of ESRM was the eminent environmentalist, Professor Dr. Yusuf Sharif Ahmed Khan set some objectives for the Department during its commencement. Unfortunately, the founder chairman died on a fatal road accident on 31st July 2005. But the faculties of the Department are determined to materialize those objectives set during its inception. Now, faculties with overseas degrees and experience and some specialized visiting faculties are running the Department. The Department is now enriched with biological and chemical laboratories, GIS laboratory with modern equipments and a seminar library with sufficient books and journal of updated editions. In line with the formal academic activities it also arranges workshop, seminar, symposium, conference and cultural programs.
Learning by doing is an approach seems very important for the Department. The Faculty members of this department believe that whatever theoretical knowledge that students achieve in the class room can be learned properly by experiencing practically in the field level. For these reason, the students have to take one credit course in each year termed as “Field Trip”. Under this credit students visit many environmentally important sites and places where they attend classes conducted by the experts and sharing experiences and knowledge with resource personnel. Besides, students of B.Sc. Honor’s (final year) and MS program visit different industrial establishments, vegetation cover, aquatic settings, ecotourism spots, ecologically critical areas, protected areas, urban environment, islands, wetlands, energy sectors, agricultural sectors, fisheries sectors, etc. to have practical knowledge regarding environmental management and conservation system. To conduct student’s final researches on various issues especially on biodiversity, natural resources, waste management, climate change, transportation and development, sustainable development, EIA for various construction projects, environmental pollution monitoring and auditing, environmental planning and design, disaster management, etc.
For conducting, analyzing and getting fruitful results of research activities, the Department already cooperated with various research institutes and organizations such as Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI), Rural Development Academy (RDA), Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), Comprehensive Disaster Management Program (CDMP) of UNDP, Social Science Research Council of the Ministry of Planning and environmental studies and related Departments of other public Universities.
Presently, with the development around the world, environmental degradation has been accelerated rapidly and various un-disappearing issues has been arising which are potential threats to the environment and for mankind. Among these, one of the most important and world recognized threats is climate change which is most vulnerable to the environment, its components, life, livelihood, property, etc. especially in developing countries like Bangladesh. At this circumstance, the Department of ESRM has been working continuously on the concern issues and finally developing plans and models to address issues like environment, biodiversity, life, livelihood, property, etc. With the study of Environmental Science and Resource Management in this Department, student will buildup their career in various sectors including forestry, fisheries, agriculture, marine and ocean, hydrology, water resource, mineral resource, energy, urban, infrastructure development, natural resource, public health, environmental planning and design such as ETP in industries, EIA and EMA for development structures, etc. The students also worked in GOs and in various National and International NGOs with the projects of biodiversity conservation, pollution control and monitoring, food security, climate change, cleaner technology, carbon free treatment (carbon trading), etc. The department has good coordination with academic institutes and research institutes in home and abroad.
The mission of the Department will be achieved if the students produced by the Department, get opportunity to work for environmental conservation and sustainable resource management in national and international arena and in this line we expect cooperation and assistance of relevant authority. The goals of Department are to develop a world population that is aware of the total environment and its associated problems and commitment to work individually and collectively towards solution of current problems and the prevention of new ones. The objectives of the department are as follows: i) Gaining of knowledge: Gain a variety of experiences and acquire a basic understanding of the environment and its associated problems; ii) Awareness development: Acquire an awareness of and sensitivity to the total environment and its allied problems; iii) Development of ethical value: Acquire a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment and its allied problems and changing the attitude; iv) Skill development: Acquire skills and identifying and solving environmental problems; and v) Enhancing evaluation ability: Evaluate environmental measures and education programs and conservation of resources in terms of ecological, social, economic, aesthetic and educational factors.