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MSc programme in Agricultural Meteorology in the University of Zimbabwe

Last modified January 21, 2005 15:18

The next intake to this programme will be in August 2005: enquiries should be sent as soon as possible, and not later than 1 April 2005, by Email to magm@science.uz.ac.zw copy to chipindu@science.uz.ac.zw or by FAX to MAGM in Harare on 263 4 307156. A brief curriculum vitae should be sent, together with an indication of likely sources of funding, and an indication of areas of interest for a research project. This is the seventh intake to the programme, initiated in 1996.

MSc programme in Agricultural Meteorology  in the University of Zimbabwe

AN INVITATION TO INTERESTED PARTIES

The next intake to this programme will be in August 2005:  enquiries should be sent as soon as possible, and not later than 1 April 2005, by Email  to  magm@science.uz.ac.zw  copy to chipindu@science.uz.ac.zw or by FAX to MAGM  in Harare on  263 4 307156. A brief curriculum vitae should be sent, together with an indication of likely sources of funding, and an indication of areas of interest for a research project. This is the seventh intake to the programme, initiated in 1996.

The course has a biennial intake and lasts for two years. The first year (August – May) comprises two semesters of course-work. During the second year (June – May), students undertake research projects. Students may carry out their projects at institutions outside the university, subject to satisfactory supervisory arrangements by the AGMET board.

The contents of the course are summarised below.

To qualify for admission, the applicant must have a good BSc degree in a physical science, agricultural or biological science or equivalent qualification as approved by the AGMET board.

The annual cost of the course should not exceed US$6 000 for those based within SADC, and US$8 000 for those based elsewhere. These estimates include fees and all expenses except international travel.

One or two scholarships may be available to excellent applicants from within Africa, through the generosity of the Belgian Government, under a Link scheme with the Flemish Universities.  Members of National Meteorological Services can apply to the World Meteorological Organisation through their permanent representative.

Topics covered by the course

The first semester includes the following courses:
Meteorology for Agriculture,  Agricultural Systems of Africa, Soil Properties and Processes, Environmental Crop Physiology, Climatic Physiology of Animals, Environmental Physics, Instruments and Observations and Statistics for Agricultural Meteorology.

The second semester includes the following courses:
Climate, Weather and Crops:
Large-scale water budgets; use of climatic data for agro-ecological zoning. Rainfall variability. Crop modelling to assess inter-annual variability; risk assessment. Temperature variability; effects on phenology, growth and yield of crops. Intra-seasonal monitoring; crop forecasting on local and large scales.

Water Resource Assessment and Management:
Rainfall and evaporation measurement and assessment on a range of scales. Hydrometeorology required to assess runoff and water availability. Irrigation methods and management.

Agricultural Microclimatology:
Methods to measure short period resources use; advanced instrumentation; experimental design. Mixed cropping systems and identification of competition. Shelter belts. Agrometeorology of animal production and protection

Meteorology and Agricultural Hazards:
Climatic and weather factors in hazards, including drought, flood, erosion, pests, disease, storage losses, frost risk. Role of meteorological observations, analysis and forecasts on various time scales to minimise losses from hazards.

In each of these courses there is emphasis on the ways in which quantitative modelling and field observations may best be combined to improve understanding, and hence the management of different aspects of agriculture.
Staff involved in the programme from the Physics Department include Messrs B Chipindu (Coordinator MAGM), D Nyanganyura, S Dzikiti, E Mashonjowa and T Mhizha (Physics). They are assisted by staff from the Departments of Geography, Crop Science, Animal Science and Soil Science. In addition there are inputs from Visiting Professors J R Milford and F X Meixner, and from Flemish University staff, in particular Professor R Lemeur, Ghent, and Professor D Raes, Leuven.
Dedicated facilities, in addition to those normal in Faculties of Science and Agriculture,
Lecture rooms and laboratory
Library resource and study area
Computer laboratory with software packages and climatic database
Wide range of instruments and calibration facilities
Open air sites on the roof of the Physics department
The University climatological station.

Research areas of particular interest include:
Agro-ecological zoning
Crop - weather forecasting
Drought and desertification
Remote sensing
Environmental effects on cattle behaviour
Non-destructive assessment of crop growth
Measurement of transpiration by fruit trees
Greenhouse microclimates.
Horticulture
Hydrology

The brochure for the MAGM programme, and further information, is available from:
MAGM Coordinator
Department of Physics
University of Zimbabwe
P O Box MP 167
Mount Pleasant
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: (263)4 303211 (Ext 1417)
Fax: (263)4 307156

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