Prof. Romulus Abila
Dean of School
Welcome to the School of Natural Resources, Tourism and Hospitality, one of the 5 schools offering academic programmes at Maasai Mara University.
The niche of Maasai Mara University has been identified as environmental resource management and conservation and our mission is therefore to contribute to holistic stakeholder driven environmental conservation for sustainable livelihoods and realization of key national, regional and global development goals e.g The Big Four Agenda, Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through teaching, research and outreach activities. Current global human development challenges are environmental in nature. Environmental degradation resulting from demographic changes and urbanization and human activities such as land-use changes, overstocking and overgrazing, deforestation and loss of natural habitats as well as changing climatic conditions have resulted in insecure livelihoods and increased poverty. There is, therefore, an urgent need to secure the natural biophysical environment that forms the backbone of human socio - economic activities.
The School of Natural Resources, Tourism and Hospitality, located within Kenya’s iconic environmental hotspots namely the Mau forest ecosystem, Maasai Mara Game reserve, the indigenous Loita forest reserves, and the fast-growing Narok town, as well as drawing from the rich Maasai cultural heritage, is naturally located to play a leading role in training and equipping the next generation of natural resource scientist and managers, urban planners, and tourism and hospitality industry managers with knowledge and practiced skills to predict, detect and respond to current and emerging environmental threats by integrating teaching, community-based outreach, research, and consultancy in natural resource sciences and tourism and hospitality management sciences. Kenya’s tourism is principally nature based and the School, by combining natural sciences based with tourism and hospitality based degree programmes, becomes a one stop point for those aspiring to acquire holistic and integrated knowledge regarding the natural environment, tourism and hospitality.
The school is structured into the following 4 departments: The Department of Animal Health and Production, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Department of Environmental Studies, Geography and Agriculture and Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management. The School’s faculty interests reflect the diversity of disciplines represented in the School and range from urban and regional planning, wildlife biology and management, forest resources management, environmental management and planning, GIS and remote sensing, livestock health and production, one health concept and zoonotic diseases, tourism management, hospitality, water, sanitation and health.
Programmes offered in these departments are practical and field-oriented and are aimed at preparing graduates for careers in the tourism and hospitality industry, environment and development consultancy, national and international environmental agencies (Public and private), Urban planning Authorities, regional development authorities among others. The School has recently reviewed all its undergraduate academic programmes to align them to the University niche and the Kenya higher education new paradigm in higher education of providing learner centered competence-based curricula that seeks to make the learner an active and not passive participant in learning and knowledge acquisition. A number of innovative approaches are employed in learning including extensive field work, lab activities and short term out of campus industry or field based independent student research. Information technology (IT) forms an integral part of our progrmmes course delivery methods and online learning is being incorporated as an essential mode of learning. Our class sizes are relatively small which provides excellent enhanced student – lecturer contact and individualized mentorship opportunities.
The school has played a key role in ensuring that Maasai Mara University is a recognized Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) in Environmental Education.
The school has signed MoU’s with a number of strategic research collaboration partners including Clemson University, Northern Arizona University of Forestry, The University of Maryland in Wildlife and Environmental Education, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Aarhus University, Michigan State University among others. These Collaborations provide opportunities for staff and student exchanges to enhance their skills.
We welcome all new and prospective students to the School of Natural Resources, Tourism and Hospitality.