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Message from the Chairman

Thank you for finding interest in the Department of Environmental Studies & Resource Development (DERD). The department was started in 2009 with the aim of training, conducting research and building capacity in sustainable resource use and environmental conservation. It currently supports the Chuka University niche interest of excelling in environmental studies and renewable energy science. As the drive for industrialization heightens, with the uncontrolled land uses and human development patterns there are increased dangers posed to future ecological balance. This justifies the need for training experts in environmental sciences. We are in the forefront in grooming industrial consultants who can integrate the changing human development patterns with environmental and economic targets. Our department competes to provide the best industrial skills and enterprise capacity in all natural resource specializations.

Vision: To be a Centre of excellence in training, research and extension on environmental conservation and renewable energy for sustainable development.

Mission: To provide relevant training and undertake research on environmental conservation with a key focus on renewable energy.

 Departmental Sections

Environmental Science and Renewable Energy

Natural Resources and Wildlife Management

Tourism and Hotel Management

DERD is leading in enabling Chuka University develop a market niche on environmental studies and renewable energy. In order to achieve this mission we are encouraging research, capacity development and technology transfer in conservation and energy issues. 

Undergraduate Courses                                                   

Bsc. Environmental Science

Bsc. Natural Resource Management

Bsc. Wildlife and Enterprise Management

Bsc. Ecotourism

Bachelor of Tourism Management

Bachelor of Hotel Management

Diploma in Tourism and Hotel Management

Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Postgraduate Courses

Ph.D. Environmental Science

Ph.D. Tourism Management

Msc. in Environmental Science

Msc. in Natural Resources Management

Msc. in Wildlife Management

Masters in Tourism Management

Masters in Hotel Management

Academic Staff

The department boasts of 16 highly trained, experienced and well-coordinated staff members

Our Students

Last year (2015) we graduated the best overall student in Chuka University (Ouma Evans Abok) who was awarded masters scholarship under the full-bright scholarships. He is currently undertaking Msc. in Environmental Science in USA. His research focuses on utility of air pollutant remediation techniques in Kenya.

Field Opportunities

We take the advantage of the University’s proximity to Mt Kenya and Kairini conservancy which provides an expansive area for field training and research. The department has also built linkages with relevant environmental organizations which creates industrial relevance and department’s national visibility.


Our department is on the forefront in pursuing collaborative research on environmental hazards, pollution management, Human Wildlife Conflict mitigation, alternative tourism development and strategic hotel business propagation. Our department is currently undertaking the following field research.

Field research based in Kairini Conservancy

  1. Herbivory estimation

  2. Vegetation characterization

  3. Invasive species and medicinal plants research. Currently we are undertaking a study on pharmaceutical value of Field Dodder (Cuscuta campestiris) in upper Eastern, Kenya region.

Research based in Mt. Kenya

  1. Climate change monitoring and adaptation mechanism.

  2. Nithi watershed research

  3. Biodiversity inventory and monitoring [species richness, abundance, biomass estimation, characterization among others.

Waste and Pollution related Research.

  1. Waste water research

  2. Solid waste management research.

Collaborative Projects

Currently, the Department is undertaking a research titled “Biochemical Effects of Municipal Solid Waste, Quantification, Utilization and Energy Generation Prospects in Mt. Kenya Region”. This is a collaborative research between Chuka University, Tharaka Nithi County, Chuka Hospital, Embu-Mbeere Water & Sanitation Company, Laikipia County, Nanyuki Water & Sanitation Company and University of Brighton, UK. It is expected that the study will provide policy options for MSW management, bi product optimization and steer the development of Integrated Waste Management System in the region. 

Recent Publications

Muriuki, L., Bururia, D., Mutegi, J. (2016). Determinants of  Religious Tourism Branding Tactics in Kenya: A Cross Sectional Study. SAGE- Tourism and Hospitality Research. DOI: 10.1177/1467358416670937.

Kiharason, J. Isutsa, D. And Ngoda, P. (2015). Contribution of Multi-Purpose Pumpkin (Cucurbita mochata Duch.) to the Economy of Selected Kenyan Small-Scale Households. Journal of Environment Sustainability and Advancement Research, 1 8-14.

Student Clubs

Chuka University Students’ Environment Association (CUSEA)

Chuka University Wildlife Club

Chuka University Catering Association

Chuka University Tourism Students Association (CUTSA)

Community Outreach

We are the leading department which has initiated numerous urban forestry programmes in various towns in Tharaka Nithi County. Recently have been involved in guiding community development projects in the region for example, offering technical support for cultural centres development in Tigania area, through our partnership with the Uringu Community group.  We are currently partnering with key tourism stakeholders in establishing competitive travel circuits, routes and tourism packages in upper Eastern and Northern Kenya. 

Partner/related Organisations

University of Brighton, UK

University of Northampton, UK

National Environmental Management Association (NEMA)

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)

National Museums of Kenya (NMK)

Kenya Meteorological Department

Tourism Fund (TF)


  • Person in Charge:
    Dr. Lemmy M. Muriuki
  • Website:
  • Designation:
Ask about  Environmental Studies & Resource Development  here