Natural Resource Law Enforcement A.A.S. Degree

Why Choose Natural Resource Law Enforcement A.A.S. Degree at CLC?

• Online Classes are now available for Criminal Justice introduction courses.

• The only program in the state offering this unique A.A.S. Degree.

• About a dozen Minnesota DNR conservation officers visit the classroom each semester to talk with students.

• Courses are taught by both law enforcement and natural resource instructors.

• Only school in the state using the Law Enforcement Criminal Justice Information Systems simulated database (what police officers use) in the squad cars.

• The only program in the state to grant students certification for the nationwide Toward Zero Deaths program.

• One of the few schools in the state to offer certification for Occupant Protection Use and Equipment, Drugs that Impair, Medical Landing Zone, and Light Detection and Ranging.

• Partnerships with Camp Ripley for course training and combined arms combat training, and with Mills shooting range for firearms training.

• With all instructors currently active in law enforcement, a 5 year average shows CLC students have a 92% pass rate with the MN POST BOARD exam.

About the Program

Get a hands-on learning experience outside of the classroom walls with weekly fieldwork in the woods.

This two-year program has produced many successful conservation officers who work throughout the Midwest and inside the federal government.

A fleet of new state-of-the-art squad cars gives students a driver’s seat view into law enforcement.

Because of a close partnership between area law enforcement and the college, students have a wide selection of choices for internships.

With this Natural Resource Law Enforcement A.A.S Degree, you can be a conservation officer or hold nearly any other law enforcement position.

Program Information

Program Course Requirements

CRJU 1101  Criminal Justice (3 cr)
CRJU 1104  Juvenile Justice (3 cr)
CRJU 2101** Criminal Law (3 cr)
CRJU 2102  Criminal Procedures (4 cr)
CRJU 2108  Criminal Investigations (3 cr)
CRJU 2140  Law Enforcement and Behavioral Science (3 cr)
NATR 1106  Intro to Natural Resources Law Enforcement (2 cr)
NATR 1125  Ichthyology (3 cr)
NATR 1130  Mammalogy (3 cr)
NATR 1135  Ornithology (3 cr)
NATR 1360  Animal Behavior (3 cr)
NATR 2110  Herpetology (2 cr)
Total – 35 credits

Choose one of the following tracks:

Professional Peace Officer’s License track:
CRJU 1112  Police and the Community (3 cr)
CRJU 2106** Fitness for Law Enforcement (2 cr)
CRJU 2114** Traffic Law (3 cr)
CRJU 2124  General Evidence and Identification Preparation (4 cr)
CRJU 2160* Use of Force (2 cr)
CRJU 2162* Firearms (3 cr)
CRJU 2164* Patrol Practicals (5 cr)
CRJU 2166* Tactical Communications/Relations (2 cr)
Total – 24 credits

Non-Licensure Track:
NATR 1112  Land Measurement (3 cr)
NATR 1120  Dendrology (3 cr)
NATR 1140  Limnology (3 cr)
NATR 1200  Introduction to Natural Resources (3 cr)
NATR 1280  Introduction to GPS & GIS (Arc View) (2 cr)
NATR 2130* Wildlife Management (3 cr)
NATR 2140* Fisheries Management (3 cr)
Total 20 credits

Students must complete the requirements listed in the AAS Degree/General Education Transfer Curriculum document.
BIOL 2415  General Ecology (Goals 3, 10) (4 cr)
ENGL 1410  Composition I (Goal 1) (4 cr)
SOCL 2405  Criminology (Goal 5) (3 cr)
SOCL 2481  Race, Ethnicity and Oppression (Goals 5, 7) (3 cr)

Choose one (1) of the following:
AMSL 2420  Deaf Culture (Goals 5, 7) (3 cr)
SPAN 2420  Many Faces of Mexico (Goals 5, 8) (3 cr)
Total 17 credits

*Denotes Prerequisites
**These courses must be completed prior to SKILLS.
NOTE:  Students must have the Emergency Medical Responder certification (or higher) and the card must be valid at the time of the Post Board Exam.

Individual semester plans are determined between instructor and student to best meet the student’s needs.

Career Description: Students in the Natural Resources Law Enforcement Program learn skills that lead to becoming a conservation officer. Conservation officers work with fish and wildlife agencies, state parks, trails, forests, waters and wetlands, as well as work in educational activities within and throughout Minnesota. Conservation officers often work from 4×4 patrol vehicles, snowmobiles, ATV, and various watercrafts.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate field identification of regionally important mammals, birds and fish and their communities;
  • Use a broad range of technological tools to research, document, map, measure, record and analyze data relevant to natural resources;
  • Navigate and safely function in an outdoor workplace;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of structure, process and relationships between law enforcement, the courts and correctional systems;
  • Apply tactical skills, weapon safety, defense and arrest tactics, vehicle operation, crisis management and force options;
  • Process crime scenes from preliminary stage through disposition;
  • Function in a multicultural society as a mature, adaptable citizen, while meeting the needs and challenges of clients and communities;
  • Interpret and apply theory, law, policy and practice as it relates to juvenile delinquency and deviant behavior;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles of the legislative, judicial and executive branches and how they relate to criminal law;
  • Apply knowledge of criminal law, constitutional law and Minnesota traffic code;
  • Demonstrate strong and effective written and oral communication skills; and
  • Understand the importance of ethics and ethical behavior in law enforcement.

Special Program Requirements:

Students must be able to complete skills portion of the program to become licensed. This involves several real-life crime-scene situations, firearms and physical proficiency, and law enforcement procedural practices. Students must have the Emergency Medical Responder certification (or higher) and the card must be valid at the time of the Post Board Exam.

In addition to the program requirements listed, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. At a minimum, students must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in courses listed in the above program.
  2. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: The cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be at least 2.0
  3. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: The cumulative GPA of credits in the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0
  4. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.

Admissions: Program Admissions Requirements: (Please see the Criminal Justice Coordinator for further information.) • Background Check: Students must complete and pass a background check prior to being admitted into the program. This background check must be completed prior to the first day of classes. • MMPI: Students must also complete the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) with a Psychologist approved by the Program Coordinator prior to admission into the program.

Transfer Opportunities: Central Lakes College has an Articulation Agreement with Bemidji State University for transfer of Criminal Justice courses. Other colleges and universities conduct a student-by-student evaluation regarding transfer of courses and degree. Please see an advisor for further information.

Career Opportunities: The selection process for being a conservation officer in Minnesota includes a written exam, division interview, background investigation, functional capacity exam, psychological assessment and a medical evaluation. In addition, conservation officers must be a United States Citizen, possess a valid Minnesota driver’s license, have no felony convictions, have the ability to swim and possess a license or be eligible for licensing as a Minnesota peace officer at the time of hire.

Career Titles: Conservation Officer



Dave Davis

Criminal Justice Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8116
Brainerd W200

Gae Davis

Criminal Justice Coordinator
Phone: 218-855-8264
Brainerd W200
curtis pribnow

Curtis Pribnow

Criminal Justice Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8090
Brainerd W200

Student Testimonials


After a seven-year break, I came back to CLC for this program. All of the instructors help students achieve their educational goals and they care about each student’s success. Being vice president of the Sigma Delta Law Enforcement Club on campus, I get to travel to conferences across the country and network with other clubs and law enforcement officers/advisors.


This has been the first time I’ve experienced a school that I just cannot get enough of. Since joining this program, I have seen and experienced things that only dreams are made of. I am currently a corrections officer with the Crow Wing County Jail in under two years of college, entirely because of this program and faculty. I have traveled places with the Law Enforcement Club that I will never forget. Because of this CLC Criminal Justice program I am a better person. I will truly hold the faculty near and dear forever for what they have turned me into.

Employment Statistics

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