People in the natural resource field often become involved with issues like biodiversity, environmental pollution, endangered species, and the future quality of human life. To prepare for this field, students will gain the skills needed for assessing, implementing and evaluating land and water practices as part of an integrated wildlife program. Graduates in natural resources use their knowledge and develop skills in forestry, fisheries, wildlife, and parks and recreation. They have learned the identification of organisms, methods for collecting data, and resource management principles.
The Natural Resource Program prepares students for work in the natural resource field by providing a well-rounded background of course work and the opportunity to work with specialists in the field through internships. Credits can be transferred to a four-year college with which we have special transfer agreements, including the University of Minnesota at Crookston and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates will be able to:
1. Demonstrate field identification of regionally important plants, mammals, birds and fish and their communities
2. Use a broad range of technological tools to research, document, map, measure, record and analyze data relevant to natural resources
3. Interpret how ecological relationships influence plants, mammals, birds and fish distribution, succession and biodiversity in ecosystems
4. Analyze land characteristics and create land management plans
5. Communicate in oral and written forms with supervisors, peers, area visitors and natural resource agencies
6. Navigate and safely function in an outdoor workplace
Special Program Requirements
This is generally an outdoor program with some physical activity, such as walking, hiking, and working in forests and streams. Most of our equipment is light, but fire training certification to fight fires requires a 3 mile walk with a 45 pound pack in 45 minutes.
We are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and University System and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Students have the opportunity to transfer to colleges like University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, WI and the University of Minnesota at Crookston, MN with this degree.
This program will help students prepare for a wide range of careers, including the following: forester, forestry technician, wildlife manager, wildlife technician, fisheries manager, fisheries technician, parks manager, parks technician, naturalist, hydrologist, soils scientist, non-game wildlife personnel, natural resource conservation personnel, biologist, and plant taxonomist.
Employment opportunities include seasonal and part-time work and internships while in school. The best opportunities for full-time work will require a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university in one of the natural resource areas or from a more holistic natural resource management degree.
Gainful Employment (pdf)
Natural Resources, AAS - Program Planning Form (pdf)
Wildlife Tourism, Certificate - Program Planning Form (pdf)