Wildlife Tourism Certificate

Why Choose Wildlife Tourism Certificate at CLC?

We provide an affordable education option without compromising the quality of education – students leave our program with less debt and equally prepared as their peers at four-year schools

With low instructor to student ratios (approximate class sizes of 20), students receive personal attention from their instructors and develop strong relationships with their classmates

Most of our students continue on to a four-year school to complete their Bachelor’s degree, equally prepared as their peers at these schools, and often arriving with more advanced training

We offer full articulation agreements with Bemidji State, South Dakota State, University of MN Crookston, and University of WI Stevens Point, to complete Bachelor’s degrees

We offer paid internships through our agency partners, including MN DNR Fisheries, Wildlife, Eco-services, and Parks, the MN Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Camp Ripley Military Reserve, and Crow Wing County Land Services

Located at the intersection of three biomes and adjacent to the 55,000 acre Camp Ripley Military Reserve, the Brainerd Lakes Area is diverse and accessible place to study and recreate

Our instructors live and breathe natural resources, with broad and varied experiences, ongoing ecological research activities, and extensive networks of natural resource professionals

About the Program

The Central Lakes College Natural Resources Program provides students a well-rounded background in natural resources, preparing them for work in a variety of fields including wildlife and fisheries management, forestry, water resources, or parks and interpretation.  The natural resources core courses include a strong outdoor laboratory component which allows students to reinforce classroom learning by applying it in environmental settings.

The outdoor focus, a cornerstone of the program, also prepares students to work safely and effectively in the field, skills critically important to potential employers.  The relatively small size of the Natural Resources Program allows students full access to their instructors and to get to know other students and forge life-long friendships. Read more about our Natural Resources way of life.

Program Information

Special Department Information:

Program Course Requirements

Required Courses:
NATR 1130  Mammalogy (3 cr)
NATR 1135  Ornithology (3 cr)
NATR 1360  Animal Behavior (3 cr)
NATR 2110  Herpetology (2 cr)
NATR 2130  Wildlife Management (3 cr)
NATR 2201  Intro to Parks & Interpretation (2 cr)

Choose one (1) of the following:
COMM 1410  Introduction to Communication (3 cr)
COMM 1420  Interpersonal Communications (3 cr)
COMM 1430  Public Speaking (3 cr)
Total 19 Credits


Career Description: 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.

Program Information: 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 Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate field identification of regionally important plants, 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;
  • Interpret how ecological relationships influence plants, mammals, birds and fish distribution, succession and biodiversity in ecosystems;
  • Analyze land characteristics and create land management plans;
  • Communicate in oral and written forms with supervisors, peers, area visitors and natural resource agencies;
  • 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.

Accreditation: We are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and University System and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Transfer Opportunities: 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.

Career Opportunities: 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.

Career Titles: 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.


Bill Faber

Natural Resources Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8082
Brainerd W140

Kent Montgomery

Natural Resources Faculty
Phone: 218-855-8155
Brainerd W138


Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:


Gainful Employment – Wildlife Tourism Certificate

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