Natural Resources Management
The Environmental Studies Program is a two-year career option program designed to prepare you for your future career in natural resources management. The Environmental Studies Program will expose you to a wide range of science, natural resource management, and general education courses. This course work will allow you to graduate with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience you will need for employment or advanced education. You can choose to begin your career in natural resources management immediately following graduation or transfer your credits to a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year college or university.
Your success and employability in the natural resources management field will depend on a broad base of educational and practical experiences. The Environmental Studies Program is designed to give you the type of experiences which you will need to pursue your career goals in fisheries and wildlife biology, forestry, law enforcement, park management, and soil conservation. You will also be prepared to successfully transfer to a four-year college or university. Possible majors include biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, fisheries and wildlife biology, forestry, hydrology, meteorology, park management, science education, soil conservation, and zoology.
The Environmental Studies Program curriculum places a strong emphasis in science, mathematics, and computer technology. An Advisory Committee, made up of environmental and conservation professionals, works with the program coordinator to ensure that you are adequately prepared to meet practical employment or college transfer needs. Required course work includes a 25 credit core of required general education courses, 22 credits of environmental studies courses, and 21 credits of general education electives. All environmental studies courses are taught in a modern well equipped laboratory which provides an ideal setting for academic growth and development.
Internships & Experience
As part of your Environmental Studies Program course work, you are required to complete a practicum for credit. Placement is available through the Student Conservation Association for jobs with the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. You can also complete your practicum with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, county conservation boards, or other local conservation agencies. Opportunities for summer employment include work as a fisheries technician, forestry technician, lake patrol officer, park aide, soil conservation technician, and wildlife technician.
Students who enroll in the Environmental Studies Program exhibit a strong interest in nature and outdoor activities. To address this interest, field experiences are an essential component of the program. As a student in the Environmental Studies Program, you will be involved in ongoing projects for various conservation agencies and organizations. These projects include water quality monitoring projects, preparing recreational land management proposals, and conducting fisheries and wildlife field research. You will be involved in collecting data for actual research reports and publications instead of laboratory work on an academic level only.
Graduates of the Environmental Studies Program have traditionally found great success securing employment in various areas of natural resources management. Past graduates are currently employed at the federal, state, county, and municipal level. Current employment of program graduates includes executive directors of county conservation boards, district conservationists for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Natural Resources positions in parks, fisheries, and wildlife management, county integrated roadside management programs, and a variety of other natural resources management positions. Graduates of the Environmental Studies Program are currently employed with natural resources management agencies in over 50 counties in Iowa alone. Many others have found employment throughout the rest of the United States.