Academics

Natural Resources

Natural Resources Students in class

The Green River Natural Resources degree options prepare students for immediate employment in forestry, wildfire, water quality, park management, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as applied to natural resources, or to continue at universities with natural resources programs.

Areas of employment

Natural Resources technicians work outdoors on private, state and federal forestlands. They gather information, direct and inspect the work of others and explain land management activities to the public. They assist professional foresters, biologists and recreation managers. They utilize current technologies including Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS), laser measuring instruments, and current software in various applications. Some of the technicians’ tasks include:

    • Forestry:

      Reforest areas; estimate the volume and value of standing timber; mark timber for cutting; map boundaries of proposed timber sales; interpret aerial photos; use a compass and tape; record neat, well organized field notes; inspect planting performance by contractors; collect field measurements of the species and stocking of reforested areas; and check compliance of thinning, pruning and reforestation contractors.
    • Water Quality:

      Monitor stream and lake systems for water quality and functions. Identify plants and animals, as well as wetlands delineation and mapping their location. Apply environmental regulations regarding stream and wetland protection.
    • Park Management:

      Construct and maintain trails and campgrounds. Collect fees, explain and enforce park rules. Interpret plant and animal ecology for the general public.
    • Natural Resources-GIS:

      Collect data, construct databases, and utilize databases to produce Geographic Information Systems (GIS) computer-generated maps for public and private entities.
    • Wildland Fire:

      Fire prevention and education activities, wildfire suppression as crew member or leader of an aerial, engine or ground crew.

      Natural Resources technicians are ready for immediate employment in a variety of outdoor careers.

As a natural resources technician, you may find work in the following areas:

  • Biological technician
  • Contract supervisor in natural resources
  • Forest fire crew supervisor
  • Forest inventory technician
  • Forest engineering assistant
  • Natural resource field crew supervisor
  • GIS technician
  • Independent forest contractor
  • Log scaler
  • State park ranger’s assistant
  • Surveying technician
  • Trail maintenance supervisor
  • Tree planting inspector

When can new students enroll?

Students may enter the Natural Resources program in any quarter, however many Natural Resources courses are only offered one time each year with a few exceptions. Correct sequencing is important! Contact the instructors.

Prerequisites

Completion of high school algebra and trigonometry courses or equivalent is recommended before beginning this program.

How long does the program take?

It depends on you. If you successfully complete a full schedule each quarter, the Associates in Applied Science Degree requirements may be completed in six quarters.

Special program notes

Students can apply for immediate employment by earning one or more degrees:

  • A.A.S. in Natural Resources
  • A.A.S. in Natural Resources–Fire
  • A.A.S. in Natural Resources–Park Management
  • A.A.S. in Natural Resources–Water Quality
  • A.A.S. in Natural Resources–GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

Does the program transfer to four-year schools?

Students can prepare to continue to a university to earn a Bachelor of Science degree through earning one of the A.A.S. degrees and adding specific prerequisites in mathematics, science, and humanities required by a university, or by earning the Associate Pre-Professional degree in Natural Resources.

For specific planning, consult the Natural Resources instructors. The typical plan for the A.A.S. in Natural Resources is shown.

Post-College Outcomes

Natural Resources Post-College Outcomes
The following table shows post-college outcomes for Natural Resources graduates and students leaving the program with at least 45 credits from the school years 2007/08 - 2011/12:

Number of students who graduated or left the program with 45+ credits 1 97
% employed 2
% enrolled in higher education 3
% employed and/or enrolled
60%
24%
72%
1 This information includes only those students with a valid social security number in their registration or completion records because this number is required to link to external employment and enrollment data sources. This information excludes Natural Resources students who graduated or left the program with a GIS emphasis, because these students are tracked by the same program code as other GIS students and could thus not be included separately from this other group of students not in the Natural Resources program.
2 employed in the third quarter after graduating or leaving the program
3 enrolled in an institution or program of higher education one year after graduating or leaving the program