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Natural Resource Conservation: Law Enforcement

The Degree

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Outlook

Increasing concern with the health of the global environment has resulted in the enactment of numerous laws to regulate solid and hazardous waste disposal and the use of wildlife, plant, land, air, and water resources. Careers that are necessary for protecting our natural assets include:

  • Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement Officers
  • Marine Recreational Vehicle Officers
  • Fish and Wildlife Agents
  • Park Rangers
  • Park Police
  • Police Officers

The A.A.S. natural resource conservation: law enforcement degree program at Finger Lakes Community College brings the relationship between conservation and law enforcement into focus.

The Program

The natural resource conservation: law enforcement program at FLCC integrates conservation law courses and environmental conservation courses such as terrestrial and aquatic ecology, fish and wildlife management, and environmental science with courses in criminal justice.

Field Work: The program includes an extensive field study component through which you will learn about the natural resources that are important for protecting against. You will have the opportunity to use industry-standard research technology such as:

  • Electro-Fishing Equipment
  • Water Quality Probes
  • GIS Computer Software
  • Wildlife Tracking Radio-Telemetry Devices

Field experiences include classes at Muller Field Station, a week-long conservation field camp, and day trips to landfills, petroleum storage facilities, and lawn and garden centers to monitor their compliance with environmental laws.

Honors Courses: If you have demonstrated outstanding academic ability, you will have the opportunity to take honors courses at FLCC that provide enhanced educational experiences. If you are a qualified student in this degree program or are a qualified student from another program, enrollment in honors courses is open to you. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase your transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • Read, write, integrate and analyze information from multiple resources on a topic in their major.
  • Demonstrate professional competency by identifying plant, fish, mammal and bird species.
  • Speak and present before a group on a topic in their major.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop written, computer generated documents in direct support of a job search.
  • Understand the impact of their behaviors on local, regional and global sustainability.
  • Apply their knowledge of ecological principles.
  • Demonstrate professional competency through practical application of the NYS Environmental Conservation Laws.
  • Apply principles of mathematics to solve problems for the management of natural resources.
  • Identify and operate equipment commonly used in the natural resources field.

The Experience

Internships: Internships are an important dimension of this degree program and include opportunities to work along with professionals in agencies such as the:

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • New York State Park Police
  • National Forest Service
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Internships with various county sheriff departments, the Nature Conservancy, and Boy Scouts of America are also available.

Clubs: Your participation in FLCC's Conservation Club and its student chapter of the Wildlife Society will bring meaningful perspective to you during your program experience.

The Graduates

Graduates of the program have become:

  • Environmental Conservation Officers
  • Park Police for Public and Private Organizations
  • Corrections Officers
  • Rangers
  • Customs Officers
  • Marine-Recreational Vehicle Officers

Some graduates transfer to programs such as criminal justice and environmental law at four-year colleges and universities. Some of the institutions* they transfer to include:

  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • SUNY Colleges at Buffalo, Brockport, and Fredonia

* This is a sampling of some of the four-year colleges and universities to which FLCC students have transferred. Please consult your advisor or the educational planning and career services office for a complete listing of transfer agreements between Finger Lakes Community College and four-year institutions.

The Scholarships

As a natural resource conservation: law enforcement major, if you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

  • New York Conservation Officers Association
  • Robert L. (Rodge) Case Award
  • Robert L. (Rodge) Case Conservation Book Award
  • FLCC Conservation/Horticulture Faculty Awards
  • Francis Finnick Memorial Conservation Award
  • Fraley Family Award

For information on these scholarships, contact a member of the environmental conservation and horticulture department or the financial aid office.

The Faculty

While earning your natural resource conservation: law enforcement degree at FLCC, you will take three courses in criminal justice along with several courses within the conservation department. Instructors for the conservation law classes are a mix of former law enforcement officers and resource professionals. In addition, you will take a variety of required classes along with elective courses with conservation faculty. FLCC has full-time faculty with advanced degrees in fisheries, wildlife, forestry and ecology.