Environmental Conservation: Law Enforcement

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

New York State Environmental Conservation Police Officers at FLCC for career exploration event

Ongoing environmental conservation is essential for the future health of our planet. Learn how to sustainably manage natural resources and protect the region's wildlife population.

The Experience

A.A.S. Environmental Conservation: Law Enforcement is a unique program that prepares students for civil service in New York State. With a focus on growing students' knowledge and respect for nature, courses guide students to a thorough understanding of New York State law, identification of fish and wildlife, and niche analysis. The program emphasizes wildlife conservation ethics, responsibility, and career readiness to move students from awareness to action. Law enforcement classes are taught by professionals. Professors guide students in comprehensive career exploration for a variety of careers in law enforcement such as forest rangers, park police, environmental conservation officers, and a range of compliance jobs. The program provides the necessary course work for the civil service exam.

Field Work

The program includes an extensive field study component.

You will have an 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 FLCC's Muller Field Station and East Hill Campus, 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.


Internships are an important dimension of this program and include opportunities to work alongside professionals in the field of conservation.

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.

Conservation Club

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. Although it's primarily composed of Conservation students, all students are welcome.

Outdoor recreation activities include camping, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and rafting.

The Club is also involved in paper recycling and environmentally-oriented community projects.


If you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

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

FLCC Foundation Scholarships


While earning your degree, 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.

The Outlook

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  • Interpret the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) for New York State and select federal environmental regulations.
  • Earn the minimum educational qualifications to apply for and Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) position in NY State.
  • Explain foundational principles of natural resource management.
  • Develop fundamental conservation law enforcement skills (eg. Communication, documentation, report preparation, map interpretation).

Transfer Opportunities

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

  • The College at Brockport
  • University at Buffalo
  • SUNY Fredonia
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities include:

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