Natural Resources Conservation

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

Two FLCC students backpacking through a forest. They pause momentarily to take in the beauty of the natural scene.

Learn about the environment in a region known for its rich natural resources. Studying conservation at FLCC combines hands-on training at regional outdoor classrooms and wildlife centers with courses in biology and environmental science.

The Outlook

Careers in natural resources conservation are as diverse as the environment itself. Positions bringing graduates to locations from national parks to urban areas include:

  • Environmental Conservation Officer
  • Wildlife and Fish Technician
  • Land Manager
  • Ranger
  • Nature Center Educator
  • Environmental Conservation Technician
  • Soil and Water Technician

Finger Lakes Community College is one of the most successful colleges in the state of New York at placing graduates in these highly competitive positions. Graduates earning the A.A.S. degree in natural resources conservation hold jobs in the field in more than 25 states and are employed by federal, state, local, and private agencies.

The Program

The natural resources conservation program at FLCC integrates diverse field experiences with classroom study. It will offer you a broad awareness of environmental issues and in addition will provide you with an appreciation of our natural world. Courses in field botany, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, soils, waters and forests, fish and wildlife, and environmental science provide theoretical basis for what is learned outside the classroom.

Furthermore, while enrolled in the program, you will have the opportunity to use industry-standard research technology such as electro-fishing equipment, water quality probes, GIS computer software, and wildlife tracking radio-telemetry devices.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  • Utilize current, relevant, and standardized methods and technology appropriate to various fields.
  • Identify flora and fauna in the field based on (suites of) morphological characteristics. 
  • Collect, analyze and explain data using discipline specific terminology.
  • Demonstrate development of essential career skills (e.g. job searching, interviewing, resume writing, technical writing, continual professional improvement).

The Experience

Field Work: Field experience is a major component of the natural resources conservation degree program. You will have the opportunity to apply classroom learning to hands-on exercises at a conservation field camp, at FLCC's Muller Field Station and East Hill Campus, and on wilderness camping trips in the Adirondack Mountains.

Travel: Travel courses to the Florida Everglades and East Coast Maritime communities enhance the coursework in the program.

Clubs: You will have the opportunity to participate in the FLCC Conservation Club, American Fisheries Society, Finger Lakes Environmental Action, and the FLCC student chapter of the Wildlife Society.

The Graduates

Graduates of the program have successfully transferred to a variety of institutions including:

  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • SUNY Colleges at Brockport, Cortland, and Cobleskill
  • Cornell University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • University of Rochester
  • Unity College in Maine
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Colorado State University
  • Penn State University
  • Universities of Utah, Montana, and Idaho
  • Northland College in Minnesota

Careers: Graduates of the program hold positions with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, United States Fish and Wildlife Services, and the National Park Service, where they serve as:

  • Fish and Wildlife Technicians
  • Conservation Officers
  • Land Managers
  • Environmental Educators

Others hold positions including:

  • Water Treatment Plants Manager
  • Environmental Risk Manager
  • Fisheries/Wildlife Biologist

The Scholarships

As a Natural Resources Conservation student, if you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

  • S & S Memorial
  • Robert L. (Rodge) Case Award
  • Robert L. (Rodge) Case Conservation Book Award
  • FLCC Conservation Faculty Award
  • Francis Finnick Memorial Conservation Award
  • Fraley Family Award

For information on these scholarships, contact the FLCC Foundation.

The Faculty

Full-time faculty in the environmental conservation and horticulture department offers you a wide range of expertise through their educational and professional backgrounds. Graduate degrees were earned at institutions such as Syracuse University, Utah State University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Lehigh University, SUNY Brockport, and the University of New Hampshire.

Complementing the decades of experience teaching at the college level, FLCC's faculty has lived and worked from Maine to Hawaii within the conservation field before coming to FLCC. FLCC also boasts well-qualified adjuncts that teach specialty classes, with diverse backgrounds that include resource professionals for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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