Environmental Science (Biophysical Track)

Associate in Science (A.S.)

Cattails, trees, and other wetland plants border a shallow pond on a cool, summer day. A man stands on shore holding a net, observing the water.

The Program

The A.S. Environmental Science degree program provides fundamental math and science preparation, knowledge of current environmental issues, and hands-on experience in natural resource management. Through classroom and field study, the program is designed to prepare you for entrance into a baccalaureate degree program.

Courses are offered in fish and wildlife, environmental conservation, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, field botany, limnology, wildlife management and other science and natural resource-related subjects.

Field Work: Field trips to local fish hatcheries and wildlife refuges, work with conservation agencies, and experiences on wilderness camping trips enhance classroom studies. FLCC's Muller Field Station and East Hill Campus both provide additional outdoor experiences.

Expeditions: Intensive ecology expedition courses to unique wilderness areas are also offered. Past trips include expeditions to the Florida Everglades, the Rocky Mountains, South Africa, Alaska, and East Coast maritime communities. As an Environmental Science major, you will have a rare opportunity to observe and study the animals, birds, plants, and geology of these natural areas. Led by FLCC professors, the itinerary for these three-credit expedition courses may include camping, backpacking, kayaking, and hiking trips.

Technology: While 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.

Ranger School Transfer Opportunity:Through the Forest Technology 1+1 articulation agreement with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Ranger School, located in Wanakena, NY, you can complete one year of study at FLCC and then transfer to the Ranger School to pursue a career as a surveyor, forest ranger, or forester.

The program at FLCC will introduce you to environmental conservation and will focus on the courses needed for transferring to the Ranger School. At the Ranger School, you will continue your studies using the school's impressive outdoor teaching facilities. The school has a 2,800 acre managed forest and is surrounded by New York's beautiful Adirondack Park. Graduates of the program work with private companies and public agencies such as the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Park Service.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate standard best practices in field and laboratory research techniques, (e.g. scientific literature reviews, research design, equipment use, data collection and analysis, and technical writing).
  • Identify predominant regional species (e.g. plant, insect, fish, mammal, bird) and their natural histories.
  • Apply principles of natural and physical sciences (including mathematics) to interpret natural phenomena.
  • Communicate (ecological) concepts/ideas via multiple modalities (e.g. technical writing, and/or oral presentation).

The Outlook

Career opportunities for Environmental Science graduates who successfully complete a four-year degree include positions in:

  • Environmental Education
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Invasive Species Management
  • Soil and Water Conservation (e.g. water quality monitoring)
  • Threatened/Endangered Species Protection
  • Wetland Protection and Restoration
  • Forestry
  • Ecological Monitoring and Restoration

Challenging and diverse positions exist in the private sector (e.g. environmental consulting firms, environmental education centers, non-profit land conservancies, research/higher education institutions) and with government agencies such as:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • National Park Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Experience

FLCC has a long history of commitment to environmental education. In addition to the Environmental Science program, FLCC offers associate degrees in:

To support these programs, FLCC's unique campus features modern technology classrooms and outdoor facilities, including wildlife observation blinds, an arboretum, and a greenhouse. The campus of more than 250 acres contains second-growth woodlands, wetland areas, streams, and fields in diverse states of natural succession.

As a student in the Environmental Science program, you will be encouraged to participate in science conferences by assisting with the collection and analysis of data from actual environmental field studies, preparation of reports, and presentation of research findings. The skills you will develop through these activities will help you strengthen your confidence and communication abilities.

The Graduates

Graduates of this program are prepared to transfer into baccalaureate degree programs at institutions such as:

  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • SUNY College at Brockport
  • SUNY College at Cobleskill
  • SUNY Stony Brook University
  • Paul Smith's College
  • Colorado State University
  • Cornell University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Unity College
  • Utah State University

The Scholarships

Scholarships are available to qualified students. For information on scholarships, contact the FLCC Foundation.

The Faculty

Full-time faculty within the Environmental Science degree program offer you a wide range of expertise through their educational and professional backgrounds. Graduate degrees were earned at diverse institutions such as Utah State University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Lehigh University, and SUNY Brockport. Complementing the decades of experience teaching at the college level, the faculty members of this program have lived and worked from Maine to Hawaii within the conservation field.

Career Coach

Explore Your Career Options

Map out a path toward your future career, and discover opportunities related to this area of study.

Access Career Coach