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.

Become an environmental scientist and help manage our natural resources responsibly. Through a combination of classroom study, field work, and outdoor pursuits, you'll prepare to take an active role in protecting our fish, wildlife, plant species, and bodies of water.

Career Outlook: Wildlife and Forest Services

With the growing focus on sustainability worldwide, the need for forward-thinking environmental scientists has never been stronger. Careers in wildlife management, forestry, and environmental education involve spending time outdoors studying plants and animals in their natural habitats. Environmental scientists often work for federal, state, and local governments managing public land. Jobs are also available in the private sector and with social advocacy organizations.

A.S. Program Overview

The A.S. Environmental Science program provides fundamental math and science preparation, knowledge of current environmental issues, and hands-on training in natural resource management. Through coursework and field experiences, the program prepares you to finish a bachelor's degree in a related field at a four-year institution.

Coursework covers a broad range of environmental conservation, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, field botany, limnology, wildlife management, and other science and natural resource subjects. General Education requirements and electives ensure a well-rounded education, while giving you the ability to personalize your course of study.

FLCC Environmental Science student holding a bear cub during a field work expedition.

"The nature of the classes in Environmental Science makes the whole department feel close. The field work opportunities and interactive outdoor labs make it easier to get to know people. The teachers are always doing research outside of class and excited to put students to work at the two field stations."

— Raina Becker '21

Outdoor Education and Research Facilities

FLCC has facilities specially designed for environmental and wildlife education. Our main campus in Canandaigua has an on-site arboretum and greenhouse, as well as multiple wildlife observation blinds. The 250-acre campus is home to second-growth woodlands, wetlands, nature trails, and fields in various states of natural succession.

We also have two field stations in the Finger Lakes region that provide exceptional outdoor learning experiences:

  • The Muller Field Station, located on the southern end of Honeoye Lake, where you can participate in lab work, help in the fish hatchery, and engage in community outreach and local research projects.
  • The East Hill Campus, located near the High Tor Wildlife Management area in Naples, where you can take part in camping, hiking, wildlife, and nature classes.

Field Work and Ecology Expeditions

Experience a hands-on approach to education that introduces you to the tools and technologies used in the industry. Our curriculum includes:

  • Field Work: Take field trips to local fish hatcheries and wildlife refuges, collaborate with conservation agencies, and bond with your classmates during wilderness camping trips.
  • Expeditions: Explore unique wilderness areas through our three-credit expedition courses. Students have traveled to the Florida Everglades, the Rocky Mountains, South Africa, Alaska, and East Coast maritime communities. You will have a rare opportunity to observe and study the animals, birds, plants, and geology of these natural areas. FLCC professors develop itineraries for these expeditions, and the trips often involve camping, backpacking, kayaking, and hiking.
  • Technology: Practice using industry-standard research technology, including: trail cams, electro-fishing equipment, water quality probes, GIS computer software, and wildlife tracking radio-telemetry devices.
  • Research: Participate in research conferences by collecting data from environmental field studies, analyzing the results, preparing reports, and presenting your findings.

A.S. Program Outcomes

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. plants, insects, fish, mammals, and birds) and their natural histories.
  • Apply principles of natural and physical sciences (including mathematics) to interpret natural phenomena.
  • Communicate ecological concepts and ideas via multiple modalities (e.g. technical writing and oral presentation).

Seamless Transfer Opportunities

Previous Environmental Sciences graduates have transferred into bachelor's degree programs at a variety of four-year institutions:

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

Become a Surveyor, Forest Ranger, or Forester!

Our Forest Technology 1+1 articulation agreement with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Ranger School gives you the option to complete one year of studying at FLCC and then transfer to the Ranger School for the second year. Start the program at FLCC and then continue your studies at the impressive 2,800 acre outdoor teaching facilities in Wanakena, NY.

Four-Year Career Pathways

Environmental Science graduates who complete a related four-year degree work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Ecological Monitoring and Restoration
  • Environmental Education
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Forestry
  • Invasive Species Management
  • Soil and Water Conservation
  • Threatened/Endangered Species Protection
  • Wetland Protection and Restoration

Graduates often begin their careers with one of the many government agencies dedicated to preserving our natural resources, including:

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

Exciting and challenging career opportunities exist in the private sector at environmental consulting firms and environmental education centers. Non-profit agencies such as land conservancies, research institutions, and universities also need environmental scientists.

Low-Cost Tuition and Scholarship Opportunities

Earn a quality education at an affordable rate. With our low cost-per-credit and general scholarship opportunities, you can maximize your potential with minimal debt. Over 80% of FLCC students receive financial awards that help reduce the cost of college — or cover it completely!

Faculty

Our Environmental Science faculty have a wide range of expertise regarding their educational and professional backgrounds. Faculty earned graduate degrees from institutions such as Lehigh University, SUNY Brockport, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Utah State University. Complementing decades of experience teaching at the college level, our faculty have lived everywhere from Maine to Hawaii while working in the conservation field.


Field Stations

Our two field stations provide exceptional outdoor learning experiences for students.

The Muller Field Station (near Honeoye Lake) hosts laboratory experiences, community outreach, and local research projects.

The East Hill Campus (near Naples) is an outdoor facility for camping, hiking, wildlife, and nature classes.

Related Programs

In addition to the Environmental Science program, FLCC offers associate degrees in:

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