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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 as environmental conservation law enforcement officers, marine recreational vehicle officers, fish and wildlife agents, park rangers, park police, and police officers address the needs of protecting our natural assets. The program at Finger Lakes Community College brings the relationship between conservation and law enforcement into focus.

The Program

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Natural Resource Conservation: Law Enforcement 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 students learn about the natural resources that they wish to protect. Students 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. Field experiences include classes at Muller Field Station, the 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.

Honors Courses: In addition, the College offers honors courses that provide enhanced educational experiences for students who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability. Enrollment in honors courses is open to qualified students in this degree program, as well as all other qualified FLCC students. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase student 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 our program and include opportunities to work along with professionals in agencies such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Park Police, the National Forest Service, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Internships with various county Sheriff departments, the Nature Conservancy, and the Boy Scouts are also available.

Clubs: Your participation in the FLCC Conservation Club and our student chapter of The Wildlife Society will bring meaningful perspective to your semesters at Finger Lakes.

The Graduates

Graduates of the program have become environmental conservation officers with federal and state agencies in and out of New York State, park police for public and private organizations, corrections officers, rangers, customs officers, and marine-recreational vehicle officers, to name a few.

Some graduates transfer to programs such as criminal justice and environmental law at four-year colleges and universities like the Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY University at Buffalo, and SUNY Colleges at Brockport and Fredonia.*

* This is a sampling of some of the four-year colleges and universities to which our students have transferred. Please consult your advisor or the Educational Planning and Career Services office for a complete listing of transfer agreements between FLCC and four-year institutions.

The Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded to FLCC students meeting the specific criteria by the New York State Conservation Officers Association and by the College as the Outstanding Conservation Achievement Award. For more details on these scholarships, contact a member of the Conservation Department or the Financial Aid Office.

The Faculty

Students earning the Natural Resource Conservation: Law Enforcement degree take three courses within the Criminal Justice area and numerous courses within the Conservation Department. Our instructors for the Conservation Law classes are a mixture of both former law enforcement officers and resource professionals. In addition, students take a variety of required and elective courses from Conservation faculty with diverse professional and academic backgrounds. We have full-time faculty with advanced degrees in fisheries, wildlife, forestry and ecology.