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A.A.S. Natural Resources Conservation

The Degree

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

The Outlook

Careers in Natural Resources Conservation are as diverse as the environment itself. Positions such as environmental conservation officers, wildlife and fish technicians, land managers, rangers, nature center educators, environmental conservation technicians, and soil and water technicians bring graduates to locations from National Parks to urban areas. Finger Lakes Community College is one of the most successful colleges in New York State at placing graduates in these highly competitive positions. Graduates with this degree hold conservation jobs in more than 25 different states and are employed by federal, state, local and private agencies.

The Program

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Natural Resources Conservation at FLCC integrates diverse field experiences with classroom study, providing students with a broad awareness of environmental issues and 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.

In addition, 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.

Honors Courses: 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.
  • 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

Field Work: Field experience is a major component of the natural resources conservation degree at FLCC. Students have the opportunity to apply classroom learning to hands-on exercises at the FLCC Muller Field Station, (located at the southern end of Honeoye Lake), the East Hill Campus in Naples, conservation field camp, and wilderness camping trips in the Adirondack Mountains.

Travel: Travel courses to the Florida Everglades, and East Coast maritime communities enhance the course work in the program.

Clubs: In addition, students are able 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 from the program have successfully transferred to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, SUNY Colleges at Brockport and Cortland, Unity College in Maine, University of New Hampshire, Cobleskill, Colorado State University, Penn State University, Universities of Utah, Montana, and Idaho, and Northland College in Minnesota, among others.*

Careers: FLCC Conservation graduates hold positions as fish and wildlife technicians, conservation officers, land managers, and environmental educators with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, United States Fish and Wildlife Services, and the National Park Service. Others work in positions such as managers of water treatment plants, Environmental Risk Managers for the New York State Department of Health, and fisheries/wildlife biologists.

The Scholarships

Scholarships for natural resources conservation students meeting the specific criteria include the Herbert Collins Memorial Award, the Conservation/Horticulture Faculty Scholarship, Francis Finnick Scholarship, and NYS Conservation Law Enforcement Scholarships. Contact a member of the Conservation Department or the Financial Aid Office for more information.

*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 Finger Lakes Community College and four-year institutions.

The Faculty

Full-time faculty within the Natural Resources Conservation degree program offer students a wide range of expertise, both through their educational and professional backgrounds. Graduate degrees were earned at such diverse institutions as Syracuse University, Utah State University, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Lehigh University, SUNY Brockport and the University of New Hampshire. Complementing the decades of experience teaching at the college-level, our faculty have lived and worked literally from Maine to Hawaii within the conservation field before bringing their talents to FLCC. We also boast well-qualified adjuncts to teach specialty classes, with diverse backgrounds that include resource professionals for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.