Natural Resources

Associate Degrees

A.S. in Environmental Conservation

Environmental Conservation is an interdisciplinary program that advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. Core study involves plant and animal ecology and natural history, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources. Students have the opportunity to choose among courses in the areas of conservation and sustainability; plant ecology, conservation, and management; and vertebrate ecology, conservation and management. This program covers a wide range of environmental studies, provides many unique opportunities for hands-on and real-world field experience, and prepares students for a variety of careers as well as transfer at the upper division level to academic programs involving environmental sciences.

Degree Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
BIOL 300 The Foundations of Biology (3) 3 - 5
   or BIOL 301 Evolution (3)
   or BIOL 303 Survey of Biology (4)
   or BIOL 310 General Biology (4)
   or BIOL 400 Principles of Biology (5)
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
A minimum of 16 units from the following: 161
BIOL 305 Natural History (4)
BIOL 332 Introduction to Ornithology (4)
BIOL 352 Conservation Biology (3)
BIOL 370 Marine Biology (4)
GEOG 300 Physical Geography: Exploring Earth's Environmental Systems (3)
GEOG 330 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3)
GEOL 300 Physical Geology (3)
HORT 302 Soils, Soil Management, and Plant Nutrition (3)
NATR 302 Introduction to Wildlife Biology (4)
NATR 303 Energy and Sustainability (3)
NATR 304 The Forest Environment (3)
NATR 305 Fisheries Ecology and Management (4)
NATR 306 Introduction to Rangeland Ecology and Management (3)
NATR 307 Principles of Sustainability (4)
NATR 322 Environmental Restoration (2)
NATR 324 Field Studies: Birds and Plants of the High Sierra (1.5)
NATR 330 Native Trees and Shrubs of California (4)
NATR 332 Wildflowers of California (3)
NATR 346 Water Resources and Conservation (3)
NATR 498 Work Experience in Natural Resources (1 - 4)
Total Units: 31 - 33

1At least 10 of the 16 units must come from NATR courses.

The Environmental Conservation Associate in Science (A.S.) degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See ARC graduation requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply scientific methodologies and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management, and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national, and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure, analyze, and monitor biological and physical components of the environment
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, soils, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation

Career Information

An increasing number of sectors of the labor market in California, the U.S., and beyond, require knowledge and skills emphasizing conservation and management of plant and animal populations and their habitats, sustainable resource use, and an enhanced understanding of the environment. This program prepares students for entry-level work in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences, but also unique hands-on training.


A.S. in General Science

This program provides a broad study in the fields of biological and physical sciences in preparation for transfer to a four-year program and continuation of studies in upper division science courses.

Degree Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
A minimum of 18 units from the following: 181
Physical Science Courses
ASTR 300 Introduction to Astronomy (3)
ASTR 310 The Solar System (3)
ASTR 320 Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology (3)
ASTR 330 Introduction to Astrobiology (3)
ASTR 400 Astronomy Laboratory (1)
ASTR 481 Honors Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology (4)
ASTR 495 Independent Studies in Astronomy (1 - 3)
ASTR 499 Experimental Offering in Astronomy (0.5 - 4)
CHEM 305 Introduction to Chemistry (5)
CHEM 306 Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (5)
CHEM 309 Integrated General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (5)
CHEM 310 Chemical Calculations (4)
CHEM 400 General Chemistry I (5)
CHEM 401 General Chemistry II (5)
CHEM 420 Organic Chemistry I (5)
CHEM 421 Organic Chemistry II (5)
CHEM 423 Organic Chemistry - Short Survey (5)
CHEM 495 Independent Studies in Chemistry (1 - 3)
CHEM 499 Experimental Offering in Chemistry (0.5 - 4)
GEOG 300 Physical Geography: Exploring Earth's Environmental Systems (3)
GEOG 301 Physical Geography Laboratory (1)
GEOG 305 Global Climate Change (3)
GEOG 306 Weather and Climate (3)
GEOG 307 Environmental Hazards and Natural Disasters (3)
GEOG 308 Introduction to Oceanography (3)
GEOG 309 Introduction to Oceanography Lab (1)
GEOG 391 Field Studies in Geography: Mountain Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 392 Field Studies in Geography: Coastal Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 393 Field Studies in Geography: Arid Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 394 Field Studies in Geography: Volcanic Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 495 Independent Studies in Geography (1 - 3)
GEOG 499 Experimental Offering in Geography (0.5 - 4)
GEOL 300 Physical Geology (3)
GEOL 301 Physical Geology Laboratory (1)
GEOL 305 Earth Science (3)
GEOL 306 Earth Science Laboratory (1)
GEOL 310 Historical Geology (3)
GEOL 311 Historical Geology Laboratory (1)
GEOL 320 Global Climate Change (3)
GEOL 325 Environmental Hazards and Natural Disasters (3)
GEOL 330 Introduction to Oceanography (3)
GEOL 331 Introduction to Oceanography Lab (1)
GEOL 345 Geology of California (3)
GEOL 390 Field Studies in Geology (1 - 4)
GEOL 495 Independent Studies in Geology (1 - 3)
GEOL 499 Experimental Offering in Geology (0.5 - 4)
PHYS 310 Conceptual Physics (3)
PHYS 311 Basic Physics (3)
PHYS 312 Conceptual Physics Laboratory (1)
PHYS 350 General Physics (4)
PHYS 360 General Physics (4)
PHYS 410 Mechanics of Solids and Fluids (5)
PHYS 421 Electricity and Magnetism (4)
PHYS 431 Heat, Waves, Light and Modern Physics (4)
PHYS 495 Independent Studies in Physics (1 - 3)
PHYS 499 Experimental Offering in Physics (0.5 - 4)
PS 300 Introduction to Physical Science (3)
PS 301 Physical Science Laboratory (1)
PS 495 Independent Studies in Physical Science (1 - 3)
PS 499 Experimental Offering in Physical Science (0.5 - 4)
Biological Science Courses
ANTH 300 Biological Anthropology (3)
ANTH 301 Biological Anthropology Laboratory (1)
ANTH 303 Introduction to Forensic Anthropology (3)
ANTH 370 Primatology (3)
ANTH 372 Primatology Field Studies (2)
ANTH 480 Honors Biological Anthropology (3)
ANTH 495 Independent Studies in Anthropology (1 - 3)
ANTH 499 Experimental Offering in Anthropology (0.5 - 4)
BIOL 300 The Foundations of Biology (3)
BIOL 301 Evolution (3)
BIOL 303 Survey of Biology (4)
BIOL 305 Natural History (4)
BIOL 310 General Biology (4)
BIOL 322 Ethnobotany (3)
BIOL 332 Introduction to Ornithology (4)
BIOL 342 The New Plagues: New and Ancient Infectious Diseases Threatening World Health (3)
BIOL 352 Conservation Biology (3)
BIOL 370 Marine Biology (4)
BIOL 375 Marine Ecology (3)
BIOL 390 Natural History Field Study (0.5 - 4)
BIOL 400 Principles of Biology (5)
BIOL 410 Principles of Botany (5)
BIOL 415 Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity, Evolution, and Ecology (5)
BIOL 420 Principles of Zoology (5)
BIOL 430 Anatomy and Physiology (5)
BIOL 431 Anatomy and Physiology (5)
BIOL 440 General Microbiology (4)
BIOL 442 General Microbiology and Public Health (5)
BIOL 482 Honors Marine Biology (4)
BIOL 495 Independent Studies in Biology (1 - 3)
BIOL 499 Experimental Offering in Biology (0.5 - 4)
BIOT 301 Biotechnology and Human Health (3)
BIOT 305 Introduction to Bioinformatics (1)
BIOT 307 Biotechnology and Society (2)
BIOT 311 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Molecular Techniques (2)
BIOT 312 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Microbial and Cell Culture Techniques (2)
BIOT 499 Experimental Offering in Biology (0.5 - 4)
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy (4)
NATR 302 Introduction to Wildlife Biology (4)
NATR 303 Energy and Sustainability (3)
NATR 304 The Forest Environment (3)
NATR 305 Fisheries Ecology and Management (4)
NATR 306 Introduction to Rangeland Ecology and Management (3)
NATR 307 Principles of Sustainability (4)
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods (4)
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology (4)
NATR 322 Environmental Restoration (2)
NATR 324 Field Studies: Birds and Plants of the High Sierra (1.5)
NATR 330 Native Trees and Shrubs of California (4)
NATR 332 Wildflowers of California (3)
NATR 346 Water Resources and Conservation (3)
NATR 495 Independent Studies in Natural Resources (1 - 3)
NATR 499 Experimental Offering in Natural Resources (0.5 - 4)
PSYC 310 Biological Psychology (3)
PSYC 311 Biological Psychology Laboratory (1)
PSYC 495 Independent Studies in Psychology (1 - 3)
PSYC 499 Experimental Offering in Psychology (0.5 - 4)
Total Units: 18

1must be transfer-level and must include one laboratory course in a physical science and one laboratory course in a biological science

The General Science Associate in Science (A.S.) degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See ARC graduation requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate new and accepted ideas about the natural universe using scientific methods.
  • analyze a wide variety of natural phenomena using basic definitions and fundamental theories of biological or physical sciences.
  • apply appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to interpret and analyze pertinent data.
  • outline the basic concepts and fundamental theories of a natural science.
  • articulate orally and/or in writing the importance of continuous examination and modification of accepted ideas as a fundamental element in the progress of science.
  • discuss ethical components of scientific decision making and apply personal and social values within the process of decision making in scientific endeavors.

Certificate of Achievement

Environmental Conservation Certificate

Environmental Conservation is an interdisciplinary program that advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. Core study involves plant and animal ecology and natural history, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources. Students have the opportunity to choose among courses in the areas of conservation and sustainability; plant ecology, conservation, and management; and vertebrate ecology, conservation, and management. This program covers a wide range of environmental studies, provides many unique opportunities for hands-on and real-world field experience, and prepares students for a variety of entry-level positions in the area of environmental sciences and natural resources as well as transfer at the upper division level to academic programs involving environmental sciences.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
A minimum of 10 units from the following: 10
NATR 302 Introduction to Wildlife Biology (4)
NATR 303 Energy and Sustainability (3)
NATR 304 The Forest Environment (3)
NATR 305 Fisheries Ecology and Management (4)
NATR 306 Introduction to Rangeland Ecology and Management (3)
NATR 307 Principles of Sustainability (4)
NATR 322 Environmental Restoration (2)
NATR 324 Field Studies: Birds and Plants of the High Sierra (1.5)
NATR 330 Native Trees and Shrubs of California (4)
NATR 332 Wildflowers of California (3)
NATR 346 Water Resources and Conservation (3)
NATR 498 Work Experience in Natural Resources (1 - 4)
Total Units: 22

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply scientific methodologies and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management, and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure, analyze, and monitor biological and physical components of the environment
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, soils, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation

Gainful Employment

The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any program that is eligible for financial aid that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The following link provides Gainful Employment Disclosure information for this certificate program:

Gainful Employment Information for Environmental Conservation Certificate of Achievement

Career Information

An increasing number of sectors of the labor market in California, the U.S., and beyond, require knowledge and skills emphasizing conservation and management of plant and animal populations and their habitats, sustainable resource use, and an enhanced understanding of the environment. This program prepares students for entry-level work in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences, but also unique hands-on training.

Certificates

Environmental Conservation Technician (Conservation/Restoration) Certificate

This certificate advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. It focuses on ecology, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources, with an emphasis on environmental restoration theory and practice and global and emerging environmental and conservation issues. Topics include both the causes of ecological degradation and biodiversity loss, as well as the science of development, management, monitoring, and sustainability of restored environments. Conservation priorities and emerging environmental concerns are investigated, such as climate change, energy production, socioeconomic systems, human population, disease dynamics, species extinctions, invasive species, stresses on water resources and food-producing systems,and over-exploitation of natural resources. Emphasis is placed on development of strategies for the establishment of protected areas, monitoring and adaptive management, and conservation outside of protected areas, as well as an understanding of biodiversity at genetic, species, and community/ecosystem levels.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
BIOL 352 Conservation Biology (3) 2 - 3
   or NATR 322 Environmental Restoration (2)
Total Units: 14 - 15

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure and analyze the physical environment of plant and animal populations
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, vegetation, and vertebrate wildlife data
  • investigate restoration ecology theory and assess and apply restoration practices to real-world environmental restoration problems
  • identify global and emerging environmental issues and evaluate potential impacts and possible solutions
  • examine biodiversity in terms of biological structure, composition, and function at the genetic, species, ecosystem and landscape levels
  • apply fundamental biological and ecological concepts to the examination of critical biological conservation issues

Gainful Employment

The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any program that is eligible for financial aid that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The following link provides Gainful Employment Disclosure information for this certificate program:

Gainful Employment Information for Environmental Conservation Technician (Conservation/Restoration) Certificate

Career Information

This program prepares students for entry-level conservation/restoration aide/technician positions in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences but also unique hands-on training in conservation and restoration. Potential job opportunities include work in the areas of survey/monitoring of threatened and endangered species and habitats, planning and execution of restoration projects, climate change adaptation for human communities, conservation advocacy, and other fields.


Environmental Conservation Technician (Fisheries) Certificate

This certificate advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. It focuses on ecology, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources, with an emphasis on fish evolution, ecology, conservation and management. Marine and freshwater fisheries, their impacts on society and the environment, and sustainability issues are investigated, including environmental, ecological, economic, and social aspects. Commercial and recreational fisheries management and aquaculture are also explored.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 305 Fisheries Ecology and Management 4
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
Total Units: 16

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure and analyze the physical environment of plant and animal populations
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation
  • analyze aspects of fish evolution and ecology important to their management and synthesize basic parameters of fish population dynamics in terms of rate functions and limiting factors
  • analyze function and dynamics of freshwater and marine communities, emphasizing those in temperate North America, and their associated fisheries management issues
  • interpret fisheries management data, define management problems and stakeholders involved, and suggest appropriate strategies to reach management objectives

Gainful Employment

The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any program that is eligible for financial aid that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The following link provides Gainful Employment Disclosure information for this certificate program:

Gainful Employment Information for Environmental Conservation Technician (Fisheries) Certificate

Career Information

This program prepares students for entry-level fisheries ecologist aide/technician positions in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences but also unique hands-on training in fisheries ecology, conservation, and management. Students prepare for positions in areas such as fisheries conservation and management, basic fish biology research, and aquatic habitat restoration.


Environmental Conservation Technician (Forest/Rangeland) Certificate

This certificate advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. It focuses on ecology, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources, with an emphasis on forests and rangelands. Basic biological and physical science concepts important to a general understanding of forest and rangeland/grassland ecology, forestry, and grazing by native herbivores and livestock are investigated. History of use and management, taxonomy and ecology of plant communities, soils, pests and diseases, and disturbance regimes of forested landscapes and rangelands are explored. Classes assess current policies, multiple-use management, and emerging threats related to forest and rangeland conservation.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 304 The Forest Environment (3) 3
   or NATR 306 Introduction to Rangeland Ecology and Management (3)
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
Total Units: 15

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure and analyze the physical environment of plant and animal populations
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation
  • analyze important characteristics, processes, and stressors of population, community, and ecosystem dynamics of forest/rangeland environments
  • evaluate social, ethical, and biological implications of forest/rangeland conservation and management alternatives, including impacts of grazing and forestry

Career Information

This program prepares students for entry-level forest/rangeland ecologist aide/technician positions in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences but also unique hands-on training in forest/rangeland ecology, conservation, and management. This program prepares students for work in forestry, conservation, land management, grassland and forest ecological research, and other fields.


Environmental Conservation Technician (Sustainability) Certificate

This certificate advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. It focuses on ecology, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources, with an emphasis on sustainability. Theoretical and practical aspects of sustainability are explored including social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Sustainable principles and practices are examined in the context of energy production and consumption, transportation systems, food production, water resources, industry, and the built environment. Environmental as well as social and cultural impacts of industrialization, capitalism, and globalization are addressed at various scales, and potential solutions to current problems are discussed.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 303 Energy and Sustainability (3) 3 - 4
   or NATR 307 Principles of Sustainability (4)
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
Total Units: 15 - 16

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national, and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure and analyze the physical environment of plant and animal populations
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation
  • examine technological, geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental considerations of alternative forms of energy production
  • investigate theoretical and practical aspects of sustainability in the context of energy consumption, transportation systems, food production, water resources, industry, the built environment, and socio-cultural institutions and practices

Career Information

This program prepares students for entry-level sustainability consultant/technician positions in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Work opportunities for program graduates include positions in environmental economics, sustainable business practices, green building, as well as sustainable communities, food systems, energy, and transportation.


Environmental Conservation Technician (Vegetation) Certificate

This certificate advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. It focuses on ecology, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources, with an emphasis on woody and herbaceous vegetation. Major topics include plant taxonomy, natural history and life cycle, physiology, evolution, human uses of--and threats to--California native plant communities and their component species.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
NATR 330 Native Trees and Shrubs of California (4) 3 - 4
   or NATR 332 Wildflowers of California (3)
Total Units: 15 - 16

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure and analyze the physical environment of plant and animal populations
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation
  • assess the structure and function of vegetative communities of California
  • interpret plant keys and develop skills in their use in plant identification
  • collect and prepare a plant collection of representative native California plants
  • analyze plant adaptations and environmental gradients in a variety of ecosystems
  • investigate the implications of plant conservation, restoration, and community management alternatives

Career Information

This program prepares students for entry-level plant ecologist aide/technician positions in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences but also unique hands-on training in plant identification, ecology, conservation, and management. Skills developed support student preparation for positions related to plant taxonomy, dendrology, research and management (e.g., of California endemics, unique environments such as vernal pools, invasive species, etc.) and environmental restoration.


Environmental Conservation Technician (Water Resources) Certificate

This certificate advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. It focuses on ecology, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources, with an emphasis on water resources. It provides a historical perspective on water development and explores current and projected water issues. Surface water and groundwater systems are considered, with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of sustainable water resource management that balances urban, agricultural, industrial, and environmental water needs. The implications of water rights and key water policies are considered in evaluating how water is used and exploited.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
NATR 346 Water Resources and Conservation 3
Total Units: 15

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure and analyze the physical environment of plant and animal populations
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation
  • describe the hydrologic cycle in both natural and urban environments, including key characteristics of surface water and groundwater resources and the interactions between these
  • investigate the components of integrated water resources planning and management, including evaluation of water policy initiatives and determination of water rights
  • analyze future water sustainability scenarios under uncertain conditions, including impacts of drought and climate change

Career Information

This program prepares students for entry-level water resources aide/technician positions in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences but also unique hands-on training in water resources conservation and management, preparing them for positions in environmental consulting and planning, water conservation, hydrological research, and other fields.


Environmental Conservation Technician (Wildlife) Certificate

This certificate advances the understanding of ecological systems and their interrelationships, including those with human society. It focuses on ecology, field methods and study design, and conservation and management of ecosystems and natural resources, with an emphasis on vertebrate wildlife. Major topics include population ecology; community dynamics; wildlife habitat; management of game, invasive, and non-game species; conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife; and theoretical and practical tools and methods for studying wildlife, such as sampling techniques, population modeling, habitat assessment, radiotelemetry, and remote sensing.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy 4
NATR 302 Introduction to Wildlife Biology 4
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods 4
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology 4
Total Units: 16

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method and critical analysis to environmental investigations
  • evaluate natural resource systems, including their past and present use and management and future sustainability
  • analyze social, ethical, and biological implications of environmental management alternatives
  • identify ecological phenomena in one's everyday experiences and apply ecological principles to understand local, national and global environmental issues
  • assess the relationships of plants and animals to their environment and to each other
  • measure and analyze the physical environment of plant and animal populations
  • evaluate basic land survey, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife data
  • examine the significance of biodiversity conservation
  • apply and compare various wildlife habitat and population assessment techniques across a variety of environmental settings
  • interpret wildlife population data and construct a population model, evaluating alternative wildlife management decisions based on computer-simulation results
  • evaluate alternative wildlife management decisions in the context of ecosystem dynamics as well as and social/cultural and economic considerations

Gainful Employment

The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any program that is eligible for financial aid that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The following link provides Gainful Employment Disclosure information for this certificate program:

Gainful Employment Information for Environmental Conservation Technician (Wildlife) Certificate

Career Information

This program prepares students for entry-level wildlife biologist aide/technician positions in a variety of industries and settings, including private firms, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Students receive not only rigorous instruction in the theory and application of environmental sciences but also unique hands-on training in wildlife ecology, conservation, and management. Participants develop skills appropriate for positions dealing with aspects of wildlife such as population sampling and monitoring, data analysis, and management/conservation of threatened, endangered, and invasive species of wildlife.