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Natural Resources

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The Natural Resources program at WVC focuses on providing students with a foundational understanding of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, safe and accurate fieldwork and data collection techniques, as well as the social context of natural resources management. Hands-on learning experiences are prioritized and students are provided with opportunities to engage with science in unique ways, including both western scientific ways of knowing and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) / Indigenous ways of knowing. Graduates of the program will be prepared for a broad range of technical natural resources careers, including seasonal and full-time positions and will have transfer options available for more advanced studies in the field of natural resources (or related areas). The program was developed collaboratively with local natural resource agencies and organizations.

Pathway Options

There are two pathways for students in the natural resources program – a technical, forestry-oriented pathway (called an AAS-T) and a transfer, holistically-oriented pathway (called an AAS-DTA subplan). Both prepare students for immediate employment and offer transfer options, but have unique aspects that should be considered prior to selection of a pathway.

Forestry-Focused Natural Resources AAS-T Degree

This pathway, called an AAS-T, is built upon the technical skills required for job preparation, with a component of transfer-eligible courses included. Students who complete this degree pathway will be prepared to go directly to work as a technician or similar level in natural resources, particularly in forestry areas.

Students who complete this degree are also eligible to transfer into a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) program*. Our degree is directly aligned with the Bachelor of Applied Science Forest Resources Management (BAS-FRM) at Grays Harbor College, and graduates will be prepared to enter at the junior-level year of the BAS-FRM program with little or no additional coursework necessary. The BAS-FRM is a unique degree path for community and technical colleges in Washington state. The program prepares students to engage professionally as foresters in public and private companies, conservation managers, wildland fire supervisors, and other natural resource professions and is an excellent option for individuals interested in advancement within the field of forestry. Click here for more information on the BAS-FRM at Grays Harbor. Students interested in this option should contact the AAS-T Natural Resources advisor for more information.

*Related BAS degrees are offered at Grays Harbor (Forest Resource Management), Green River (Natural Resources-Forest Resource Management), and Skagit Valley College (Environmental Conservation). If you are interested in pursuing one of these degrees, work closely with a program advisor to develop an appropriately aligned course plan.

Natural Resources DTA Pathway

This pathway, called an Associate of Applied Science Direct Transfer Agreement (AAS-DTA), is designed specifically to transfer with junior standing to universities in Washington state. It fulfills most, if not all, general education requirements at accepting institutions, making it a popular choice for students planning to transfer to a university or those not interested in directly entering the forestry field. Students who complete this pathway will have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are foundational to the study of natural resources including areas of biology, ecology, mathematics, and communication. Graduates are prepared for entry-level work in natural resources or to transfer with junior-level standing to a university. Students interested in this option should contact the AAS-DTA Natural Resources advisor for more information.

Core program courses may have prerequisite requirements. English and mathematics courses require qualifying assessment scores or acceptable preparatory coursework in these subjects. See course descriptions for details. Students interested in either pathway should work closely with the program adviser on course selection and sequencing.

Michael Lesky, Natural Resources Faculty, Forestry-Focused AAS-T Advisor

Bobbi Johnson, Natural Resources Faculty, Curated DTA for Natural Resources Advisor

For more information about careers related to this field, go to My Next Move or the Employment Security Department Web page (scroll through the alphabetical list by occupation, or type the name of an occupation into the search filter, such as forest/conservation techs, fish and game officers, environmental techs).
Complete this interest form to learn more about the WVC Natural Resources program.