Bachelor of Science Programs in Natural Resources
Read about the curriculum for a bachelor's degree program in natural resources, and explore some specialization options, like land management. Check the availability of online or hybrid degree programs in natural resources. Get career info for the field, and check the job outlook and salary potential for conservation scientists and foresters. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Will I Study in a Natural Resources Bachelor's Degree Program?
Natural resources is a broad field of study that encompasses conservation, forestry, wildlife management and ecology. Natural resources bachelor's programs are usually found in a university's forestry or wildlife department. Most programs allow you to select a degree specialization, like water resources, land management, environmental policy or geomatics.
Most bachelor's programs in natural resources include general education courses like English and biology. In your core curriculum classes, you'll explore the social, economic and political aspects of natural resource management. You might learn how geographic information systems and global positioning systems are used to map and study land use. Additional topics may include the human effect upon natural environments, soil conservation, sustainable farming, fisheries management and environmental law.
A field internship is required in most bachelor's programs. This may involve participating in a real-world conservation project, backpacking through a wildlife refuge or studying abroad with an affiliated environmental or natural resources university program. You can often earn a bachelor's degree in four years.
|Common Courses||Sustainable farming, soil conservation, environmental law, natural environments, fisheries management|
|Learning Environments||Traditional classroom and distance learning options are available|
|Possible Careers||Forester, conservation scientist|
Can I Earn This Degree Online?
Online bachelor's degrees in natural resources are rare. You'll need a computer with high-speed Internet access to participate. You may need a software application like Apple Quicktime or Windows Media Player to access video and audio lectures. Required laboratory courses, like biology, may need to be taken at a nearby community college. Similar to on-campus programs, an internship could be required.
What Can I Do With My Degree?
You might find work as a conservation scientist or forester. Conservation scientists help governmental agencies as well as private landowners identify methods for the sustainable use of natural resources, like water and soil. Foresters help public and private landowners manage the use of forested land; they may oversee tree planting initiatives or negotiate timber purchases.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for conservation scientists and foresters were projected to increased by 7% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Job growth during this period was primarily due to an increase in funding from government agencies. In 2014, the median annual wage for conservation scientists and foresters was $60,360.
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