From welding to philosophy, FRCC has a program for you.

Is a bachelor's degree your goal? Our two-year associate degrees (A.A., A.S.) are guaranteed to transfer to four-year public schools in Colorado.

Need skills? Our technical degrees (A.A.S.) and certificates launch you into a career. Some certificates can be completed in just one semester.

Select a campus to see what programs are offered there.  Click on a program name for required classes, contacts, starting salaries, and more.

Forestry and Natural Resources Degree

Offered at: Larimer

A.A.S in Forestry, Natural Resources, Wildlife

60-61 credits
(4 semesters)

An A.A.S. Forestry degree prepares students for a wide range of careers in natural resources. Students gain practical skills in forestry, wildlife, aquaculture, fisheries, wildland fire, and the computer analysis of natural resources. Students participate in community natural resources projects.

Students specialize in one of the following areas. See required courses and descriptions for:

  • Forestry Technology - Learn principles of forest science and related fields, conduct forestry field research, and gain field skills in hydrology and soil science.
  • Natural Resources - Focuses on practical skills in forestry, wildlife, aquaculture, fisheries, wildland fire, and the computer analysis of natural resources.
  • Wildlife Technology - Focuses on principles and research techniques to assist in wildlife and land management. Includes practical field skills, and theory and applications for the study and management of wildlife, fisheries, and wild bird populations.

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of the Forestry Technology program, you will be able to:

  1. Identify regionally important forest vegetation by genus and species.
  2. Describe four basic silvicultural systems and harvest practices.
  3. Understand and demonstrate ability to manage forest resources for diverse user groups and management objectives including interpreting and implementing prescriptions for forest health treatments, wildland and prescribed fire, and logging.
  4. Explain the concept of forest succession, the silvics of different species, and how the abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem affect each other.
  5. Identify threats to the forest ecosystem including fire, insect and diseases and describe management strategies for each.
  6. Demonstrate competency in forest inventorying methods as well as measurements including tree diameter at breast height (DBH) and height, and forest basal area.
  7. Complete survey, mapping and orienteering exercises. 
  8. Apply technology (remote sensing, and GIS)  to collect and interpret forest data.
  9. Demonstrate proficiency with a chainsaw, tractors, ATV and woods safety.
  10. Complete an internship and job skills workshop.

Upon completion of the Natural Resources program, you will be able to:

  1. Understand relevant natural resource legislation.
  2. Understand the role of education, interpretation and communication in natural resources.
  3. Demonstrate skills related to management of wildlife and fisheries such as animal ID, sampling techniques, and habitat assessments.
  4. Demonstrate skills related to management of forests including inventorying techniques, plant ID, and forest health monitoring.
  5. Understand and demonstrate ability to manage natural resources for diverse user groups.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the different land management agencies, their roles, missions, and occupational opportunities.
  7. Complete survey, mapping and orienteering exercises.
  8. Understand ecological functions related to hydrology, soil, vegetation, and nutrient and energy cycles.

Upon completion of the Wildlife Technology program, you will be able to:

  1. Classify and identify wildlife species, their sign, and associated habitats in Colorado
  2. Demonstrate wildlife and fisheries management techniques and methods pertaining to populations, occupancy and distribution including the use of fish hatcheries and aquaculture in managing fish populations.
  3. Understand and interpret population data and those factors influencing populations.
  4. Describe and/or apply habitat management techniques including the operation of equipment used (ATV, Tractors, trucks and trailers).
  5. Ability to conduct a literature review and synthesize findings.
  6. Discuss the role of conflict management/resolution in wildlife, fisheries, and natural resource management.
  7. Understand relevant natural resource legislation, current laws pertaining to wildlife and fisheries management and the unique implications of the North American model of wildlife management.
  8. Demonstrate proficiency with data collection, and sampling and monitoring techniques including both invasive and non-invasive methods and tools.
  9. Complete data computations and communicate findings using spatial mapping and/or graphs and diagrams.
  10. Complete an internship and job skills workshop.

Forestry and Natural Resources Certificates

Environmental Education

9 credits
(1 semester)

This certificate program introduces students to the history, legislation, principles, and goals of environmental literacy and education.

Environmental Education certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Forestry

9 credits
(1 semester)

This certificate program introduces students to the principles of forest science, dendrology, forest fire behavior, silviculture principles, and research techniques.

Forestry certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Natural Resources

16 credits
(1 semester)

This certificate program builds on the Forestry certificate and covers theory, philosophy, and applications for study and management of wildlife and fisheries resources. Field and laboratory methods are introduced.

Natural Resources certificate: See required courses and descriptions. 

See gainful employment information.

Natural Resources GIS

9 credits
(2 semester)

This certificate program introduces students to basic and advanced analytical tools as they develop skills in spatial problem solving.

Natural Resources GIS certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Natural Resources Recreation

9 credits
(1 semester)

This certificate program combines lecture and practical outdoor experiences relating to problems and trends in outdoor recreation.

Natural Resources Recreation certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Wildland Fire

9 credits
(1 semester)

This certificate program provides instruction on environmental factors that affect the start and spread of wildfire and recognition of potentially hazardous situations. Entry-level wildland firefighters skills are taught. Successful completion of this certificate can lead to a "Red Card," the Interagency Incident Qualification Card to work as a wildland firefighter.

Wildland Fire certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Wildlife

9 credits
(1 semester)

This certificate program covers theory, philosophy, and applications for the study and management of wildlife and fisheries resources.

Wildlife certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Paid Internship Opportunity

Geo-Launchpad is a paid summer internship open to all community college students to develop research skills for a career in science, engineering, or technology. This eight week program takes place at UNAVCO located in Boulder, CO from early June to late July. Learn more.

Gain Field Experience

This program offers students a variety of opportunities to apply classroom knowledge in unique field settings. Here are just a few examples of some of the locations that students participate in field training. On average, this program utilizes 35 field sites per semester.

  • MacGregor Ranch – This 1,200 acre private ranch is located in the beautiful Ponderosa Pine forests near Estes Park, CO. Students are currently studying the effects that a recent forest health restoration project has had on the Abert’s squirrel, conducting deer and elk population estimations using pellet count survey techniques, and monitoring post treatment conditions using photopoints. Additionally, in odd years, this ranch hosts the field ecology course where students study the effects that elk browsing has had on the hydrology of the region, among other current wildlife and forestry issues.
  • Horsetooth Mountain Park – Our Forestry Field Research class is taught at Horsetooth Mountain Park, where students work in 10 study plots, learning multiple timber cruising techniques, study forest entomology, and become proficient in identifying woody plants, forbs and trees of this foothills ecosystem.
  • Reservoir Ridge – The Range Management and Restoration course conducts a semester long monitoring project in this city-owned natural area just north of Fort Collins. Students study grassland ecology and monitor the effects of disturbance events on the grassland system.
  • Ben Delatour Scout Ranch – On-going forest restoration practices on this 3200 acre ranch provides the perfect opportunity for our fire ecology course to study the effects that prescribed burning and thinning have had in this ponderosa pine watershed. In addition, forest harvesting students get real-life experience developing forest management plans and implementing them by putting their chainsaw and skidding experience to practice.
  • Red Feather Lakes Forest Research – Students conduct forest health inventories, timber cruise, and conduct tracking wildlife surveys in this upper montane forest dominated by lodgepole pine.
  • Cherokee Park – This montane shrubland and forest provides the terrain for learning to navigate with a map, a compass and excellent orienteering skills.
  • Bellvue/ Watson Fish Hatchery – Students in the Fisheries Management class learn aquaculture practices from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) professionals while utilizing active CPW fish hatcheries and rearing units for labs.

What You Will Learn

Natural Resource Technology

  1. Understand relevant natural resource legislation.
  2. Understand the role of education, interpretation and communication in natural resources.
  3. Demonstrate skills related to management of wildlife and fisheries such as animal ID, sampling techniques, and habitat assessments.
  4. Demonstrate skills related to management of forests including inventorying techniques, plant ID, and forest health monitoring.
  5. Understand and demonstrate ability to manage natural resources for diverse user groups.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the different land management agencies, their roles, missions, and occupational opportunities.
  7. Complete survey, mapping and orienteering exercises.
  8. Understand ecological functions related to hydrology, soil, vegetation, and nutrient and energy cycles.

 

Wildlife Technology

  1. Classify and identify wildlife species, their sign, and associated habitats in Colorado
  2. Demonstrate wildlife and fisheries management techniques and methods pertaining to populations, occupancy and distribution including the use of fish hatcheries and aquaculture in managing fish populations.
  3. Understand and interpret population data and those factors influencing populations.
  4. Describe and/or apply habitat management techniques including the operation of equipment used (ATV, Tractors, trucks and trailers).
  5. Ability to conduct a literature review and synthesize findings.
  6. Discuss the role of conflict management/resolution in wildlife, fisheries, and natural resource management.
  7. Understand relevant natural resource legislation, current laws pertaining to wildlife and fisheries management and the unique implications of the North American model of wildlife management.
  8. Demonstrate proficiency with data collection, and sampling and monitoring techniques including both invasive and non-invasive methods and tools.
  9. Complete data computations and communicate findings using spatial mapping and/or graphs and diagrams.
  10. Complete an internship and job skills workshop.

Forestry Technology

  1. Identify regionally important forest vegetation by genus and species.
  2. Describe 4 basic silvicultural systems and harvest practices.
  3. Understand and demonstrate ability to manage forest resources for diverse user groups and management objectives including interpreting and implementing prescriptions for forest health treatments, wildland and prescribed fire, and logging.
  4. Explain the concept of forest succession, the silvics of different species, and how the abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem affect each other.
  5. Identify threats to the forest ecosystem including fire, insect and diseases and describe management strategies for each.
  6. Demonstrate competency in forest inventorying methods as well as measurements including tree diameter at breast height (DBH) and height, and forest basal area.
  7. Complete survey, mapping and orienteering exercises.
  8. Apply technology (remote sensing, and GIS)to collect and interpret forest data
  9. Demonstrate proficiency with a chainsaw, tractors, ATV and woods safety
  10. Complete an internship and job skills workshop.

Unique Program Opportunities

Other interesting opportunities available to Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources students include:

  • Honors Options – Students can take NRE 100 and NRE 205 as embedded honors courses. The honors option requires students to conduct independent research projects using wildlife cameras and habitat assessments. Learn more about the Larimer Campus Honors Program.
  •  Equipment operation training– Students are trained in heavy equipment and ATV operation as well as safe operation of chainsaws and other natural resource management specific tools and equipment.
  • Red Card certification – Students can earn a Red Card qualification card.
  • Society of American Foresters – This award-winning student group offers community involvement opportunities, wildlife surveys, forest restoration activities, Christmas tree cut and sales, multiple service projects, and much more.
  • Volunteer Opportunities – Students are actively connected with opportunities to build their experiences through volunteer opportunities in our community. Black-footed ferret spotlight surveys are just one example of the many unique experiences our students take advantage of each year.
  • Internships – Students in the program are connected to local employers to obtain on-the-job training. Internships often are an integral connection for a student’s future employment.

Employment

Students are highly encouraged to obtain summer employment while in the program and upon completion. The majority of students seeking summer employment in natural resources receive positions in the field. Some of the employers include Colorado Parks and Wildlife, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas and Forestry departments, Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer County Wildland Fire, Larimer County Natural Resources, Boulder County, Colorado State Forest Service, and the United States Forest Service, and other natural resource agencies around the United States.

Forestry Jobs & Salaries

Jobs Entry Average Experienced
Forest and Conservation Technician $28,765
$38,488
$43,350
Forester $44,083
$61,216
$69,782
Forest Firefighters $54,477
$80,215
$93,084
Mapping Technician $33,359
$47,693
$54,860
Park Naturalist $47,652
$70,513
$81,943
Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment
Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (2017)

Program Graduate Outcomes

  AY14 AY15 AY16 AY17 AY18
AAS Degrees 12 12 8 15 15
Certificates 100 163 106 169 100

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