"UMC has done a better job of preparing students for
natural resources work than any college I've seen!"
--Paul Swenson, former regional director, Minnesota DNR
If you have an interest in conservation, science, and nature, let the great outdoors become your classroom at University of Minnesota Crookston. Here you will be prepared for a rewarding career managing our natural resources for current and future generations. Natural Resources is a broad program involving resource conservation and recreation to balance the needs of people and the sustainability of ecosystems. Students choose an emphasis that matches their conservation interests: Ecological Restoration, Natural Resources Aviation, Natural Resources Law Enforcement, Natural Resources Management, Park Management, Water Resource Management, or Wildlife Management.
- Natural resources students work with specialized computer software such as GIS (global information systems) and GPS (global positioning systems) in a 21st century computing environment.
- Nearly every Natural Resources course has a lab period, during which outdoor labs and field trips are used to connect students to various ecosystems from river and lake systems to agricultural landscapes near campus
- Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, the largest prairie and wetland restoration project in the nation, lies only 10 miles east of campus. It was formed by The Nature Conservancy's Glacial Ridge Project. Here students learn about ecosystem restoration throughout the year.
- The 85-acre Red River Valley Natural History Area (containing prairie, marshes, and forests) is located within walking distance of campus and is used extensively for practice in conservation techniques and nature observation.
- On campus is the Nature Nook , a student-driven environmental landscaping project featuring restored prairie, butterfly garden, waterfall and pond, Boreal forest bog garden, deciduous forest, and oak savanna.
- Near the University of Minnesota's Forestry and Biological Research Station located in Itasca State Park
- UMC's Huot School Forest, a twenty minute drive from the campus, serves as an outdoor classroom and laboratory.
- The Pankratz Memorial Prairie, totaling nearly 800 acres, is within 10 miles of the campus. The preserve is habitat for the greater prairie chicken and is an excellent area for observing this unique bird
- Cooperative student training agreements are in place with the Natural Resources Conservation Service for Minnesota and North Dakota.
- Students benefit from research experiences with UMC and with faculty from the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC), University of Minnesota Extension, other University of Minnesota Campuses, other universities, and state and federal agency researchers.
- Several birding hotspots on the Minnesota Pine to Prairie Birding Trail are near Crookston.
- Students assist with tree planting with the local soil and water conservation district.
- Students participate in trapper education workshops and assist in hands-on exercises trapping nuisance beaver at the Red River Valley Natural History Area.
- Opportunities abound that enable students to gain more experience in their program by getting involved in student organizations related directly to their major
- Crookston Students for Sustainable Development
- Natural Resources Club
- The Wildlife Society (Student Chapter)
- Students in the Natural Resources program have won numerous awards and scholarships in their field
"Bear Den Visit at Camp Ripley" (Student Project)
Video by Joshua Jensen, natural resources major.
"Controlled Burn" (done by students) in the UMC Nature Nook
UMC Natural Resources students learn controlled burning techniques.
Program Requirements & Curriculum
Program Requirements & Curriculum
To view the current Natural Resources, BS curriculum, visit our catalog site:
View Natural Resources, BS curriculum
The Natural Resources major offers seven areas of emphasis:
- Ecological Restoration
- Natural Resources Aviation
- Natural Resources Law Enforcement
- Natural Resources Management
- Park Management
- Water Resource Management
- Wildlife Management
Associated Clubs & Organizations
Associated Clubs & Organizations
The average salary range for positions within this major was between $23,900- $57,000 yearly, depending on experience and location. For a list of detailed salary trends within this field, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects significant growth in renewable energy and environmental jobs through 2018.
The bachelor of science degree in Natural Resources prepares students for a variety of career paths based on the emphasis they choose:
Natural Resources Aviation Careers
This emphasis prepares students as natural resource pilot-biologists employed by state, federal and private agencies such as:
- National Park Service
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Forest Service
- State Departments of Natural Resources
- Private consulting firms
- Wilderness pilots working in remote areas
Natural Resources Law Enforcement Careers
This emphasis prepares students for positions with Federal, State, County or Local Agencies such as:
- U.S. Border Patrol
- U.S. Customs Services
- F.A.A. Inspectors
- U.S. Sky Marshals
- State, county, and local law enforcement agencies
Natural Resources Management Careers
This emphasis prepares students for land management positions with:
- County soil and water conservation districts
- State and federal natural resource agencies
- Private land reclamation firms
- Game farms and hunting preserves
Park Management Careers
This emphasis is designed for students interested in a career in:
- Municipal, county, state, or national park management
- Entry-level positions may include working as a technician or aide in order to obtain the experience required to advance to a higher management position.
Water Resource Management Careers
This emphasis prepares graduates for careers with:
- The U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Watershed districts
- Hydrology branches of state natural resource agencies
- Soil and water conservation districts
- Private surveying and consulting firms
Wildlife Management Careers
This emphasis prepares graduates for careers with:
- State and federal wildlife and land management agencies
- Private resource management firms
- Advanced degrees (e.g., master of science) are often pursued by students seeking advanced career placement
Other Career Resources
U of M, Crookston Career Services - <link>Natural Resources job opportunities
One way to describe junior Maggie Gibbons, Cohasset, Minn., is busy. She’s a full-time student, a part of the Study Abroad Club, the Hospitality Association, and she is a student manager at the Evergreen Grill at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The one thing Gibbons is never too busy for is her passion for animals.
The wildlife management and biology double major has been put her passion to use while interning for the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Her area of focus has been the World of Birds Show working with raptors and other exotic bird species. She assists in cleaning, diet preparations, bird training, and works the shows. Learn more.
Seniors Gyalto "Abu" Gurung & Tashi Gurung, are environmental science and natural resources majors at the University of Minnesota Crookston talk about their experience in "Handling the Earth with Care" from the Spring 2014 version of the Torch magazine.
Senior Jenny DuBay, an natural resources wildlife management major at the University Minnesota Crookston talks about her experience in "Born to be Wild" from the Spring 2014 version of the Torch magazine.
Lisa Gentele, a 2010 graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston from Omaha, Nebraska, earned her bachelor's degree in natural resources. In this video she talks about her experience on the Crookston campus and about her involvement in the various student organizations relating to natural resources and sustainability.
Jeffrey Wilson, '09, natural resources park management major, talks about his study abroad experience in the mountainous island of Tasmania and his plans for after graduation. Read "Outback Living" in the Summer 2009 version of the Torch magazine.
Matt Brinkman, '09, natural resources wildlife management major currently works as a predator biologist for the Natural Resources Office at San Clemente Island, 70 miles off the coast of California. Read his story "Island Living and Learning" in the Summer 2010 Torch magazine.
Erick Elgin '09 and Chris Waltz '09, natural resource majors, led an effort in 2009 that resulted in a new residence hall, Evergreen Hall, that became certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This certification verifies that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. Read more of their story "Here Today, Here Tomorrow" in the Spring 2009 version of the Torch magazine.
The UMC Advantage
The UMC Advantage
Small Campus. Big Degree.
Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.
Learning and Doing
At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.
Caring Faculty and Staff
Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 18:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.
A Technology-Rich Environment
At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.
Internships, Job Placement and Grad School
More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.
Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.
Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.
One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options
Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.
Leadership, Clubs and Athletics
Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…
In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.
A Diverse, Global Experience
The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.
Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.
206 Owen Hall
Lab Services Coordinator
210-A Owen Hall
Environmental Health and Safety, Lab Services Coordinator
145-G Sargeant Student Center
Interim Dept Head/Professor
109-A Dowell Hall and Annex
221 Selvig Hall
202 Owen Hall
Professor, Departmental Director
109-A Hill Hall