Field Ecology Certificate

Certificate of Achievement (COA)

Field Ecology Contacts

Gainful Employment Disclosures for This Certificate
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The Field Ecology Certificate program provides the student with the training and education necessary to succeed in government agencies, private businesses, and non-profits that provide field ecology services. Students will have the opportunity to learn ecological field methods including identification of flora and fauna, quantitative assessment methods, wetland delineations, regulatory processes, restoration ecology, and geographic information systems. In addition to field methods, students will receive education in general ecological principles.

Two pathways to obtain the certificate exist for this program (students will chose only one of these pathways). Both pathways require the same core courses and only vary in their elective components.

One pathway (Pathway 1) is oriented toward students pursuing their Associate in Science degree in Biology and allows use of either BIOL 412 (Plant Biology) or BIOL 422 (Animal Biology) to partially meet unit requirements for elective courses in the program.

The second pathway (Pathway 2) is oriented toward students not pursuing their Biology degree and unit requirements for elective courses are entirely obtained from the list of elective courses in the program.

Career Opportunities

The Field Ecology Certificate can fulfill the needs of agencies and private businesses, and non-profits for entry-level ecological and environmental technicians and field biologists. Entry-level jobs can be found in government resource agencies at the federal, state, and local levels and in private environmental consulting businesses and private non-profit environmental organizations. This certificate program will provide advancement opportunities to those currently employed in the environmental and resource professions. In addition to updating of job skills, this certificate will provide new training and education opportunities for returning and continuing students.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • demonstrate the basic principles of ecology particularly in the context of field oriented biology.
  • identify flora and fauna of the region.
  • assess ecosystem evaluation methods and demonstrate competence in ecosystem analysis methodologies.
  • examine the regulatory processes and agencies involved with environmental regulations at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • understand the evolutionary process and its role in ecosystems.
  • collect biological and ecological data during field work opportunities.
  • record data in a field notebook and on data sheets.
  • operate equipment used for the field work component of the program (e.g. nets and other collecting equipment for fishery surveys, nets and sorting trays associated with benthic macro invertebrate surveys for rapid bioassessment, soil extraction tools for assessment of wetland hydric soils, etc.).
  • analyze data collected during field experiments and investigations (e.g. fishery length and weight data collected from captured fish species, percentages of cover of native and non-native plant species from an experimental vegetation plot, determination of water quality characteristics based on sensitivities of benthic macro invertebrate taxonomic units).
  • formulate strategies and methodologies for data collection in various field situations.

Certificate of Achievement

The Certificate of Achievement may be obtained by completion of the required program with grades of “C” or better.