August 21, 2018 Tara Jo Holmberg

Natural Resources

Associate in Science Degree

Program Coordinator: Tara Jo Holmberg, 860.738.6363

Welcome to NCCC’s exciting new Natural Resources Associates Degree program!

Our new Natural Resources program now takes the place of our former Environmental Science programs.

Program Advisor: Tara Jo Holmberg (Email Preferred)


This program is designed for students with an interest in environmental science, forestry, fisheries, conservation ecology, environmental biology, sustainability, wildlife management, soil science, environmental health and monitoring, sustainable agriculture/horticulture, and resource economics. A degree in natural resources provides students with a strong background in basic sciences, including life and the physical sciences, in addition to introducing them to concepts in nature conservancy, resource management, and environmental risk and assessment.

Careers and Transfer

Students enrolled in the Natural Resources program at NCCC prepare for careers in sustainable agriculture/horticulture, forest and fisheries management, marine science, conservation enforcement, wetlands and watershed management, land use and planning, environmental biology, environmental research, as well as natural resources consulting, monitoring, remediation, and oversight. Students may choose to transfer into programs such as those offered through the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources at UCONN, the School of Arts and Sciences at Central Connecticut State University, the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences as Western Connecticut State University, and many other college and university programs across the state, region, and country.


Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates should be able to do the following:

1. Demonstrate basic laboratory skills and a working knowledge of safety procedures.
2. Understand and be able to apply the scientific method of inquiry.
3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of experimental design and statistical analysis.
4. Understand basic cellular and organismal biological principles.
5. Explain organismal energy and nutrient requirements in addition to the general structure and function of the six kingdoms of life.
6. Use a dichotomous key for organism identification.
7. Demonstrate a working knowledge of community species interactions, ecosystem dynamics, and successional states.
8. Explain the various processes that shape communities from terrestrial and aquatic community structure sampling and analysis.
9. Explain the principles of evolution, natural selection, genetics, and ecology.
10. Demonstrate basic understanding of chemical concepts, including chemical formulas, compounds, reactions, basic acid/base theory, solutions, and gasses.
11. Demonstrate a basic understanding of field sampling, soil composition, and pH testing.
12. Define the term natural resources and identify some important environmental concerns we face today
13. Evaluate the major environmental risks we face and describe how science and risk assessment inform decision-making.
14. Identify the importance of wicked problems, resilience, and adaptive management in planning.
15. Transfer to a 4-year program and prepare for a career in Natural Resources, Biological Sciences or Environmental Science.

Recommended Coursework for 2 Year Graduation (61-62 credits)

Semester 1 (14 credits)

ENG* 101 Composition (3)
EVS* 100 Introduction to Environmental Science (3)
EVS* 135 Exploring Environmental Careers (1)
BIO* 178 General Ecology OR BIO* 270 Ecology (4)
Humanities or Arts Elective (3)*
*See Faculty Program Advisor

Semester 2 (17 credits)

ENG* 102 Literature & Composition (3)
BIO* 121 General Biology I (4)
MAT* 186 Precalculus OR BIO* 122 General Biology II (4)
CSA* 135 Spreadsheet Apps (3)
Behavioral Science Elective (3)*
*See Faculty Program Advisor

Semester 3 (16 credits)

CHE* 121 General Chemistry I (4)
COM* 173 Public Speaking (3)
MAT* 167 Principles of Statistics (3)
HIS* Elective (200 level) (3)*
Social Science Elective (3)*
*See Faculty Program Advisor

Semester 4 (14/15 credits)

BIO* 235 Microbiology (4)
MAT* 186 Precalculus OR BIO* 122 General Biology II (4)
Natural/Physical Science Elective (3/4)*
Liberal Arts Elective (3)*
*See Faculty Program Advisor