Environmental Conservation and Regenerative Agriculture Program at MWCC

For students more interested in earning a two-year degree that would enable them to have careers in fields such as stewardship, forestry, agriculture, or park ranger the Environmental Conservation degree and/or the Regenerative Agriculture certificate is the right fit for you.  These programs also prepare students who wish to continue in these fields at a four-year institution.

Environmental Conservation covers a range of environmental occupations in the horticulture/floriculture, agriculture, forestry, parks and recreation fields. Because of an emerging appreciation and heightened awareness of the nation’s natural resources, opportunities in these fields are growing.

The Environmental Conservation degree program provides students with education in a variety of environmentally-oriented subjects. MWCC offers the perfect setting by providing hundreds of acres of undeveloped plant communities and forested areas, two pond ecosystems, and a life studies center consisting of a greenhouse, potting area, and lecture facility.

Embedded within the MWCC Environmental Conservation Degree is a Geospatial Technologies course, which provides the student with current technology skills crucial to this field of study.  The lab and lecture portions of this program frequently take place in one of our many outdoor instructional spaces.

Associate Degree in Environmental Conservation and Certificate in Regenerative Agriculture

If you want to learn more about environmental conservation and sustainable land management practices, the environmental conservation and regenerative agriculture degree might be an ideal path of study for you! Pursuing an associate degree in environmental conservation and regenerative agriculture at MWCC will allow you hands-on experience in our greenhouse and the ability to work outdoors in many of your courses. You will learn about natural wildlife and plant life and what you can do to help protect nature.

At the end of your associate degree program, you will be prepared to transfer to a four-year college or university in one of many forestry, environmental conservation or natural resource management programs and eventually grow a career in conservation.

Job Outlook for Conservation Scientists

An environmental conservation degree is an excellent step toward finding work across numerous industries, including consulting, conservation, corporate social responsibility, education, government and nonprofit work. With the increasing appreciation and awareness of environmental conservation, opportunities in these fields are growing.

The need for ecologically sustainable environmental practices and wildfire prevention is helping drive greater demand for conservation scientists and foresters. Experts project forestry and related environmental science fields will grow 7% from 2020 to 2030. As of May 2021, conservation scientists and foresters made an average of $63,750 annually.

Expected Responsibilities

A conservation scientist typically focuses on land use and the impact of consuming depletable land-related natural resources. As a conservation scientist, your responsibilities will include:

  • Overseeing forestry and conservation activities to ensure compliance with government regulations.
  • Supporting governments and landowners to determine the most prudent and ecological land use.
  • Working with private landowners, farmers and government officials to improve land for sustainable forestry.
  • Helping manage parks, forests, natural areas, resources and private land through established plans.
  • Negotiating terms and conditions for forest harvesting and land-use contracts.

Your educational background from MWCC will help you obtain vital knowledge and experience to help you thrive in any position.

Skills You Will Need

An associate degree in forestry or environmental conservation studies will help you hone your decision-making, communication and management skills for a hands-on position in environmental conservation. It will teach you how to create, execute and maintain sustainable solutions to preserve natural resources and to grow food in more sustainable ways.

By focusing on the interactions between humans and the natural landscapes around us, students will develop a robust understanding of how they can shape the future of land use for current and future generations, prevent erosion and safeguard the environment.

Many conservation scientists and foresters also advance to take on managerial duties, conduct independent research and work on broader policy issues. Foresters in management usually retire from fieldwork and assume leadership opportunities such as developing and supervising management plans with a team of other specialists.

Additionally, students must have the up-to-date technology skills critical to this field of study, which we provide in our Geospatial Technologies course.

Work Outside in Nature

Work Outside in Nature

As you work toward your associate degree in natural resources, you can study a wide range of courses across the natural and social sciences. At MWCC, you can also tailor your degree program to your interests by pursuing a particular environmental area of focus.

Graduates from our program can pursue entry-level jobs in:

  • Horticulture
  • Floriculture
  • Landscaping
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry

You also have the option to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue further education and advance your potential job placement in the natural resource management field. Many career opportunities for natural resources graduates exist in federal and state natural resource agencies, legislative policy and budget offices and nongovernmental trade organizations concerned with natural resource policy and administration. There are also multiple positions available in international development agencies, universities, consulting firms and private research organizations.

Some positions for natural resource graduates include:

  • Field researcher
  • Watershed specialist
  • Forester
  • Land-use planner
  • Environmental educator
  • Naturalist
  • Wildlife conservation officer
  • Forest/rangeland/wildlife ecologist
  • Ecological consultant
  • Sustainability coordinator

Transfer to a Four-Year College or University

An associate degree provides you with an excellent foundation when applying to a four-year college or university, and you will save thousands by starting your education at MWCC. After graduation, you can transfer seamlessly into one of many related bachelor’s degree programs.

We designed our program based on MassTransfer benefits and STEM core requirements, so you can enter as a junior at a four-year institution after transferral from MWCC. With transfer agreements with many colleges throughout Massachusetts and beyond, we will facilitate the transfer of your earned credits toward your ongoing education in natural resource studies.

Enjoy the Diversity of Northeastern Plants and Wildlife

Sustainability is near and dear to our hearts as an institution. Did you know MWCC is a national leader in renewable energy use with our biomass plant, solar PV panels and two wind turbines? Know that you will receive a high-quality education in natural resources from a school that cares about the environment as much as you do.

MWCC fosters the ideal setting for environmental education, including hundreds of acres of untouched forests and plant communities and two pond ecosystems. Our life studies center features a potting area, greenhouse and lecture facility. If you are pursuing in-person studies, you can work alongside Massachusetts’ local flora and fauna and take full advantage of the area’s plentiful nature.

Study the Environment to Save the Earth

Our environmental conservation degree and regenerative agriculture certificate include a range of course topics covering plant science, biological diversity and other environmental issues that concern the planet. By instilling you with sufficient knowledge and skills, MWCC will fully prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or university. A career in environmental conservation will ensure the future establishment of protected areas and help conserve our planet’s natural landscape, geography and wildlife.

Some of the classes you will take at MWCC include:

  • Forestry
  • Greenhouse Management
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Science
  • Global Environmental Issues
  • Soil Science
  • Zoology
  • Forest Fire Control and Management
  • Renewable Energy Sources
  • Geology
  • Ecology
  • Weather and Climate
  • Entomology
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Chemistry

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation from our environmental conservation and regenerative agriculture program, you’ll have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Analyze soil samples for chemicals, growth potential, pH and more.
  • Use computer technology for environmental conservation principles, biology and geographical information systems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ecological principles.
  • Analyze the growth requirements of various animal species.
  • Sample air and water, analyze and report data and determine the cause of any abnormal data.
  • Employ knowledge pertaining to greenhouse management.
  • Apply principles of pathology and plant science to forestry management and greenhouse procedures.

Our goal is to see every student grow and thrive in our natural resources program here at MWCC. We are confident that the above student learning outcomes will provide you with the valuable skills necessary to succeed at a four-year college or university, your future career and beyond.

Find Your Niche at Mount Wachusett

If you are ready to pursue an environmental conservation and regenerative agriculture associate degree, MWCC can help you succeed. Our outstanding support and commitment to our students help us build access to learning opportunities and instill a passion for environmental conservation and sustainability. When you want an obtainable and affordable education, MWCC can go above and beyond to help you achieve a prosperous and gratifying career.

Contact us today to request more information and begin your journey to environmental conservation and regenerative agriculture degree.

"My Natural Resources degree gave me the skills and knowledge to launch my career with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and truly helped me excel. I get to work outside and it is such a joy knowing I got where I am today because of MWCC."

Lily Carr, Class of 2015, Natural Resources

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