Natural Resources Conservation A.A.S.

Students working in the woods

No ceiling but the sky.

The SUNY Morrisville Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in natural resources conservation turns your favorite place to be — the outdoors — into your classroom.

Using this resource, our distinctive program provides the training for the well-grounded natural resource technician, whether your interest is in forestry, ecology, fish and wildlife, parks, resource management or equipment management.

The strong technical curriculum includes diverse courses in aquatic life, biology, botany, forestry, soil science, surveying, wildlife and much more. And with more than 1,000 acres of land at your disposal, in addition to the entire Morrisville campus and thousands of acres of state lands, there is no end to your outdoor learning opportunities. These experiences lead to graduates who are field-trained and job-ready!

Our graduates work in parks, forestry, arboriculture, fisheries and wildlife management as conservation officers, forestry technician, forest rangers, environmental consultants, and in many related fields.

You also will be prepared to transfer successfully to a bachelor’s degree program, including SUNY Morrisville’s Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Management.

Natural resources conservation students looking to specialize can opt into a concentration in forest technology or arboriculture and urban forestry. The forest technology concentration adds emphasis on forest management and is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Forest Technology students take silviculture and forest health courses as well as complete a forestry-related internship. Students can reach new tree care heights with the arboriculture and urban forestry concentration. Arboriculture courses give students hands-on tree care and climbing experience and positions students well for this in-demand industry.

You can enhance your college experience through our related clubs. The Outdoor Recreation Club (ORC) provides a variety of fun and adventurous outdoor recreational activities. The Conservation Tri-Society provides ongoing education and networking opportunities with national organizations such as the SAF, the American Fisheries Society and the Wildlife Society, creating a venue for your professional development.

You can also join our nationally recognized Woods Sports Team, where you can learn traditional woods skills while competing against other colleges throughout New York State, as well as regionally and nationally.

Mark Kicher '15

Mark Kicher '15 came to SUNY Morrisville for an associate degree and liked it so much he decided to stay on and earn his bachelor's. He tells us how his experience at Morrisville now helps him succeed as Park Supervisor at Chittenango Falls State Park.
Program Concentrations
  • Forest Technology
  • Arboriculture and Urban Forestry

The Society of American Foresters (SAF)

The Natural Resources Conservation program established in 1968 was previously recognized by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) as a curriculum leading to an A.A.S. degree in forest technology at least until the 1980s. After the 1980s until the late 2000s Morrisville decided not to maintain recognition with the SAF.

Morrisville formally requested recognition review by the SAF in March of 2007. Around the same time, the SAF eliminated their recognition program and instituted an accreditation program beginning in 2009 for forest technology programs. Morrisville’s Forest Technology Concentration within the Natural Resources Conservation A.A.S. program was then accredited in 2012. Only the Forest Technology Concentration within the Natural Resources Conservation program leading to an A.A.S. is accredited by the SAF.

Career Opportunities

Current graduates of the forest technology program often continue on to pursue a baccalaureate degree within the Renewable Resources Technology B. Tech. program at Morrisville or enter the workforce within the broad forest and environmental arena after receiving their A.A.S.

The combination of receiving the Forest Technology Concentration within the Natural Resources Conservation A.A.S. along with obtaining the B.Tech. degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Management is a powerful combination for graduates entering the job market.

Refer to the Related Resources section for a summary of employment prospects in areas relevant to the offered A.A.S. in Natural Resources Conservation (including the Forest Technology Concentration) and the B. Tech. degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Management at SUNY Morrisville.

Graduate Information

Since receiving accreditation, 79% of all forest technology concentration graduates have continued to a baccalaureate program. Of those continuing on to a baccalaureate program, 89% have continued to the Environmental and Natural Resources Management B. Tech. at Morrisville.

Those that continued to the Environmental and Natural Resource Management. B. Tech. at Morrisville, 62% have graduated and 38% are still enrolled. The Environmental and Natural Resource Management B. Tech graduates with the Forest Technology Concentration within the Natural Resources Conservation leading to an A.A.S. have found much success; 40% directly entered the forestry workforce, 40% have found employment in the environmental education and natural resources recreation industry, and 20% have entered an allied field such as aquaculture.

Of those not continuing on to a baccalaureate program, one-third have been confirmed entering the forestry workforce, one-third are assumed to be in the broader natural resources workforce, and one-third are in unknown employment.

Labor Market Data

SUNY Morrisville provides Burning Glass labor market data to illustrate current trends in careers related to our academic programs. The below information is drawn from Burning Glass's data for job postings related to this program in the Northeast United States (New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont) between Oct. 1, 2018 and Sept. 30, 2019.

Top 10 Regional Employers for this Program

The list below displays the regional employers who have had the most job postings requiring skills you’d gain from this program.

  1. National Park Service
  2. State of New York
  3. Natural Resources Conservation
  4. Department Interior
  5. Army Corps of Engineers
  6. State Of Massachusetts
  7. New England Aquarium
  8. United States Fish & Wildlife Service
  9. Stantec, Inc.
  10. US Government

Top 10 Job Titles for this Program

These are the job titles you are most likely to see listings for, when graduating from this program.

  1. Ranger/Park Ranger
  2. Fish And Wildlife Technician
  3. Specialist
  4. Culturist
  5. Soil Conservationist
  6. Resource Specialist
  7. Naturalist/Educator/Program Information Coordinator
  8. Natural Resources Specialist
  9. Conservationist
  10. Preservationist

Program Faculty/Staff

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