Natural Resource Management

Measuring habitat condition in Applied Silviculture Measuring habitat condition in Applied Silviculture

Program Description

Spokane Community College's Natural Resources program prepares students to work in one of three resource areas: forestry, parks and recreation, wildlife and fisheries. The forestry option of the Natural Resources program is accredited by the Society of American Forester. The Wildlife/Fisheries option is accredited by the North American Wildlife Technician Association.

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Students measure fish (photo) Students measure fish
in Freshwater Fisheries

The first year curriculum is the same for all Natural Resources options at Spokane Community College.

The second year offers three options:

  • Natural Resource Management
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Wildlife/Fisheries

Recording (photo) Using a field
data recorder
Forest samples (image) Learn to identify these common Pacific Northwest trees and much more in Dendrology!

Using a diameter tape in Elementary Forest Measurements Using a diameter tape in Elementary Forest Measurements

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  1. Identify selected forest trees, shrubs, and forbs native to the Pacific Northwest.
  2. Use various instruments to measure the height, diameter and age of trees and apply this data to board foot, volume, and growth determinations.
  3. Identify species and habitat needs of common northwest freshwater fish.
  4. Operate hand compasses, level, global positioning systems, and electronic instruments in determining slopes, turning angles, running traverses, locating ownership boundaries, and determining locations.
  5. Utilize maps and aerial photographs in the management of natural resources, including through the use of geographic information systems.
  6. Recognize common diseases and insect pests of forest trees and assess their damage.
  7. Use the computer as a tool for solving natural resources problems.
  8. Apply basic knowledge in soils to the management of natural resources.
  9. Apply field techniques to sample, measure, and monitor wildlife, birds and fish species and their habitat.
  10. Demonstrate human relationship skills and professional behavior needed for successful job performance.
  11. Parks maintenance and equipment.
  12. Recognize and apply the various silvicultural systems and techniques used in ecosystem management.
  13. Maintain and safely operate a chainsaw
  14. Write technical reports and give presentations
Students are invited to compete with the Logger's Sports Team (photo)
Students are invited to compete with the
Logger's Sports Team

The number of technical level jobs has increased in some areas and remained steady in most others. Public pressure for environmental protection and management has led agencies to undertake projects in all areas of the natural resources that require qualified field technicians to complete.

Employers of graduates include federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Park Service; state forestry, park and wildlife agencies; county and city agencies and private forestry companies and contractors.

Potential positions include but are not limited to: Forestry technician or aide, biological technician or aide, GIS technician, park technician or aide, conservation aide, range aide, wildlife technician, fishery technician, surveying aide or timber worker.

Browse additional programs in the CCS Online Catalog.
For more information...
For more information:
Tom Rieger
(509) 533-7267 or
(800) 248-5644 ext. 7267