The Natural Resources (NR) program at College of the Desert is a gateway to many different environmentally focused careers in such fields as: wildlife management, ecosystem management, wildlife ecology, landscape ecology, parks and recreation planning, environmental consulting, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), natural resources law enforcement, forensic entomology, urban planning, alternative energy, and many more. Transfer students who wish to prepare for four-year colleges will find not only the coursework but also the practical experience required for their majors and fields of interest.
NR programs also serve students who wish to enter directly an environmentally-related occupation (e.g., park ranger, zookeeper) upon completion of the two-year associate’s degree.
Short term certificates (Desert Naturalist, Field Ecologist, and Field Ranger) provide a well-rounded introduction to the desert environment. These certificates are of special interest to nature enthusiasts including: docents, volunteers, and paid employees who work at museums, libraries, schools, zoos, botanical gardens, parks and other local, state, and federal agencies. In addition, teachers will be able to add many natural science activities to their current curriculum. These certificates may be completed in one or two semesters and will provide students with the academic training and skills necessary for job advancement or employment at any of the natural resource-related agencies in and around the Coachella Valley. Only the Desert Naturalist certificate (12 units) is locally approved and is NOT currently notated on the student's academic transcript in accordance with State regulations.