SRJC Natural Resources Program

Written By: Kasey Wade, Natural Resources Program Coordinator
Published: February 6, 2019

Students in Santa Rosa Junior College’s Natural Resources program learn strategies and practices for the use, management, and stewardship of our natural resources. They receive introductory instruction in forestry, watersheds, and parks and recreation management; and at the end of their program receive a 20-unit certificate or 27-unit major. After this ‘year-to-career’ program, students have a solid understanding of the basic science behind key natural resource practices and the conservation and protection of different ecological systems.

The Natural Resource program covers key concepts related to water, soil, plant, wildlife and ecosystem health and the ecological services provided. Students’ development of natural resource
management plans and their participation in active hands-on land management strategies provide useful learning regardless of whether they are looking at a small plot of land, an entire watershed, newly acquired parkland or urban greenspace. In studying the idea of sustainability and the importance for managing our natural resources in a way that accounts for future generations, students discuss land management practices and examine key principles in visitor management in open spaces that includes identifying major challenges and opportunities.

Students in the Natural Resources program have Shone Farm’s 120-acre forest as their outdoor lab. They work on fuels reduction projects, trail construction, campsite upkeep, proper tool
selection, and more. Additionally, student interns employed at Shone Farm as forestry techs gain additional hands-on education in trail building, chainsaw operation, wildlife camera monitoring, data collection, campground design, environmental education program development and tree and shrub identification. SRJC is exploring additional educational collaborations with CalFire to teach selective thinning techniques and the creation of shaded fuel breaks.

Whether students have a goal of continuing their education, working as technicians, or applying program knowledge in their personal lives, the SRJC Natural Resources program has something to
offer. Graduates have job opportunities in federal, state and local governments as well as the nonprofit sector. SRJC offers one of the top Natural Resource programs of any community college the U.S., and we empower our students to be agents of change for sustainable land management and stewardship.

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