The Peninsula College Natural Resources Certificate prepares students for jobs that support and sustain the natural environment. Classes focus on the integration of science, technology, and sustainable practices for natural resources management. Classes emphasize forest ecology and management, geographic information system (GIS) and forest mapping, silviculture, water quality, stream habitat monitoring, timber harvesting, forest road management, restoration ecology, fisheries, river restoration, fire science, and wildlife habitat management. The program includes outdoor learning in forests and waterways, lab sciences, classroom seminars, online course modules, and internships in workplace settings.
Program Length: 3 Quarters
Program Code: NRCNAC45
Career Opportunities and Earnings
For current employment and wage estimates, please visit and search for the relevant occupational term: bls.gov/oes.
When the Natural Resources program is completed the student will be able to:
- Perform basic tasks to maintain and improve the quality of a forest and the natural environment
- Provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources
- Compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts
- Assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats
- Work in a team to develop solutions to managing natural resources
Students entering this program should have good familiarity with computer software and hardware in the Windows or MAC environment. College-level skills in English and math (eligibility for courses numbered 100 or higher) are required before registering for the English, math, or applied math courses in this program. Students may need to complete prerequisite coursework.
Approximate Additional Costs
- Tuition and fees: $5,642.02-$6,242.67 total based on 2022-23 WA resident tuition rates (additional fees may apply)
- First quarter (15 credits): $1,696.25
- Second quarter (19 credits): $2,032.95
- Third quarter (18-23 credits): $1,912.82-$2,513.47
This sample schedule is provided as a guide for a full-time student starting in fall quarter whose goal is to earn a certificate. The typical student schedule is based on entering the program during the fall quarter, however some programs allow students to enter in the winter or spring as well. Since not all do, please confirm with an advisor whether this program must be started during a specific quarter or not.
First Quarter (Fall)
A short introduction to Microsoft Excel (spreadsheet) basics. Keyboarding skills are recommended. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Formerly CAT 118)
Sustainable natural resources are essential for future generations. This class includes foundations of natural resource management, policy, laws, renewable natural resource systems, administration, and introduction to scientific data collection. Students will explore natural resource history, issues, principles, and sustainable approaches to natural resource management. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Forest ecosystems are homes to millions of plant and animal species. Students will learn native tree species and explore factors that influence forest composition, disturbance-succession cycles, biodiversity, and transformation of forest habitats. Class focuses on natural ecosystems of the Olympic Peninsula. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Global Information Systems (GIS) and mapping technologies provide tools to support restoration, protection, and preservation of natural resources and the environment. Students will learn how to use GIS for terrain and forest mapping. Class includes hands-on assignments with GIS software for computer mapping and data analysis. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Second Quarter (Winter)
Healthy forests and communities rely on clean rivers and streams. Students will learn how to collect data to assess the conditions and quality of watersheds. Class includes sustainable practices that reduce the human impact on water quality and stream habitat. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Invasive plants are capable of altering habitats and causing extinction of native plants and animals. This class includes invasive plant identification and methods to control and prevent invasive species in Washington State. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Wildlife habitat management improves existing habitat for the benefits of animals and healthy ecosystems. This class focuses on wildlife habitat management, population demographics, interspecies interaction, analysis of contemporary wildlife management problems, and planning for sustainable wildlife habitat. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Third Quarter (Spring)
Prepares individuals to perform basic first aid procedures in cases of emergencies. Learn how to prevent accidents in the home and on the job. Adult CPR. Provides two-year certification. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Survey of workplace skills, including communication, team building, problem solving, and leadership. Emphasis on concepts of perception, attitude, motivation, and ethics.
Basic boating navigation, safety, emergency response, and legal requirements of boating in Washington State. Class includes overview of American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards and preparation for the Washington State boater’s card. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Wildland fire science examines the causes, consequences, and benefits of wildfire, and how to prevent and manage catastrophic wildfires. This class includes analysis of wildfire behavior, suppression tools, and human factors in wildland fire service. Class prepares students for Wildland Fire Incident Qualification Card Certification. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Introduction to restoration ecology theory with a focus on the recovery of Pacific Northwest ecosystems. Students will explore the impact of economics, climate change, pollution, and other disturbances that degrade ecosystems. Class includes methods for reliably collecting and recording data, and methods for restoring damaged environments and sustaining healthy ecosystems. This class may include students from multiple sections
Learn from natural resource professionals. This class provides opportunities for Natural Resource students to learn and apply new skills in a workplace and/or field experience setting. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Credits: 1 - 5
Your personal educational plan will vary based on many factors including: