Natural Resources

Natural Resources Degree (NRD)

Natural resources covers a range of environmental occupations in the horticulture/floriculture, agriculture, forestry, parks and recreation fields. Because of an emerging appreciation and heightened awareness of the nation’s natural resources, opportunities in these fields are growing. The Natural Resources degree program provides students with a variety of environmentally-oriented subjects. MWCC offers the perfect setting by providing hundreds of acres of undeveloped plant communities and forested areas, two pond ecosystems, and a life studies center consisting of a greenhouse, potting area, and lecture facility. Embedded within the MWCC Natural Resources Degree is a Geospatial Technologies course (EAS 130), which provides the student with current technology skills crucial to this field of study.                             

Year 1
ENG 101College Writing I 3
MAT 126Topics In Mathematics (or higher) 13
BIO 116Ecology 4
BIO 102Introduction To Forestry 4
ENG 102College Writing II 3
BIO 140Introduction To Greenhouse Management 4
BIO 120Horticulture 4
EAS 130Fundamentals of Geospatial Technologies 3
Year 2
BIO 130Botany: Plant Science 4
CHE 120Environmental Chemistry 4
NRD Professional Elective (see list below)  4
Humanities Elective 2 3
BIO 122Zoology: The Biology Of Animals 4
EAS 120Soil Science (formerly BIO 220) 4
MGT 110Introduction to Business 3
Social Science Elective 3 3
NRD 220Practicum In Natural Resources 3-4
 Total Credits: 60-61

NRD Professional Electives

EAS 125Physical Geology of the Earth4
EAS 126Weather and Climate4
EGM 104Renewable Energy Sources4

See Natural Resources program student learning outcomes and technical standards.


This program is offered on the Gardner campus only. 

Student Success Tips

Since the Natural Resources program is a rigorous curriculum in the sciences, students who have taken previous high school or college science courses or have a background in the sciences will be best prepared. Also, since the focus of the curriculum is on plant science, an interest in horticulture and plant biology is recommended.

Transfer Options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special Requirements

A 120-hour practicum is required. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career Options/Earning Potential

For career options, please click here.

Program Student Learning Outcomes for NRD

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Apply mathematical models, including algebra, to natural resources concepts and models.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ecological principles.
  • Use computer technology as it applies to biology,  natural resources principles, and geographical information systems .
  • Analyze soil samples for pH, chemicals, growth potential, etc.
  • Sample water and air, analyze data, report in proper format, and determine cause of abnormal data.
  • Analyze growth requirements of a variety of animal types.
  • Organize and apply knowledge applicable to management of a greenhouse.
  • Employ principles of plant science and pathology to greenhouse procedures and forestry management.
  • Exhibit employment skills applicable to a variety of technician level titles.

Technical Standards1 for NRD

Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Complete repetitive tasks such as transplanting and trimming while maintaining attention to detail.
  • Work at tasks with minimum supervision and with constant awareness of the development of impending problems, such as insect/mold infestations.
  • Purchase, store, apply, and properly dispose of materials such as fertilizers and pesticides, with regard to the law and with respect.
  • Work as part of a team in areas often cramped for space such as greenhouse workstations.
  • Function well in outdoor natural settings such as bogs/swamps while dressed in suitable/uncomfortable gear and under less than ideal conditions of temperature, moisture, and insects.
  • Possess an adequate level of physical dexterity and strength to lift/maneuver bags of soil/fertilizer and to properly and safely operate equipment such as saws, sprayers, and trimmers.

NRD 220. Practicum In Natural Resources. 3-4 Credit.

The practicum experience allows students practice in a field specific to their interest and based upon strengths of the curriculum. The practicum, developed and defined in cooperation with faculty, department chair, the student, and the practicum supervisor, requires a 10-15 hours per week commitment above and beyond other required coursework. The practicum experience will be monitored with regular progress updates and then detailed and summarized by the student at the conclusion with a written assignment demonstrating mastery and integration of previous NRD curriculum content. Possible practicum experiences may include, but are not limited to, working within one of the agricultural, environmental, nonprofit, or regional planning agencies, private industries, cities/towns, or educational institutions in the surrounding region. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 4 of the following courses: BIO 102, BIO 116, BIO 120, BIO 122, BIO 130, BIO 140, CHE 120, EAS 120, EAS 125, EAS 126, EAS 130, EGM 104, MGT 110.