Natural Resources

Natural Resources

Available as

Explore the Natural Resources Program

Let the great outdoors become your classroom. A major built for hands-on opportunity and getting you career ready. Prescribed burning, duck banding, bird surveys, mammal trapping, plant and animal identification, radio-telemetry and GIS/GPS training to name a few of the many labs and opportunities you will have on our campus. UMN Crookston also has quick convenient access to two National Wildlife Refuges and a 90 acre natural history area. To make your time here even more valuable, all students complete a federal wildlife firefighter certification. 

Natural Resources is a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.

"UMN Crookston has done a better job of preparing students for natural resources work than any college I've seen!" - Paul Swenson, former regional director, Minnesota DNR

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Amberly Cox

Official Position Title: 
Assistant Dir. of Recruitment | (218) 281-8569



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    Earn A University of Minnesota Degree
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    prescribed burning
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    six areas of emphasis
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    analyzing trees and leaves
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    natural resources
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    Your classroom is outdoors
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    Research Opportunities Available

Major in the making of you

Emphasis Areas

  • Ecological Restoration
  • Natural Resources Law Enforcement
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Park Management
  • Water Resource Management
  • Wildlife Management 

Career Opportunities

The Natural Resources major prepares students for a variety of career paths based on the emphasis they choose.

  • Departments of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • National Park Service
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • County Lands and Forestry Departments
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Pheasants Forever/Ducks Unlimited
  • Private conservation organizations


Natural Resources


  • Experience prescribed burning,  duck banding, mammal trapping, plant and animal identification, map & compass training, stream and riparian surveys, invasive species management, field sampling and GIS/GPS training. 

  • Join our variety of natural resource based clubs, such as the Natural Resources Club,  UMN Crookston Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, UMN Crookston Collegiate Trap Team, and Crookston Students for Sustainable Development. 

  • Gain field research experiences with UMN Crookston and with faculty from the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota Extension, other UMN Campuses, other universities, and state and federal agency researchers.

  • Take regular field trips to regionally-significant resource areas.

  • Student employment is available supporting the program and maintaining the wildlife museum’s 3000+ specimens.

  • Experience the on-campus 90-acre Red River Valley Natural History Area managed by students and program faculty.

  • 30-minute drive to two National Wildlife Refuges, dozens of Wildlife Management Areas, five Scientific and Natural Areas, many Waterfowl Production Areas, and other public lands.

  • Excellent career/job placement through professional contacts and successful alumni.


At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.

Meet your future professors

  • Phil Baird

    Phil Baird

    Associate Professor
  • Laura Bell

    Lab Services Coordinator
  • Eric Castle

    Associate Professor
  • Brenda Chaplinski

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    Timothy Driscoll

    Teaching Specialist
  • John Loegering

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    David Seyfried

    Senior Lecturer
  • Matt Simmons

    Associate Professor

Student Stories

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    Brian Lemay in a Alaska State Troopers Car with a Goat in the back seat.
    Untamed wilderness. Imagine soaring through the skies and patrolling the roads amidst the beautiful diverse mix of scenery, tundra and grand mountain peaks. This is what University of Minnesota Crookston alumnus Brian Lemay 2018 experiences daily. Lemay is a wildlife trooper for the Alaska State Troopers.
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    NatR Student Story
    UMN Crookston graduate Maggie Gibbons is someone extraordinary. She loves talking about Harry Potter, playing soccer, and is passionate about animals. Gibbons earned her degree in natural resources with an emphasis in management and a minor in biology. She came to UMN Crookston with several things in mind: nature, academics, soccer, and the feeling of home.