UI expands outdoor career options

| August 4, 2020 1:00 AM

Students who want to learn in Idaho’s beautiful outdoors will have the chance this fall to enroll in online or in-person classes.

Through the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources students can learn about forestry, fisheries, range science, wildlife, fire and more. And its doors are open this fall for new students in Moscow, or distance learning through one of its nationally accredited online programs: https://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/natural-resources-online.

For more than 100 years, the College of Natural Resources (CNR) has provided a unique level of hands-on learning for undergraduate and graduate students through educational and research trips to the school forest, nursery and surrounding areas and research and field work in places such as Taylor Wilderness Research Station in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and at the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS).

“These places and our alums set us apart from other natural resource programs in the country,” said Dennis Becker, dean of CNR and Vandal alumnus who earned his Ph.D. in the college. “Our students work closely with public land managers, private industry and all manner of natural resource and conservation organizations.”

CNR added online courses this spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic and is well-positioned to deliver coursework this fall, regardless of shifting circumstances.

The college offers traditional in-person graduate and undergraduate learning, online degrees as well as educational credits for professionals already working in the field.

Nontraditional student Barry Johnson, an Army veteran in the Masters of Natural Resource program, took advantage of online learning to work toward his degree.

“The Masters of Natural Resources is a flexible program that allows me to focus my time and efforts on diverse interests and issues,” Johnson said. “For me, the MNR degree was a great fit, allowing me to explore new aspects of my lifelong passion for the outdoors with the flexibility I need for my work and family.”

CNR is consistently ranked among the top 10 in the country by College Factual, a website devoted to helping students make career choices. For the past three years, the college has been ranked No. 1 in the country for value.

“We have award-winning faculty,” Becker said. “Our job placement rates are well above the national average. And we have a great employer network with internships that build experience and connections well before students hit the workforce. At this college, you will get a top 10 natural resources education, learn outside on Idaho’s fantastic landscapes and join a community that will help you succeed.”