Natural Resources

The Natural Resources (NR) program at College of the Desert is a gateway to many different environmentally focused careers in such fields as: wildlife management, ecosystem management, wildlife ecology, landscape ecology, parks and recreation planning, environmental consulting, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), natural resources law enforcement, forensic entomology, urban planning, alternative energy, and many more. Transfer students who wish to prepare for four-year colleges will find not only the coursework but also the practical experience required for their majors and fields of interest.

NR programs also serve students who wish to enter directly an environmentally-related occupation (e.g., park ranger, zookeeper) upon completion of the two-year associate’s degree.

Short term certificates (Desert Naturalist, Desert Ecologist, Field Ranger, and Geographic Information Systems) provide a well-rounded introduction to the desert environment. These certificates are of special interest to nature enthusiasts including: docents, volunteers, and paid employees who work at museums, libraries, schools, zoos, botanical gardens, parks and other local, state, and federal agencies. In addition, teachers will be able to add many natural science activities to their current curriculum. These certificates may be completed in one or two semesters and will provide students with the academic training and skills necessary for job advancement or employment at any of the natural resource-related agencies in and around the Coachella Valley. Only the Desert Naturalist certificate (12 units) is locally approved and is NOT currently notated on the student's academic transcript in accordance with State regulations. 

Kurt Leuschner
kleuschner@collegeofthedesert.edu
760.776.7285

Natural Resources (NR)

NR 001  Conservation of Natural Resources   Units: 3

This environmental science course encompasses a study of general ecological principles including biological energy relationships, biogeochemical cycles, population dynamics, limiting factors, biotic communities, principles of ecosystem sustainability, ecosystem change, and biodiversity. Environmental issues are examined from an ecological perspective and include such topics as water availability and quality, fossil fuels and renewable energy resources, air pollution, global atmospheric issues, hazardous materials, and human population growth. Emphases are placed on the effects of environmental problems upon all living organisms, and the role of human beings in reducing their impact on this planet. Suggested for Biological Sciences General Education Requirements.
Lecture Hours: 54         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: ENG 061 and concurrent enrollment in NR 001L
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU/UC                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: C1                 CSU GE: B2                 IGETC: 5B

NR 001L  Conservation of Natural Resources Lab   Units: 1

A laboratory designed to supplement the Conservation of Natural Resources course (NR 001) by providing laboratory and field experiences in environmental subject areas. Suggested for Biological Science General Education Requirements.
Lecture Hours: None         Lab Hours: 54          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: NR 001 or concurrent enrollment
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU/UC                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: C1                 CSU GE: B3                 IGETC: 5C

NR 003  Introduction to Wildlife Management   Units: 3

This course covers the principles of wildlife biology as related to wildlife management. Students will be introduced to basic skills involved in wildlife conservation, and develop an understanding of the relationships between wildlife, people and outdoor recreation. Subjects to be covered include basic ecological concepts, population dynamics, wildlife habitats and nutrition, wildlife identification and natural history, field methods, fish and game laws, and career opportunities.
Lecture Hours: 54         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: NR 001
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 004  Introduction to Ecosystem Management   Units: 3

This course covers ecological, socioeconomic, and institutional factors involved in the management of ecosystems. The history of ecosystem management, terminology, examples of successful and unsuccessful techniques, applications towards forest, chaparral, desert, and grassland management, and the interfacing of science, people, and governments for successful programs, along with job opportunities in public and private natural resources management agencies are discussed.
Lecture Hours: 54         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: NR 001
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 010  Wildland Fire Technology   Units: 3

This course is designed to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of the factors affecting wildland fire behavior, fire prevention, and the wildland fire suppression techniques. Wildland fire behavior safety is presented throughout the course. (Equivalent to FIRE 010.)
Lecture Hours: 54         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: ENG 061
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 017  Natural Resources Law Enforcement   Units: 3

This course provides information about enforcement of natural resources and wildlife laws in the United States and California. Topics include the relationships between Federal and State wildlife laws and regulations, laws as management tools, conservation of wildlife and other natural resources, review of State and Federal resource management agencies, law enforcement officer qualifications, duties and responsibilities, enforcement procedures, court systems, fines and forfeitures, hunter safety, public responsibilities, and preservation of the environment. (Equivalent to CJ 017.)
Lecture Hours: 54         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: ENG 061
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 020  GPS and Map Use   Units: 1

This course provides an overview of Global Positioning System and map use technology. Students utilize hand-held GPS units and learn to apply the basic functions. Students are provided with opportunities to learn application techniques.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 021  Introduction to GIS   Units: 3

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are software systems that allow users to integrate spatially related information from spreadsheets with smart mapping capabilities. In this course, students work with ESRI ArcGIS software to learn fundamental concepts of performing GIS tasks: identification and acquisition of GIS data; assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems; georeferencing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS); spatial analysis and modeling with GIS. Students will also learn how GIS technology can be applied to many fields including environmental research, government, business, real estate, health care, urban planning, fire technology, agriculture, landscape design, anthropology, and more. (Equivalent to GIS 021.)(C-ID GEOG 155)
Lecture Hours: 36         Lab Hours: 54          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: AIS 005
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU/UC                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 041A  Native Plants - Mountain   Units: 1

This course is designed to introduce students to the identification of mountain native plants above 4,000 feet. Emphasis is placed on mountain trees and shrubs. Two Saturday field trips are required.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 041B  Native Plants - Desert   Units: 1

This course is designed to introduce students to the identification of desert native plants in the Coachella Valley and surrounding desert areas. Both annuals and perennials (shrubs and trees) are included, with an emphasis placed on desert annuals when they are available. Two Saturday field trips are required.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 050  Winter Birds   Units: 1

This course introduces students to the principles and techniques of bird taxonomy. Emphasis is placed upon the identification of birds that winter locally at the Salton Sea. Saturday field trips to the Salton Sea are required.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 051A  Migrant Birds - Fall   Units: 1

This course introduces students to the principles of bird taxonomy. Emphasis is placed upon the identification of birds that migrate south through our local mountains. Two Saturday field trips are required.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 051B  Migrant Birds - Spring   Units: 1

This course introduces students to the principles of bird taxonomy. Emphasis is placed upon the identification of birds that use local desert oases as stopover points during spring migration. Two Saturday field trips to local migrant "traps" are required.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 051C  Backyard Birds   Units: 1

This course introduces students to the principles of bird taxonomy. Emphasis is placed upon the identification of birds found in a typical Coachella Valley (desert) backyard. Two Saturday field trips to local sites are required. Students may choose the pass/no pass grading option.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 058  Reptiles of the Coachella Valley   Units: 1

This course provides students with a general overview of reptile life in the Coachella Valley region. Emphasis will be placed on the identification, family characteristics, and natural history of 26 local species. Two Saturday field trips are required.
Lecture Hours: 18         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Student Option
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 059  Careers in Natural Res & Agri Sciences   Units: 3

This course provides students with an overview of professions in Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences along with educational paths to become qualified for those occupations.
Lecture Hours: 54         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 095A  Natural Resources Work Experience   Units: 1-8

This work experience course of supervised employment assists students in acquiring desirable work habits, attitudes, and skills to enable them to become productive employees. This course also provides students with career awareness for jobs. Credit may be accrued at the rate of one to eight units per semester for a maximum of sixteen units (for a combined total of all Work Experience units). Additionally, students must work 75 paid hours or 60 non-paid hours per unit earned. This type of work experience is available to students whose job and education or occupational goals are directly related to Natural Resources.
Lecture Hours: None         Lab Hours: 600          Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 321A  Map Layout & Presentation   Units: 0

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are software systems that allow users to integrate spatially related information from spreadsheets with smart mapping capabilities. In this course, students work with ESRI ArcGIS software to learn fundamental concepts of performing GIS tasks: identification and acquisition of GIS data; assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems; georeferencing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Students will also learn how GIS technology can be applied to many fields including environmental research, government, business, real estate, health care, urban planning, fire technology, agriculture, landscape design, anthropology, and more. (Equivalent to GIS 321A.)
Noncredit Hours: 45                                        Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Pass/No Pass
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: None                 Degree Applicable: NONC
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

NR 321B  Editing & Analyzing Map Data   Units: 0

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are software systems that allow users to integrate spatially related information from spreadsheets with smart mapping capabilities. In this course, students work with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) ArcGIS software to learn fundamental concepts of performing GIS tasks: assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems; (GPS); querying and editing spatial analysis and modeling with GIS. Students will also learn how GIS technology can be applied to many fields including environmental research, government, business, real estate, health care, urban planning, fire technology, agriculture, landscape design, anthropology, and more. Students will learn how to create web-based interactive maps and web applications using ESRI's ArcGIS Online platform. (Equivalent to GIS 321B.)
Noncredit Hours: 45                                        Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Pass/No Pass
Prerequisite: NR 321A or GIS 321A or concurrent enrollment
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: None                 Degree Applicable: NONC
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

Geographic Information Systems  (GIS)

GIS 021  Introduction to GIS   Units: 3

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are software systems that allow users to integrate spatially related information from spreadsheets with smart mapping capabilities. In this course, students work with ESRI ArcGIS software to learn fundamental concepts of performing GIS tasks: identification and acquisition of GIS data; assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems; georeferencing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS); spatial analysis and modeling with GIS. Students will also learn how GIS technology can be applied to many fields including environmental research, government, business, real estate, health care, urban planning, fire technology, agriculture, landscape design, anthropology, and more. (Equivalent to NR 021.)(C-ID GEOG 155)
Lecture Hours: 36         Lab Hours: 54          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: AIS 005
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU/UC                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 022  Data Acquisition and Management in Geographic Information Systems   Units: 3

This course provides a general survey of basic methods of data acquisition, database design and management for Geographic Information System (GIS) and focuses on the specific data requirements of GIS. Students will examine methods of digitizing preexisting data and explore database development and management. Students will use their knowledge to complete GIS projects.
Lecture Hours: 36         Lab Hours: 54          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: NR 021 or GIS 021
Advisory: AIS 005 or CIS 010
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 023  Spatial Analysis in Geographic Information Systems   Units: 3

This course provides a general survey of the fundamentals of spatial information systems and a survey of quantitative techniques applicable to spatial data. This course is focused on the functionality of GIS as an effective tool for modeling and analyzing complex spatial relationships. The applications of a variety of quantitative methods will be explored using GIS software including ArcGIS and AcrInfo. Students will use their knowledge to complete a GIS project.
Lecture Hours: 54         Lab Hours: None          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: NR 021 or GIS 021
Advisory: AIS 005 or CIS 010
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 024  Geographic Information Systems for Business   Units: 3

This introductory course focuses on understanding and utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) solutions in business. It is not a substitute for the basic GIS course. Students will apply the use of ArcGIS to identify and display retail markets, evaluate the suitability of sites for establishing or relocating a business or to expand sales territories.
Lecture Hours: 36         Lab Hours: 54          Repeatable: No
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: NR 021 or GIS 021
Advisory: AIS 005 or CIS 010
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 321A  Map Layout & Presentation   Units: 0

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are software systems that allow users to integrate spatially related information from spreadsheets with smart mapping capabilities. In this course, students work with ESRI ArcGIS software to learn fundamental concepts of performing GIS tasks: identification and acquisition of GIS data; assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems; georeferencing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Students will also learn how GIS technology can be applied to many fields including environmental research, government, business, real estate, health care, urban planning, fire technology, agriculture, landscape design, anthropology, and more. (Equivalent to NR 321A.)
Noncredit Hours: 45                                        Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Pass/No Pass
Prerequisite: None
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: None                 Degree Applicable: NONC
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 321B  Editing & Analyzing Map Data   Units: 0

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are software systems that allow users to integrate spatially related information from spreadsheets with smart mapping capabilities. In this course, students work with ESRI ArcGIS software to learn fundamental concepts of performing GIS tasks: assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems; (GPS); querying and editing spatial analysis and modeling with GIS. Students will also learn how GIS technology can be applied to many fields including environmental research, government, business, real estate, health care, urban planning, fire technology, agriculture, landscape design, anthropology, and more. Students will learn how to create web-based interactive maps and web applications using ESRI's ArcGIS Online platform. (Equivalent to NR 321B.)
Noncredit Hours: 45                                        Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Pass/No Pass
Prerequisite: NR-321A or GIS-321A or concurrent enrollment
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: None                 Degree Applicable: NONC
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 322  Data Acquisition and Management in Geographic Information Systems   Units: 0

This course provides a general survey of basic methods of data acquisition, database design and management for Geographic Information System (GIS) and focuses on the specific data requirements of GIS. Students will examine methods of digitizing preexisting data and explore database development and management. Students will use their knowledge to complete GIS projects.
Noncredit Hours: 90                                        Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Pass/No Pass
Prerequisite: NR 321B or GIS 321B
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: None                 Degree Applicable: NONC
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 323  Spatial Analysis in Geographic Information Systems   Units: 0

This course provides a general survey of the fundamentals of spatial information systems and a survey of quantitative techniques applicable to spatial data. This course is focused on the functionality of GIS as an effective tool for modeling and analyzing complex spatial relationships. The applications of a variety of quantitative methods will be explored using GIS software including ArcGIS and AcrInfo. Students will use their knowledge to complete a GIS project.
Noncredit Hours: 54                                        Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Pass/No Pass
Prerequisite: GIS 321B or NR 321B or GIS 021 or NR 021 or concurrent enrollment
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: None                 Degree Applicable: NONC
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None

GIS 324  Geographic Information Systems for Business   Units: 0

This introductory course focuses on understanding and utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) solutions in business. It is not a substitute for the basic GIS course. Students will apply the use of ArcGIS to identify and display retail markets evaluate the suitability of sites for establishing or relocating a business or to expand sales territories.
Noncredit Hours: 90                                        Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Pass/No Pass
Prerequisite: GIS 321B or NR 321B or GIS 021 or NR 021 or concurrent enrollment
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: None                 Degree Applicable: NONC
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None