Select Page

Conservation & Natural Resource Certificate

Lackawanna College is closely tracking coronavirus (COVID-19) and working to mitigate potential risks. The safety of students — both current and future —is a top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, our Conservation and Natural Resource program is temporarily suspended. The program is currently accepting applications for Fall 2020.

The Conservation and Natural Resource (CNR) program is a 15-week fall semester in which students will complete five undergraduate level field biology courses at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center in Covington Township, Pa., located on 211-acres of diverse habitat.

The CNR Certificate program meets the minimum requirement of 15 undergraduate level credits in environmental science, biology, or related fields required by the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission to take the DCNR Ranger Trainee Exam. Students will be prepared for entry-level park/forest ranger and interpreter positions in state, county, and municipal park systems. It is also a great addition to a resume for anyone seeking a career in environmental education, recreation, or natural resource conservation.

Important Information

Sharon Yanik-Craig
Director, Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center
(570) 842-1506

Course Information

The curriculum focuses on the conservation and interpretation of our natural environment. Students will gain hands-on experience in the basic principles of conservation through specific courses designed to develop the student’s knowledge of Northeast United States flora and fauna and the recreational use of renewable and non-renewable resources. Students will experience both classroom and hands-on field training at more than a dozen ecologically unique locations in our region.

Courses are also transferable into a two- or four-year environmental studies program. Upon graduation, students will receive a CNR Certificate and transcripts of their undergraduate coursework. Each of the following courses will meet once a week for approximately three-hour periods during the fall semester:

  • Park Management & Environmental Interpretation
  • Wildlife Management
  • Dendrology & Wildflowers
  • Field Ornithology
  • Freshwater Ecosystems

Tuition for the program, including field biology courses, trip fees, and books, is approximately $7,650. Financial aid is available to qualified students.

For more information about the program please contact Sharon Yanik-Craig at (570) 842-1506 or email at

Job Outlook

It is estimated that 15 to 20 park ranger positions in the Northeastern United States will be available to qualified candidates each year. The average annual starting salary for this position is approximately $37,000. Each agency may have specific requirements for employment, including minimum age to apply, physical fitness standards, police training, and more.

Increased Employment Opportunities

Students interested in becoming park rangers are strongly encouraged to also take the Lackawanna College Police Academy 943-hour MPOETC ACT 120 training which would increase employment opportunities and qualify students for law enforcement ranger positions and positions within municipal police departments.

Acceptance into the CNR fall environmental semester does not guarantee your acceptance into the Police Academy. Police Academy applicants are required to pass several examinations including a physical fitness test, vision test, a psychological evaluation, and a criminal background check. Please see the College’s website or call the Police Academy at (570) 961-7844 for more information.

Fall 2019 CNR Schedule

August 26- December 6, 2019


9 a.m. to noon: CNR 100 Park Management & Environmental Interpretation

12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: BIO 150 Wildlife Management


9 a.m. to noon: BIO 155 Dendrology & Wildflowers

12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: BIO 160 Field Ornithology


9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: BIO 255 Freshwater Ecosystems