Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the NRM Program

Several frequently asked questions and answers are found below. These are common questions often asked by proseptive students interested in the program and Leadville in general.

What degrees and certificates are offered through the Natural Resource Management program?
The primary degree offered through the NRM program is an Associate of Applied Science Degree designed to provide students academic and hands-on training for entry level type positions in the environmental, agricultural, and geosciences areas.  Two Certificates of Occupational Proficiency (COP) are offered through the NRM Program that provides specialized training for individuals seeking additional skills and enhancing or changing their current career. The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate gives students focused training and application in the utilization of GIS and Global Positioning System (GPS) for a variety of fields that require spatial or geographic analysis. The Field Technician Certificate provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills required for a majority of field technician positions in the industry. Current curriculum for the AAS degree and Certificates of Occupational Proficiency can be found on the CMC NRM website.

Are there any minimum requirements for entry into the NRM Program?
All incoming students are required to take the Accuplacer exam to determine their current level of reading and math comprehension. ACT scores can also be used in place of the Accuplacer exam but these need to be submitted as early as possible. Many of the NRM courses at the minimum require reading, writing and math at the college level however some require successful completion of MAT-121 College Algebra and ENG-121 English Composition I.

I am thinking of transferring to a four-year school once I complete the NRM degree program, will all my classes transfer?
The NRM degree has several guarantee transfer (GT) courses that are accepted by all four-year and two-year schools in Colorado. GT courses may or may-not be accepted outside the state. Other non-GT courses are at the discretion of the institution for which you are applying or enrolling. The NRM Program has academic articulations with Colorado Mesa University (www.coloradomesa.edu) and Western State College (www.western.edu) that enable all credits earned as part of the NRM degree to be accepted for full credit at these institutions towards a four-year degree. Additional articulations are currently being planned with other four-year schools in Colorado and potentially in other states.

What type of employment can one get with an AAS NRM degree?
The NRM degree is primarily geared towards entry level technician type positions where a 2-year degree with some experience is desirable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) expects a growth of 18% to 28% in the environmental field technician sector with a starting salary range of $25,000 to $40,000 per year. Positions that NRM graduates have obtained upon completion of this degree program are hydrologic technicians, environmental field technician, and biologic technician.

What is the NRM Internship program?
The NRM Internship (NRMI) program is truly unique providing students numerous opportunities to gain real-world experience. The NRMI has numerous partnerships with the industry, academic, and non-profit sectors in a variety of environmental restoration, assessment, and monitoring projects. All these projects are managed through the NRMI for the sole purpose of providing students hands-on experiences on real-world projects preparing students for employment in industry. Students also have the opportunity to work in the Timberline Analytical Laboratory (TAL) where they can gain extensive analytical experience in a formal laboratory setting. Other relevant experiences include GIS/GPS application, data analysis, report writing, and professional development.

What types of facilities are housed through the NRM Program?
The NRM Program houses state-of-the-art facilities with the intention of providing students exposure to the latest technology and equipment utilized in the industry and government. The truly unique Timberline Analytical Laboratory (TAL) provides the NRM Program and project partners the ability to conduct a wide variety of chemical analysis of water, soil, sediment, biologic tissue, and building material. Additional information can be found at www.coloradomtn.edu/TAL. Other facilities include a soils laboratory that is used for courses and project support that require geotechnical and chemical testing of soils/sediment. The soils laboratory provides students exposure to compaction, expansion, liquefaction, water permeability, and particle size distribution testing commonly used in industry and government.

What type of student should take part in the NRM Program?
The NRM Program sees a variety of students, those that are right out of high school and interested in sciences to non-traditional students that are looking to begin again in a different career. The NRM Program offers rigorous academics alongside real world application, which makes it unique among other two-year NRM and Environmental Science programs. Contact with clients and partners from a variety of agencies provide motivated students opportunities to rub shoulders with future employees.

Why should I come to Leadville?
Leadville offers an ideal setting for the NRM Program, partly due to the historic mining activity, which has left its mark on the environment and also by the unaltered grandeur of the Sawatch Range and variety of ecosystems to work in. From the alpine-tundra to semi-arid desert, the local ecology and setting of Leadville and surrounding area, makes this a prime location for dealing with a myriad of environmental issues.