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Natural History & Resources

Natural History & Resources Certificate of Achievement

The Natural History and Resources Certificate of Achievement educates students on the biodiversity of the Bay Area and beyond and how that biodiversity interacts with humans in different ecosystems and scales. Coursework provides a foundation on local flora, fauna, and geology, as well as an ecosystem-driven approach to explore natural resources such as water, forests, and ecosystem services. Graduates of the program can expect to be prepared for entry-level employment in the field of natural resources and the environment.

Students in the Natural History and Resources program will:

  • Discover the vast diversity of animals, plants, fungi, and microscopic organisms through courses in
    botany, ornithology, entomology, herpetology, and more.
  • Learn the principles of biogeography and the interplay between biology and geology.
  • Participate in field trips and field courses around the Bay Area and beyond.
  • Prepare for the following careers: Environmental educator, environmental consultant, habitat restoration
    technician, parks maintenance technician, ranger, biologist, curatorial assistant, or collections manager.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
1. Provide an overview of the form and function of local biodiversity (flora and fauna) and understand the
ecological roles of these organisms.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the various ecosystems and natural resources in the Bay Area and their
importance.

3. Demonstrate practical skills, such as species identification, field documentation, and environmental impact
report preparation, used by professionals in the field.

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Required Courses (15 units, number of units are in parentheses)

BIOL 029 Introduction to Biodiversity (4)
ENVMT 001 Environmental Careers (1)
ENVMT 002 Introduction to Sustainable Environmental Systems (3)
ENVMT 002L Introduction to Sustainable Environmental Systems Lab (1)
GEOG 001 Physical Geography (3)
ENVMT 012 or AFRAM 38 Environmental Racism and Justice (3)

Major Electives (Choose 9 units):

ART 166 Beginning Botanical Drawing (2)
BIOL 009 Marine Biology (4)
BIOL 015 Environmental Biology (3)
BIOL 060A Natural History of the Bay Area: The Local Parks (0.5)
BIOL 060B Natural History of the Bay Area: Mt. Diablo State Park (1)
BIOL 060C Natural History of the Bay Area: Herpetology (2)
BIOL 061E Natural History of the Tide Pools of the Greater Bay Area (0.5)
BIOL 061G Natural History: Mammals of the Greater Bay Area (2)
BIOL 061H Natural History of the Bay Area: Butterflies and Moths (2)
BIOL 061I Natural History of the Bay Area: Bryophytes (2)
BIOL 061K Natural History of the Bay Area: Lichens (2)
BIOL 062S Natural History of the Islands of California (2)
BIOL 065F Natural History of Tahiti (French Polynesia) (1)
BIOL 080A Raptors of Central California and the Bay Area (0.5)
BIOL 080B Bird Songing: The Ecology of Bird Songs and Identification by Ear (0.5)
BIOL 080C Fundamentals of Ornithology and Birding in Central California/Bay Area (0.5)
BIOL 080D Ecology of the California Condor (1.5)
GEOL 001 Introduction to Physical Geology (4)
GEOL 012 Environmental Geology (3)
LANHT 002 Plant Materials: Tree ID and Culture with Lab (Day) (3)
LANHT 002E Plant Materials: Tree ID and Culture (Evening) (3)
LANHT 005A Plant Materials: Fall Native Plant ID and Culture with Lab (Day) (3)
LANHT 005B Plant Materials: Spring Native Plant ID and Culture with Lab (Day) (3)
LANHT 005EA Plant Materials: Fall Native Plant ID and Culture (Evening) (3)
LANHT 005EB Plant Materials: Spring Native Plant ID and Culture (Evening) (3)
LANHT 010 Insect Pests (3)
LANHT 016 Soil Management (3)
LANHT 023 Plant Terminology (2.5)
LANHT 050 Plant Taxonomy (3)
NATAM 076E California Indian Ecology on the Central Coast (1.5)

Interdisciplinary Electives (Choose 2 units):

BIOL 015 Environmental Biology (3)
COPED 476F Occupational Work Experience in Environmental Management and Technology (3)
ENVMT 005 Oakland Food Culture (3)
ENVMT 008 Introduction to Outdoor Education (3)
ENVMT 014 Environmental Impact Reports (2)
ENVMT 034 From Dams to Greywater: California Water Systems and Alternatives (2)
ENVMT 035 Introduction to Urban Agroecology (3)
ENVMT 040 From Tree to Sea: A Bay Area Environmental Cross Section (3)
ENVMT 044 Introduction to Creek and Watershed Restoration: General Aspects (3)
ENVMT 055 Principles of Conservation and Land Management (3)
ENVMT 056 Management of Public Parks and Natural Resources (3)
ENVMT 057 Park Operations Practices and Skills (4)
GEOL 021 Bay Area Field Studies (1-2)
LANHT 045A Mushroom Cultivation I (2)
LANHT 081 Arborist Equipment Fundamentals (2)

Total Units Required: 26

Model Curriculum: The following table provides a suggested sequence of courses through which a student could earn the Certificate within 2 years:

Semester 1 (Fall Year 1)

Course Units
BIOL 29 4
GEOG 1 3
Total Semester Units 7
Total Units Completed To Date 7

Semester 2 (Spring Year 1)

Course Units
ENVMT 2/2L 4
Major Elective 2
Major Elective 2
Total Semester Units 8
Total Units Completed To Date 15

Semester 3 (Fall Year 2)

Course Units
ENVMT 1 1
ENVMT 12 3
Interdisciplinary Elective 2
Major Elective 2
Total Semester Units 8
Total Units Completed To Date 23

Semester 4 (Spring Year 2)

Course Units
Major Elective 2
Major Elective 1
Total Semester Units 3
Total Units Completed To Date 26

To view the Spring courses available, click HERE, and for steps to apply and/or enroll, click HERE.  For questions, contact NHS Program Director Brad Balukjian at bbalukjian@peralta.edu