‘This program has prepared me for my career’

The NDSU School of Natural Resource Sciences provides the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career in natural resource management. With six distinct areas of emphasis, students are provided with the flexibility to establish a strong foundation in both the biological and earth sciences.

For Mike McKenna, the natural resource management program at NDSU was a perfect fit. Not only did he have a passion for the outdoors and environmental conservation, but the program’s emphasis on hands-on learning and practical experience was exactly what he was looking for.

“This program provides a personal learning experience that has prepared me for my career in many ways and a welcoming environment that makes it feel like home,” said the recent graduate from Gwinner, North Dakota. “From soil science to ecology, rangeland management to livestock management and even water quality, every aspect is important in the interactions between farmers and the sustainable utilization of natural resources.”

Now an NDSU research specialist, McKenna said finding innovative solutions for effectively managing and conserving natural resources for present and future generations is vital. The multifaceted nature of natural resource management, encompassing various critical components of the environment, is what drew him into the program.

According to McKenna, the NDSU natural resource management program is ideal for people who love the outdoors and have a strong interest in contributing to the preservation of these valuable resources. He said the program's hands-on approach is what makes it an excellent fit for those who thrive in experiential learning environments. If you enjoy actively engaging with the natural world, conducting fieldwork and applying practical skills, this program may be the perfect match for you, McKenna said.

Students in the natural resource management program have a diverse range of career options after graduation. Environmental policy and consulting, agronomy, forestry, soil science and many more. Whether students aspire to work in government agencies, private consulting firms, non-profit organizations or other sectors are just some of the options. The program gives students the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful career in the natural resource management field.

McKenna said students interested in the NDSU natural resource management program should keep an open mind and explore all options. He encourages them to embrace diverse opportunities and experiences, as they may discover unexpected passions along the way.

“You can go in many different directions since there’s six emphases. So, just explore all options and create as many opportunities as you can,” McKenna said.

Start your own NDSU experience and apply now.

For a closer look at McKenna’s experience and NDSU’s natural resource management program, visit the official university YouTube channel.