UMFK

UMFK unveils new natural resources concentration

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent has announced the creation of a new natural resources concentration within the conservation law enforcement bachelor of science degree program. 

“The natural resources concentration within the conservation law enforcement (CLE) bachelor of science degree program introduces attributes of the associate of applied science degree in forest management (AFM) into the CLE curriculum,” said Jeff Dubis, UMFK forestry program coordinator. “Our aim with this is to expand the number of job opportunities for our graduates.”

This concentration also creates a seamless transition from an associate of applied science degree in forestry management into the CLE program. This will expand the educational background of graduates so that they are qualified for a larger spectrum of both public and private sector positions in the State and region. 

“This new concentration creates a more comprehensive education that will open many doors in natural resource conservation professions in Maine and beyond,” said Marilyn Epp, UMFK professor of conservation law enforcement. “Some of the more commonly known professions this would pertain to are: GIS technicians, Game Wardens, Forest Rangers and Park Rangers.”

As of May 2019, Maine Forest Rangers became certified law enforcement officers in the State of Maine. Their responsibilities include wildland fire suppression and enforcement of environmental conservation laws; graduates from the natural resource concentration in the CLE program will be well prepared for such positions. Similar career opportunities exist in neighboring states as do opportunities to serve as federal Park Rangers for the National Park Service and Army Corps of Engineers, both of which have a presence throughout New England.

Inclusion of the new concentration expands job opportunities particularly well with regard to forest/conservation technician and conservation scientist/Park Ranger positions.

“Being able to transfer from a hands-on forestry degree where we gain the skills to manage the forests to a degree based in law enforcement and how it relates to the jobs such as a forest ranger gives students like me a very unique perspective because we understand what is being done management wise in the forests but also are invested in the enforcement of proper management and protecting the resource,” said UMFK’s first student in this new program, Adam Bagley.

“This dual degree option should help to increase the pool of qualified applicants for Maine Forest Ranger positions,” said Dubis. “The Maine Forest Service has been having difficulty in filling ranger positions in recent years. In addition, forest rangers have recently taken on more law enforcement responsibilities. This new concentration combines forest management and wildland firefighting with a law enforcement component, all of which are important skills for forest rangers in the state.” 

For more information on programs at UMFK, please call 834-7600 or email umfklife@maine.edu

Submitted by the Marketing and Communication Office of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

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