Parks and Natural Resources

Parks and Natural Resources

Pair Your Passion For the Outdoors With Your Career

Do you love the outdoors? Kirkwood’s Parks and Natural Resources program is perfect for anyone who has a deep concern for preserving and managing natural resources.

Students in Kirkwood’s Parks and Natural Resources program learn to maintain and build campgrounds and lake areas; identify and manage fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and nesting game birds; operate and maintain equipment; manage plant material and land; and maintain park facilities.

Parks and Natural Resources students manage a 600-acre off-campus site, a swan pond, and several prairies around campus. Kirkwood’s program is ranked sixth in the nation for the number of students graduating in natural resources.

Apply Now Program Details

Kirkwood offers more than $3 million in scholarships for students each year.

Graduates of the Parks and Natural Resources program will be able to:

  1. Operate and maintain equipment currently used in the industry.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of park and facility maintenance and construction techniques.
  3. Develop an appreciation for Iowa’s natural resources.
  4. Develop a wildlife management plan.
  5. Integrate GPS/GIS for surveying and map building of natural resource areas.
  6. Develop an understanding of the history, funding, and administration of parks at the county, state, and federal levels.
  7. Apply interpretive and public relation skills in the field of natural resources.

A one-hour program conference is required prior to acceptance to the program. You'll learn more about the program, specific admissions requirements, and have the opportunity to have questions answered by program faculty and staff.

Program Costs

Parks and Natural Resources 

Program Entry Semester: Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Year One

Credits: 18 16 34
Tuition: $3,348 $2,976 $5,766
Fees: $140 $90 $230
Books: $90 $150 $240



Credits: 3 3
Tuition: $558 $558
Fees: $50 $50


Year Two

Credits: 18 15 33
Tuition: $3,348 $2,790 $6,138
Fees: $70 $175 $245
Books: $110 $310 $420




Costs provided are estimated and based on in-state tuition rates. Book cost estimates are for new books. Individual expenses may vary. These costs also do not factor in potential financial aid benefits. For a complete view of your specific cost expectation, visit our Cost Estimator Tool.
Included fees: Technology Fee, Lab Course Fee, and Third Party Credentials
Current Tuition Rates per Credit Hour: $ 186 In-State; $ 249 Out-of-State; $ 372 International
Updated: 1/27/2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Conservation officer, park ranger, naturalist, park maintenance, watershed management, and more.

Explore Careers

Actively participate in volunteer activities, parks-related organizations and on-campus clubs. Not only will you gain valuable work-related experience, but you’ll make some great industry contacts also.

Working a seasonal job at a park or in conservation is a good idea, too.

You can work in conservation law enforcement, environmental education, and with private organizations specializing in land protection and watershed management, just to name a few.

Program Requirements

To get into the Parks and Natural Resources program, you must complete the following, in addition to Kirkwood’s steps to become a student:

Mckenzie Feld

“I came from a small school and knew that transitioning to Kirkwood would offer me many opportunities in the classroom, as well as set me up for a successful future.”

Mckenzie Feld,
Robins, Iowa

Mission Statement

To prepare students for employment by creating a culture that promotes professionalism and equips students with basic knowledge and applied skills demanded in today's parks and natural resources workplace.


Agricultural Sciences
1000 Washington Hall