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 

School Year: 2024–2025

Program Entry Semester: Fall/Spring/Summer

Pre-Reqs Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Total
Credit Hours per Semester 0 17 16 0 18 15 0 66
In-State Tuition $0 $3,689 $3,472 $0 $3,906 $3,255 $0 $14,322
Technology Fee per Semester $0 $50 $50 $0 $50 $50 $0 $200
Clinical Expenses (mileage, lodging, screenings, etc.) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Conferences/Seminars $0 $90 $40 $0 $40 $0 $0 $170
Course Resources (textbooks, software, etc.) $0 $90 $150 $0 $110 $310 $0 $660
Course/Section Fees $0 $0 $0 $0 $50 $15 $0 $65
Laptop (required devices) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Testing Fees $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Third Party Credentials $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $125 $0 $125
Tool Sets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Uniforms $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Other $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Estimated Cost $3,919 $3,712 $4,156 $3,755 $15,542


Costs provided are estimated and based on the following current tuition rates: $217 (In-State), $290 (Out-of-State), $400 (International).

Fees and costs are subject to change. To view all costs associated with attending college visit our Tuition and Costs page.


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:

Additional Information

Kirkwood Student Joel Vidjamagni

“The best thing about Kirkwood is that it has helped me be more confident speaking English in front of people and I have made a lot of connections with people in my program.”

Joel Vidjamagni,
West Africa, Togo

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