The Conservation Law Enforcement program seeks to provide a transformative education that leverages real-world experience, creating ethical professionals to serve as conscientious stewards of our environment and uphold the laws and principles that protect our natural resources for future generations.
The Conservation Law Enforcement program at UMFK combines practical skills and a critical understanding of both natural resource conservation and criminal justice to create ethical professionals who are prepared to keep communities safe while helping to preserve habitats, resources and wildlife, for all to enjoy.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers a baccalaureate conservation law program founded upon the liberal arts and sciences that focuses on building practical skills and techniques and the hands-on experience of employing these in the field. The Conservation Law Enforcement (CLE) program fosters personal and professional growth, with emphasis on ethical and critical thinking and environmental stewardship. Over the course of study, students gain knowledge and skills in environmental science, natural resource, and law enforcement fields. CLE students will choose one of the following three concentrations of study: law enforcement, wildlife biology or natural resources. No matter the chosen track, the combination of education and experience will provide graduates a competitive edge for employment and advancement in a multitude of professions to include those of game warden, forest ranger, wildlife biologist, park ranger, forester, police officer, state trooper and many others.
Graduates will complete a minimum of 120 credit hours including general education core, CLE prerequisites, and CLE required courses. By following proper advising, students have the option to obtain an Associates of Arts degree in Conservation Law Enforcement or an Associates of Science degree in Applied Forest Management while pursuing their bachelor’s degree.
- Promote the development of the skills, values, and responsibilities required by conservation law enforcement professionals to meet the needs of both the environment and communities being served;
- Provide a baccalaureate education that responds to and fosters the development of professionals prepared to meet the needs of society and natural resource conservation;
- Prepare graduates to undertake fair and unbiased perspectives in their professional endeavors, taking into account culture, policy and societal expectations;
- Develop and utilize creative and innovative educational methodologies that serve the learning needs of a diverse student population;
- Develop, foster, and maintain collaborative partnerships with the community and other institutions.
The Conservation Law Enforcement Program will periodically interface with appropriate agencies and discipline subject matter experts to ensure current industry standards are being met within the offered curriculum. Faculty members will pursue continuing education opportunities to maintain relevance in the fields of natural resource management, conservation, and criminal justice. Additionally, graduates of the UMFK CLE program will be prepared to fulfill their career endeavors by demonstrating the following cornerstones of conservation law enforcement:
Environmental Stewardship: Graduates will display understanding and implementation of natural resource conservation with regard to both ecological and law enforcement priorities and perspectives.
Professionalism: Graduates will demonstrate the professional bearing and deportment required for success in a career in conservation law enforcement.
Safety: Graduates will identify conservation law enforcement issues and concerns, analyze these issues and present viable solutions.
Critical Thinker: Graduates will assess complex situations and coordinate the allocation of resources, effectively manage those resources and apply principles of utilization management.
Effective Communicator: Graduates will communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Graduates will possess the skills required synthesize information into clear and meaningful analysis and convey this information in the form of reports, visual displays and oral briefings. They will also possess the knowledge and agency to educate communities on the importance of natural resource conservation.
Ethical Leader: Graduates will display forward-thinking and solution-oriented leadership abilities that will serve them in their chosen fields. Graduates will approach each issue and situation from a fair and ethical standpoint.
Teamwork: Graduates will understand the importance of collaboration and possess the ability to manage the efforts of interdisciplinary collaborations, balancing priorities and effectively delegating workloads.
To successfully complete the Conservation Law Enforcement major, each graduate will demonstrate achievement of essential student learning outcomes.
- Students will understand the history and current context of conservation law enforcement and natural resource management, in terms of legal, policy-driven, and professional duties through the study of various conservation law disciplines, the application of critical thinking skills, and the use of case studies (Environmental Stewardship, Professionalism, Critical Thinker).
- Students will demonstrate practical skills required for conservation law enforcement professionals including problem solving, natural resource protection, conflict resolution, effective interpersonal communication and the importance of maintaining professional bearing by demonstrating professional values, and engaging in service that benefits the community and natural world (Professionalism, Effective Communicator, Safety, Environmental Stewardship, Ethical Leader).
- Students will critically evaluate the origins of crime, society’s response to crime and crime’s impact on society and the environment from multiple perspectives through interdisciplinary activities, continuing education, and identification of threats (Critical Thinker, Environmental Stewardship).
- Students will demonstrate awareness of local, regional, and global political concerns toward environmental protection, as well as ethical issues pertaining to the field of conservation law (Critical Thinker, Environmental Stewardship, Ethical Leader).
- Students will explain the necessity of ethics and integrity in conservation law enforcement, with emphasis on ethical displays of discretion and decision-making through the use of case studies and by participating in interdisciplinary field experience (Professionalism, Ethical Leader).
- Students will apply their hands-on knowledge and relevant technological skills to the protection or management of natural resources (Environmental Stewardship, Professionalism, Ethical Leader)
- Students will display professionalism in all aspects of behavior and communication by maintaining respect in all interpersonal interactions, managing workloads and meeting deadlines (Professionalism, Teamwork).
Students will demonstrate writing proficiency through comprehensive evaluations and analytical report writing (Effective Communicator).