From the University of Maine Machias:
The University of Maine at Machias has launched a new Conservation Law Enforcement curriculum which is already proving a popular choice among fall enrollees. The curriculum not only supports students seeking to join the Maine Warden Service, Maine Marine Patrol, U.S. Border Patrol, many other state agencies or local law enforcement, but a myriad of careers at national and federal parks and other conservation areas.
One of those working to create the new concentration is UMM graduate and Maine Game Warden Joe McBrine, who also appears in the Animal Planet television series North Woods Law. “This fits the UMM campus perfectly,” McBrine said. “We have the lakes, the rivers, the coast and the woods. There is no place else that provides all those opportunities at one campus. Students will be able to take outdoor recreation management classes, science classes, criminal justice classes.”
“The addition of the Conservation Law concentration to Maine’s only nationally accredited Environmental Recreation and Tourism Management program provides students the opportunity to pursue their goals of working for warden services, forestry, and conservation,’’ said Dr. Melvin Adams, Dean of Students and Admissions at UMM. “Students will graduate from the program with a strong academic background, field experience, and a strong network of peers and alumni to support their future career aspirations.”
The program is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary effort which was created by an advisory group representative of a half dozen local, state and federal agencies as well as UMM science and recreation educators. The curriculum has been designed to mesh with workforce needs. UMM Provost Stuart Swain said the concentration, which is a new addition to the Environmental Recreation and Tourism Management bachelors program, also draws on the expertise of faculty in the biology program, which includes concentrations in the areas of wildlife biology and fisheries biology.
Rick Scribner, retired Associate Professor of Recreation Management said “We started putting a group together and worked in three areas – a concentration in conservation law, a two-year associates program, and a conservation law minor that can be used by several other four-year degree programs. These are very skills-oriented classes, hands on, in the field.” As the curriculum was created last fall, Scribner said there was unanimous support by UMM faculty and advisors. “I’ve never seen a program go through our process so fast. There was not a negative vote,” he said.
Professionals who helped design the curriculum represent the Maine Warden Service, Marine Patrol, Forest Service, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Emergency Management Agency, Machias Police Department and the US Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. Students may enroll in the concentration for this fall’s semester. As the program is developed, UMM hopes to become a satellite campus for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and offer the 200-hour reserve officer training, a prerequisite for all law enforcement officers.
McBrine said the non-law enforcement classes at UMM will be a key part to the program. “The people skills that the students will gain will be invaluable. Folks think we deal with animals but we really are dealing with people who come in contact with animals. This curriculum will be designed around what agencies want and need in applicants.”
“There is a great deal of excitement at the University in launching the new program,” Provost Stuart Swain stated, “This concentration is a perfect fit for so many students in this region. It prepares them for an exciting field right here in Eastern Maine. It’s been great to see so many faculty and conservation law professionals involved in its preparation.”
The new concentration draws on a number of subjects, so that graduates are able to apply science, law enforcement, outdoor recreation leadership, and wildlife conservation to their professional preparation. Courses include wildlife forensics, recreational hunting and fishing, safety and first aid, search and rescue, and principles of investigation.
“The courses provide students with real world skills, often taught outdoors in small classes,” Swain added. Swain said students will have the opportunity to complete a senior-level internship in a professional setting to be sure they have experience prior to graduation.
For more information about the program, contact the University of Maine at Machias Admissions Office at 1-888-468-6866.