Focusing on the core of conservation enforcement – “bears and bad guys,” as one instructor explains – the Natural Resource Compliance program turns the outdoor activities you enjoy into a career you’ll love. If you’re thinking of a career in conservation enforcement, start in the Natural Resource Compliance program.

You’ll put in two fast-paced years learning about natural resources and how to detect and investigate natural resource violations through a mixture of lectures, labs and field trips. With our blend of academic and practical learning, you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge to begin upholding the law and protecting the resources of our beautiful landscape and wildlife.

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Career Opportunities

  • Conservation Officer
  • Environmental Investigator/Inspector
  • Fish and Wildlife Officer
  • Fishery Officer
  • Municipal Police Officer
  • Park Patrol Officer
  • Park Ranger
  • Pollution Control Officer
  • Resource Management Officer
  • RCMP Officer
  • Wildlife Investigator

Visit ALIS website for more career information.

100+ specimens

in the Hubbard Collection, one of Canada’s largest collections of full-body taxidermy mammals

4 focuses of protection:

land, water, forests and cultural resources


into Lethbridge College’s Conservation Enforcement – Bachelor of Applied Science Degree




Credential / Accreditation



2 years

Dates and Deadlines

Visit the Program Application Status page for more details.

Program Availability
Domestic Status
International Status
International Status with Study Permit
Fall 2024


This program is available for International Students.

New applicants are accepted into the Natural Resource Compliance program for the Fall (September) term only.


  • Natural Resource Law Enforcement Officer positions have specific physical requirements such as vision, hearing and physical fitness. The specific requirements differ with each agency. It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm that they meet the requirements of the agencies with which they hope to work.
  • Persons with a criminal record may have difficulty competing for jobs as Conservation Enforcement Officers in Canada.
  • Employers often require that students hold a valid Standard First Aid or Wilderness First Aid Certificate and/or a CPR Certificate to be eligible for seasonal and/or permanent employment. Students are encouraged to obtain these certificates either prior to entering the program or during the first term.
  • A number of workshops and short courses sponsored by various agencies are available on evenings and weekends. Students are encouraged to attend these sessions to enhance their credentials for employment.

General Admissions Requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs, as indicated in the Admission section of this calendar.

Academic Requirements

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements indicated in the Admission section of this calendar, applicants to this program must also satisfy the following specific course requirements (or equivalencies):

  • Grade 11 Biology
  • Grade 12 Math (equivalent to Alberta’s Math 30-2 or a higher level Math)

Note: Admission is competitive. Competitive marks will be based on the average of grades in Grade 12 Math and English and Grade 11 Biology.

Basic computer literacy in the use of the Internet, e-mail, word processing and fundamental processes of spreadsheets is required for the student to be successful in this program.

Students lacking these skills are strongly urged to complete a basic computer literacy course prior to entering this program.

Graduation Requirements

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, students are awarded a Natural Resource Compliance diploma.


Interested students can obtain further information on these partnerships from the School of Environmental Sciences Chair. Students who wish to continue studies at other institutions must meet the entrance requirements of that institution.

Lethbridge College

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Natural Resource Compliance Diploma will be accepted directly into the Conservation Enforcement - Bachelor of Applied Science.  A minimum GPA of 2.00 or equivalent is required for admission.

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Natural Resource Compliance Diploma, who have completed the required Bridging Courses, may be eligible for acceptance into the Bachelor of Ecosystem Management.  A minimum GPA of 2.00 or equivalent is required for admission.

Royal Roads University

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Natural Resource Compliance diploma program are eligible for full block transfer into the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Practice or the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Practice at Royal Roads University. Graduates may also receive full block transfer to the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, with the completion of one additional university-level math course (calculus or linear algebra preferred) and two university-level chemistry courses on arrival.

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Delivery Formats

The Natural Resource Compliance program is delivered through an on-campus format.

Hyflex with In-Person Labs

This program is offered both online and on campus in a synchronous format (learning occurs at the same time) that allows lectures to be delivered in-person or through a hyflex approach as needed. All labs take place in-person on campus in Lethbridge.

On Campus

This program is delivered in a face-to-face format on the main Lethbridge College campus. Lectures, labs and hands-on training opportunities will all take place on campus in Lethbridge.


View all courses
Year 1
Term I
BIO-1172Ecology 13
CEN-2255Ethics and Career Development3
GEO-1166Physical Geology 13
LAW-1161Introduction to Natural Resource Law3
Term II
BIO-1167Botany 13
BIO-1168Zoology 13
COM-2263Interpersonal Skills in Enforcement3
RRM-1197Spatial Information Techniques 13
STS-1155Descriptive Statistics3
Year 2
Term I
CEN-2259Operational Procedures3
ENV-2265Parks and Recreation Operations 13
LAW-2264Courtroom Procedures3
RRM-2250Grassland and Forest Resources 13
RRM-2299Fire Management 13
Term II
CEN-2267Natural Resource Legislation3
CEN-2269Field Investigation Techniques 13
RRM-2258Principles of Wildlife Biology 13
RRM-2259Principles of Fishery Science 13
RRM-2298Conservation Biology3
 Total Credits60

Indicates courses with a field study component.

Special notes about field studies:

Students are off-campus completing field studies during most of September and April. In the Fall term, field studies are in September, while in the Winter term, field studies are scheduled in April. Field studies schedules are dependent on many variables and may require students to participate on weekends. All program field studies require mandatory attendance.

Students will be expected to complete non-credit environmental field techniques courses as part of the requirements to complete the program. Courses such as bear safety, firearms safety, pleasure craft operator’s card and boat operations will occur as part of field trip season activities. Students will be responsible for the fees associated with these courses. Prior valid training possessed by students will be considered for recognition.

View course timetables

Tuition and Fees

Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1
Year 2
View detailed program cost estimates
International Students
Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1
Year 2

Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.

Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.

Students are responsible for the cost of the field trips relating to this program.

Field Studies Supplies

Students on field studies are expected to provide their own equipment and supplies. This may include:

  • 30 cm metric steel ruler
  • adequate clothing for cold/wet weather
  • backpack for gear
  • binoculars
  • field equipment vest (recommended)
  • food
  • hiking boots
  • orienteering compass
  • sunscreen
  • safety glasses
  • water bottle
  • warm sleeping bag
  • work gloves

Equipment and supplies may not be required in all courses or terms. Please consult the course outlines for specific equipment required before purchasing. Field studies schedules are dependent on many variables and may require students to participate on weekends. All program field studies require mandatory attendance.

Other Required Supplies

Available from Lethbridge College Bookstore: 

  • 16x hand lens
  • dissection kit
  • lab coat
  • metric triangular scale with 1:1, 1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20 and 1:50 graduations
  • safety glasses
  • “write-in-the-rain” field notebook/surveyors book

Available from Sporting, Hardware and Office Supply Stores: 

  • 4 GB or higher USB memory stick
  • 12 or more coloured pencils (pencil crayons)
  • 30 cm metric steel ruler
  • binoculars (8X40 or 10X50 magnification)
  • chest waders (rubber soled)
  • clipboard
  • Nexus Type 115 or Silva Ranger compass (with declination adjustment screw)
  • scientific calculator ($15-$30 range)

For additional information concerning lab or field equipment, contact the lab coordinator at 403.320.3202 ext. 5594.

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