Environmental Occupations

Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, Environmental Occupations will become Landscape & Natural Resources to better serve our students and prepare them for careers in this pathway.

Environmental Occupations


Our Instructors

Jim Metz
Instructor Level II
937.778.1980 x748

Michaella Quinter
Instructor Level I
937.778.8763 x732 

student info

What we do in Environmental Occupations


The Environmental Occupations program prepares students for employment and advancement in the exciting and ever-expanding fields of natural resource conservation, environmental education, park maintenance, outdoor recreation, and ranger services. Students graduate with the edge necessary to compete for entry-level jobs or for entering a two or four-year college.

Skills for Life

  • Operating a tractor

  • Reading and interpretation of maps

  • Guiding nature and museum tours

  • Using tree-climbing equipment

  • Using wildlife management skills

  • Using a chainsaw safely

  • Conducting prescribed burns

  • Trimming a tree correctly

  • Performing water testing

  • Earning trapper certification

  • Cutting and splitting firewood

  • Being environmentally aware

  • Identifying waterfowl

  • Operating a skid loader

  • Making maple syrup

  • Constructing museum exhibits 

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Environmental Occupations


This program occupies a 181 acre environmental education center for student use and training. This land laboratory includes two ponds, a woodland stream, wetlands, prairie, miles of trails, 80 acres of mature woods, and state of the art instructional facilities. This bounty of natural resources enriches each student's learning experience. 


Environmental Occupations students also enjoy the opportunity to attend a 10-day field study trip to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Montana and Wyoming. This once-in-a-lifetime trip exposes the students to the vast expanse and beauty of our national parks, as well as all the wide range of occupations that are available in this line of work. 

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Wildlife conservationist taking to group of students

Career Technical Student Organization


All students of the Environmental Occupations program are also members of the Upper Valley Career Center FFA program as part of their career-technical education.

From our Graduates

"Environmental Occupations is the foundation for everything in my park/forestry career. The training has helped me obtain my arborist certification as well as my current position as city forester." 

Jeremy Drake, Superintendent

Troy City Parks, Forestry Department

Career Development


Entry-Level Positions

  • Park Maintenance Technician

  • Tree Service Worker

  • Soil Conservation Aide

  • Park Naturalist’s Aide

Advanced Positions

  • Park Ranger

  • Park Naturalist

  • Surveyor

  • Wildlife Officer

  • Park Manager

  • Water Quality Technician

  • Wildlife or Fisheries technician

  • Environmental Education Instructor

Certifications Earned

  • Hunter Safety

  • Trapper

  • Ohio Safe Boating

  • Skid Steer Training

  • Chainsaw Operator

  • Tractor and Implements Operator

  • ATV Rider

Our Grads in the Workforce

Upper Valley Career Center Environmental Occupations graduates are currently working across the state in the following places and careers:

  • State & County Parks

  • Golf Courses

  • Landscaping

  • Tree Trimming

  • Surveyors

  • Nature Centers

  • Garden Centers

  • Lawn Care Companies

Colleges to Consider for Further Education

  • Hocking College

  • Edison State Community College

  • The Ohio State University

  • Ohio State ATI, Wooster

  • Muskingham College 

  • Clark State Community College

Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Students who qualify have the opportunity to participate in one of three options for career development during their senior year. All three programs allow students to work within their career field while attending school on a modified schedule, so you they gain skills, experience and competitive wages.

career advancement