Plant Identification & Assessment Certificate

A green plant and its roots

Plant life provides the foundation for our terrestrial ecosystems. Understanding these ecosystems is essential for many conservation and management activities.

Learning about conservation & natural resources

You are interested in careers in conservation and natural resource agencies at the state, federal, and tribal levels tasked with the impact statements, wetland delineation, and other land management duties. You may also want to work with private conservation organizations or environmental consulting.

Certificate details

Students will learn about vascular plant identification via sight id and taxonomic keys, specialized botanical terminology, modern resources and techniques for documenting plant biodiversity, and the specific nature of plant species. The course introduces you to botanical and terrestrial ecological sampling methodology, plant management, and conservation requirements.


a professor helps a student look at plant pictures and information

Students earn the certificate by completing 4 classes in Biology. These classes all provide hands-on experiences and get students out into the surrounding natural environment. 

Some classes have students meet with professionals ranging from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program to the Denver Botanic Gardens to the San Juan National Forest. These interactions provide students with real fieldwork exposure. 

Dr. Ross McCauley

"Ranging from deserts to high alpine peaks and harboring over 2200 species, the Four Corners region is an ideal natural laboratory to learn about plant diversity and its conservation."

Experiential opportunities

While there are no current internships, the knowledge students gain in this program will allow them to obtain internships and seasonal employment in various settings, from government agencies and botanical gardens to environmental consulting firms.    

Students will have access to the FLC Herbarium, a state-of-the-art facility documenting the Four Corners plant biodiversity. With over 18,000 specimens is the largest such facility in western Colorado. For students who want more exposure to working with plants, there are opportunities to work with the college herbarium through volunteering or work-study. 

What can you do with a Plant Identification & Assessment Certificate?

Environmental Studies Garden Flower

The Plant Identification & Assessment Certificate will help you in careers that span public and private sectors. Check out some of the career paths:

  • Field Biologist/Technician/Intern (Bureau of Land Management (BLM),
  • National Park Service (NPS), US Forest Service (USFS),
  • State or Tribal Natural Resource Agencies) 
  • Botany Field Intern 
  • Environmental Consultant 
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Natural Heritage Scientist 
  • Vegetative Monitoring Crew 
  • Wildlife Manager