Our Program

A 4-year course of study

  • NR Biology: 9th or 10th grade

  • NR Chemistry: 10th or 11th grade

  • Natural Resources 1: 11th

  • Natural Resources 2: 12th

Description of NR Courses

Student Perspectives

Sample 4-year High School Schedule including NR courses (see below)

Natural Resources Biology

Biology is the study of living systems. Those concepts fundamental to the understanding of all life include: biological molecules, energy transfer, cell structure and function, classification, DNA structure and function, genetics, evolution, and ecology. NR Biology students use the East Campus as a living laboratory to explore these ideas directly. ​Biology is a high school graduation requirement as well as a UC approved lab science.

Natural Resources Chemistry

Students in this laboratory science course study the natural elements and the changes they undergo. This course will develop the capacity to reason and provide students with a sound base from which students can pursue a career in the sciences. Students will apply their knowledge of chemistry as they explore water quality, aquaculture, herbicides, and other resource management fields. Chemistry fulfills the high school graduation requirement for physical science and is a UC approved lab science.

Natural Resources 1

Students investigate local ecosystems and the environmental issues associated with these areas. Students complete field studies to help relate cause and effect patterns within the environment. Studies include scientific protocols and tools used by natural resource professionals. Guest speakers and field trips allow students to consider their future careers in goals in many natural resource fields including Biology, Forestry, Fire Ecology, Watershed Management, Wildlife Biology, Rangeland Management, and Agriculture. ​ This class is UC approved as a lab science.

The following themes will be the foundation of our course.

  • Natural Resource Management has a scientific, cultural and economic context

  • Sustainability is our ability to survive and adapt in a world with limited resources

  • Science is a process

Natural Resources 2

Students have the unique opportunity to control their education, explore their interests and passions, and improve our community. Students design and implement a scientific inquiry project and an associated community service project. This year long adventure includes scientific thinking, meaningful research, methodology development, time and financial budgeting, grant writing, and communication within the group and with professional mentors. Not only is this an excellent opportunity to grow intellectually but they'll also create a portfolio demonstrating their accomplishments which can be shared with future schools and employers. This class is UC approved as a lab science.

The following themes are the foundation of our course:

· Stewardship of resources affects the quality of life of present and future generations, globally and locally

· Leadership

· Science is a process

Environmental Botany

This upper division science course is offered to students with a desire to learn about ecologic and economic functions of plant cultivation with respect to common horticultural and native plants. They will study and know how to identify, grow, harvest and care for commonly grown species of plants. Students will learn about the biological role of plants and the human impacts on, and care of plants, within an ecosystem. Moreover, they will gain knowledge of nursery and greenhouse management that will ultimately prepare the student to gain employment, study plant conservation, or tend to and care for their own garden. It is UC approved as a lab science.

Natural Resources Program Four Year Course of Study

The following outline is a suggested course of study for the Natural Resource Program. All NR courses are in bold. Asterisk (*) indicates graduation requirements, all others are optional.

9th Grade

Natural Resources Biology*





Foreign Language/VAPA Elective*

Elective (7th period optional)

10th Grade

Natural Resources Chemistry* or Environmental Botany



World History*


Foreign Language/VAPA Elective

Elective (7th period optional)

11th Grade

Natural Resources 1



US History*

Lab Science (AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, Environmental Botany, Physics, Physiology)

Elective (2 possible)

12th Grade

Natural Resources 2



Economics/ Government*

Lab Science

Elective (2 possible)