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Educational requirements for conservation law enforcement officers

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Title:
Educational requirements for conservation law enforcement officers
Creator:
Huff, Paul Phillip
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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Language:
English
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56 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Conservation of natural resources -- Law and legislation -- Study and teaching ( lcsh )
Police training ( lcsh )
Police -- Education ( lcsh )
Game wardens -- Training of ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 55-56).
Thesis:
Criminal justice
General Note:
School of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Paul Phillip Huff.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
55472001 ( OCLC )
ocm55472001
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LD1190.L50 2003m H83 ( lcc )

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Full Text
EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR
CONSERVATION LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
by
Paul Phillip Huff
B.S., Colorado State University, 1989
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Criminal Justice
2003


2003 by Paul Phillip Huff
All rights reserved


This thesis for the Master of Criminal Justice
degree by
Paul Phillip Huff
has been approved
by
Mark R. Pogrebin
!z /%'-
Date


Huff, Paul Phillip (M.C.J., Criminal Justice)
Educational Requirements for Conservation Law Enforcement Officers
Thesis directed by Professor Eric D. Poole
ABSTRACT
Educational requirements for conservation law enforcement officers within the United
States have varied historically and among agencies. The primary purpose of this research
was to identify current educational requirements for conservation officers, evaluate
historic changes that have occurred within agencies and determine the satisfaction rate
and recommendations of agency administrators pertaining to educational requirements.
This study determined that agencies educational requirements have progressively
increased over time and that most agencies currently require a bachelors degree or
significant amount of college for conservation officers. Conservation law enforcement
administrators, as a whole, seem satisfied with the current state of educational preparation
of conservation officers and with the educational background that their agencies require
for new officers. Communications skills are considered by administrators as the most
important part of undergraduate preparation for conservation officers. Courses in natural
resource management, policy and law are also considered essential preparation by most
administrators.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend its
publication.
Signed
Eric D oole, Ph. D.
IV


DEDICATION
This thesis is dedicated to Laura and Joshua Huff for their patience, understanding
and assistance throughout the completion of this project.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Eric Poole, for his support and guidance
throughout the completion of this project. I would also like to thank the members of
my thesis committee, Dr. Mark Pogrebin and Dr. Mary Dodge. I am grateful to all of
my colleagues in the natural resource field, especially Tim Reader and Scott Brown,
who provided valuable input and support during the planning and focus group portion
of this research.
I would also like to thank my wife, Laura, for all of her assistance in data collection,
manuscript preparation and data analysis. Her help with sorting, mailing and tracking
survey instruments was particularly appreciated and her support throughout this
project was invaluable. My son, Joshua, endured many long drives and demonstrated
tremendous patience during the completion of this research.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures...........................................................iv
Tables.............................................................v
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION............................................1
Background.............................................2
Historical Agency Requirements.........................8
2. METHODS................................................11
Determination of Current Agency Requirements..........11
Agency Administrator Survey...........................12
3. PRESENTATION OF DATA...................................15
Current Agency Requirements..........................15
Agency Administrator Survey..........................17
4. CONCLUSIONS...........................................29
Suggestions for Future Research......................35
Summary..............................................36
vii


APPENDIX
A. EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTS AND POSITION
TITLES OF AGENCIES SELECTED FOR STUDY........37
B. AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR SURVEY INSTRUMENT......44
C. SURVEY INSTRUMENT COVER LETTERS.............48
D. RESULTS OF SURVEY INSTRUMENT FOCUS GROUP....51
REFERENCES.........................................55
viii


FIGURES
Figure
3.1 Responses to Survey Item One.....................................18
3.2 Responses to Survey Item Two.....................................19
3.3 Responses to Survey Item Three...................................20
3.4 Responses to Survey Item Four....................................21
3.5 Responses to Survey Item Five....................................22
3.6 Responses to Survey Item Six.....................................23
3.7 Responses to Survey Item Seven...................................24
IV


TABLES
Table
3.1 Educational Requirements of Conservation Law
Enforcement Agencies................................................16
3.2 Distribution of Survey responses of Agency Administrators
for Undergraduate Course Areas......................................26
3.3 Academic Subject Areas Ranked by Order of
Importance to Survey Participants...................................27
3.4 Agency Administrator Recommended Educational Requirements
Compared to Actual Requirements of Employing Agency.................28
v


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Law enforcement has become an integral component of almost every state and federal
natural resource management agency in the United States. Because laws provide the
framework and foundation for natural resource management, law enforcement is
involved with nearly every aspect of natural resource management (Morse, 1979).
Morse (1973) identifies three fundamental activities that constitute natural resource
management in the United States: research, management and law enforcement. The
role of management is to apply knowledge gained with research activities to
ecosystems in order to achieve management goals. Excluding the function of public
safety, the role of law enforcement within natural resource agencies is to secure
public compliance with the laws and regulations that are utilized as tools of
management.
It is the intent of this study to review current and historical educational requirements
for conservation law enforcement officers set by agencies and identify attitudes and
management concerns of agency law enforcement program administrators that
influence these requirements.
1


Background
Conservation law enforcement in the United States began in the 1850s in
Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the first states to hire game wardens to protect
wildlife populations and regulate harvests (Leopold, 1933:13). Sigler (1995:98-99)
identified fifty-three state agencies in the United States that perform wildlife law
enforcement functions. There are numerous other state conservation agencies, such
as state parks departments and state forestry divisions that employ law enforcement
officers. The federal government has several natural resource management agencies
that employ law enforcement officers, rangers and special agents. These include the
National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land
Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Other agencies within the federal
government, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Environmental Protection
Agency, the Marine Fisheries Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority, also
perform a natural resource law enforcement function.
State conservation law enforcement officers are statutorily considered peace officers
within their respective states throughout the United States. Each state agency
examined within the scope of this study requires officers to complete a basic state
academy, such as Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.), and the majority
have some form of post academy field training program for new officers. Several
agencies utilize an internal academy that meets state requirements but is agency
2


specific and conservation based. Federal natural resource management agencies
utilize programs at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (F.L.E.T.C.). Two
of these programs, the Natural Resource Police Training Program and Basic Law
Enforcement for National Park Rangers, are similar in content to most basic police
academies but also include conservation specific training. Criminal investigators and
special agents for federal agencies complete the standard F.L.E.T.C. criminal
investigation basic training program with no additional conservation based training.
The majority of literature dealing with conservation law enforcement has centered
upon the field of wildlife law enforcement. Most of the principles of wildlife
enforcement can be applied to the broader field of conservation and land management
law enforcement. During the past few decades, many agencies have created new
positions simply titled conservation officer or conservation police officer, merging
the traditional roles of wildlife officers and park rangers and adding environmental
enforcement responsibilities (Benoit, 1973).
Educational requirements vary for conservation law enforcement officers depending
on the employing agency. These requirements have become more complex as
officers duties have increased in complexity and diversity. Aldo Leopold (1933)
made the earliest recommendations for educational requirements beyond the high
school level in the first wildlife management text, Game Management. Leopold
3


Management. Leopold (1933:414-415) identified three levels of training for wildlife
management professionals: vocational, technical and scientific. Law enforcement
officers (or game wardens), as well as most other field level employees, were
included in the vocational level, which Leopold recommended should require six to
18 months of training after high school. Leopold recommended that supervisory
game wardens be included with other agency administrators in the technical group,
which required a two-year college degree. Agency chiefs and researchers were
placed in the scientific group for which a four year degree or higher was
recommended.
Sigler (1975) recommended that all state wildlife law enforcement agencies adopt a
minimum standard of a bachelors degree in a conservation field for all new officers.
Although only a few universities with natural resource programs offer courses dealing
with law enforcement, courses of this nature would also be a great asset. In many
states, officers are required to collect biological data in the field, as well as make
recommendations for the management of wildlife populations. A working knowledge
of management practices, sampling techniques and biological science is required to
perform these duties. Because of these requirements, it is easier to provide law
enforcement training to an employee with a natural resource management background
than to attempt to train a police officer in natural resource management techniques.
4


Research in the area of conservation law enforcement and on the effects of illegal
activities upon natural resources has been minimal. Increasing the number of
officers with a college-level education would increase the quality of research activity
in this area (Sigler, 1975). Morse (1973) recognized that most conservation law
enforcement research is limited to manipulating techniques that are utilized by
agencies on a routine basis. The goal of such research should be improving
techniques and knowledge on a broader scale.
Beattie and his colleagues (1977) note that, while agency budgetary restrictions
appear to be the most limiting factor prohibiting wildlife law enforcement research, a
lack of professionalism and recognition in professional organizations also inhibits
research activities. This lack of previous research might indicate to some that the
subject matter lacks importance or that research is difficult to accomplish. Beattie
and Giles (1979) note that only 40 percent of wildlife law enforcement agencies
conduct research programs of any sort. Higher educational requirements for entry-
level officers would expose them to previous research and research methods. This
would stimulate both needed research in the field of conservation law enforcement
and enhance the possibility that new findings would be put into practice.
In its scientific policy statement, The Wildlife Society (1975) recognized both the
importance of the role of law enforcement in natural resource management and the
5


need for professional educational requirements for conservation officers. The
Wildlife Society recommends that university-level training in the disciplines of
natural science, conservation education and criminal justice should be the minimum
standard for officers engaged in conservation law enforcement. The policy statement
also encourages all conservation officers to affiliate with professional societies
involved with natural resource management.
Giovengo (1988) surveyed conservation law enforcement agency administrators to
determine an appropriate undergraduate curriculum for students interested in a
conservation law enforcement career. These recommendations were put into practice
as a program in conservation law enforcement for wildlife biology and criminal
justice students at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The changes over time
in the responsibilities of conservation officers from traditional natural resource
protection duties to duties such as watercraft enforcement, pollution enforcement,
endangered species enforcement and international illegal wildlife trafficking have
created a diversity of law enforcement roles for state and federal agencies. Most state
and federal conservation law enforcement officers also perform more traditional
police duties, enforcing traffic, criminal and controlled substance statutes. Giovengo
recognized that conservation agencies have been forced to adapt to these changes by
increasing eligibility standards and training requirements for enforcement personnel,
6


but most programs within natural resource or criminal justice majors are too narrowly
focused and do not reflect the diversity of knowledge required in the field.
Public speaking and communication skills were the most important part of an
undergraduate curriculum according to agency administrators surveyed by Giovengo
(1988). Courses in basic fish and wildlife biology, forestry and other natural resource
management techniques were considered essential, as were courses in criminal justice
and criminal law. Basic natural and social science courses, traditionally required for
undergraduate degrees, were identified as least essential for potential conservation
law enforcement officers. These courses, however, are usually prerequisites for the
courses that were identified as most essential. Many agency administrators
recommended that more practical courses such as firearms familiarization and boating
skills be added to undergraduate curriculums. Giovengo recognized that most
universities would not have facilities for this and that the goal of an undergraduate
curriculum should be to provide basic subject knowledge and philosophy of
conservation law enforcement. These types of subjects might be better taught at law
enforcement academies and during professional training. Giovengo did note that
emergency medical technician training, offered at many colleges and universities, was
recommended by many administrators.
7


Both Giovengo (1988) and Sigler (1975) recognized that although basic academic
preparation is extremely important, curriculum flexibility is also essential for
undergraduate preparation in conservation law enforcement. Some students, for
example, may desire to become certified wildlife biologists as well as law
enforcement officers. Curriculums could be altered to allow required courses to be
completed for these types of academic goals as well as graduate school preparation in
natural resources or criminal justice.
Historical Agency Requirements
According to Morse (1973) there were 5,221 conservation law enforcement officers
(primarily wildlife-oriented) working for state agencies in the United States in 1968.
Two hundred forty-eight of these officers were identified as having earned a four-year
college degree. Only nine states, seven of which were located in the west, required a
degree for conservation officers. By 1972, the number of officers had increased to
5,734. The number of officers with a bachelors degree had increased to 403. The
same nine states required a degree for new hires.
In a separate study, Morse (1979) identified 13, predominantly Western, states that
required a bachelors degree in 1976. The number of officers with a degree had
increased to 596 that year.
8


By 1984, 15 state conservation law enforcement agencies required a bachelors
degree. Five of them specifically required natural resource related degrees. Seven
states required an associates degree or two years of college, and 28 required only a
high school diploma (Giovengo, 1988).
A 1991 survey by Sigler (1995) examined 53 state wildlife conservation law
enforcement agencies and determined that 21 required a bachelors degree, seven
required an associates degree and 24 required a high school diploma. Of the states
requiring a bachelors degree, 86 percent required the degree to be in a natural
resource field.
Field training and evaluation programs have been utilized by traditional police
agencies since their development by the San Diego (California) Police Department in
1972 (Oettmeir, 1995). A majority of conservation law enforcement agencies now
utilize this type of program to supplement law enforcement academy training for new
officers. These programs vary from 12 to 16 weeks in length and require new officers
to work alongside field training officers (FTOs). Many conservation agencies have
traditionally utilized an informal field training program, pairing up new officers with
experienced officers for a few weeks after academy training. This trend appears to be
declining, with conservation agencies implementing formal programs of a set length,
9


using certified FTOs and developing a performance evaluation rating system for
officers in the program (Sigler, 1995).
10


CHAPTER 2
METHODS
The study required two individual components to determine current agency
requirements and explore possible causation of these requirements due to attitudes of
conservation law enforcement administrators. Initially, current educational
requirements for entry level conservation law enforcement officers for agencies
within the parameters of the study needed to be determined. After this was
completed, a survey was developed and mailed to selected agency law enforcement
administrators to determine attitudes toward educational requirements and
undergraduate curriculum recommendations.
Determination of Current Agency Requirements
To evaluate the current educational requirements of conservation law enforcement
agencies within the United States, agencies with significant law enforcement
functions needed to be determined. A list of federal and state natural resource
management agencies that performed a law enforcement function was determined
using the 2002 edition of the National Wildlife Federations Conservation Directory.
From this list, only those agencies with fully commissioned, armed law enforcement
officers were considered for this study. Agencies with regulatory functions, such as
11


the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation,
that did not fully commission officers were excluded from the study. Agencies, such
as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Police or the Tennessee Valley Authority Police,
that have full police powers but only perform minimal conservation law enforcement
duties were also excluded.
Each agency identified as having a law enforcement function that fell within the
parameters of the study (Appendix A) was contacted by telephone, mail or the
Internet. Each agency was asked to provide the information that is sent to potential
job candidates and asked about educational requirements. In the cases of Internet
contact, the agencys human resource web page was contacted and information
provided to applicants was reviewed.
Agency Administrator Survey
A survey instrument was designed utilizing Likert-type items (Bachman and Schutt,
2001) to measure the attitudes and educational recommendations of law enforcement
administrators of the agencies selected earlier in the study. The educational
requirement categories utilized by The Wildlife Society (2003) for professional
wildlife biologist certification were selected as the basic categories for the survey
instrument. These items were biological sciences, physical sciences, quantitative
sciences, social sciences, communications, natural resource management and natural
12


resource policy and law. Additional categories specific to conservation law
enforcement were also included. These included degree requirements in the fields of
natural resources and criminal justice, current agency educational requirements and
field training programs.
The survey categories were similar in content, but less detailed in course
classification, to the survey instrument utilized by Giovengo (1988). Approval of the
instrument and study was obtained by the Human Subjects Research Committee of
the University of Colorado at Denver. The instrument was pre-tested using a group
of law enforcement managers and officers from several conservation law enforcement
agencies that were accessible to the researcher. This focus group was asked to report
any difficulties understanding or completing the survey instrument. The group was
also asked to provide comments on how questions could be improved or if any
additional questions needed to be added. The results of the pre-test and focus group
comments are included in Appendix D.
The revised survey instrument (Appendix B) was mailed to a group of 74 law
enforcement administrators from agencies identified in Appendix A. Administrators
were identified by their position or title within each agency. If a law enforcement
administrator could not be identified by contacting the agency (n=2), the letter was
addressed to the law enforcement chief of the agency. A cover letter, explaining the
13


purpose of the study and survey completion instructions was included with each
mailing (Appendix C). Each instrument was numbered consecutively in order to
determine which agency administrators had responded to the survey. No identifying
information was included on the instrument except for this number.
Twenty-one days after the survey instruments were mailed, in order to increase the
survey response rate, a second survey form with a revised cover letter (Appendix C)
was mailed to those administrators for which a completed survey instrument had not
been received.
The initial solicitation resulted in the return of 59 survey instruments. Six additional
survey instruments were returned as a result of the follow-up solicitation. The data
analysis was based upon the total response of both mailings (N=65).
14


CHAPTER 3
PRESENTATION OF DATA
Current Agency Requirements
Each contacted agency was evaluated to determine the educational requirements for
entry-level law enforcement officers. Many agencies indicated that, due to the
overwhelming interest in conservation law enforcement positions and the large
number of applications received for each open position, many positions were often
filled at a higher educational level than the minimum level required for the position.
Of the 74 agencies surveyed, 28 required a bachelors degree for entry-level law
enforcement positions. Some agencies specified that the degree be in a field
specifically related to the position, such as natural resource management, wildlife
\
biology, biological science or criminal justice. Other agencies had no requirement for
the course content of the degree.
Ten agencies required a bachelors degree for applicants but allowed career
experience in the field of natural resource management or law enforcement to
substitute for all or part of the educational requirement. Ten agencies required an
associates degree or two years of college. Seven agencies required an associates
15


degree or two years of college but allowed career experience to substitute for all or
part of the requirement. Ninteen agencies required only a high school diploma or the
equivalent for entry-level positions (Table 3.1).
Table 3.1
Educational Requirements of Conservation Law Enforcement Agencies
EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENT NUMBER OF AGENCIES PERCENT OF TOTAL
Bachelor's Degree Required 29 38%
Bachelors Degree or Substitution of Experience 10 14%
Associates Degree Required 10 14%
Associates Degree or Substitution of Experience 6 8%
High School Diploma or Equivalent 19 26%
16


Agency Administrator Survey
Sixty-five out of the 74 agency administrators (88%) responded to the first or second
survey instrument mailing. One administrator contacted the University Human
Subjects Research Administrator and stated that a response would not be mailed
because the agency did not perform a significant amount of conservation law
enforcement duties. Eight agency administrators did not respond to the survey
mailings after sixty days and were excluded from the results of this portion of the
research.
The first item on the survey form was intended to determine the opinion of agency
administrators toward the current educational requirements of their agency and all
conservation law enforcement agencies that they were familiar with. The survey
form stated, Most conservation law enforcement officers in the United States have
adequate academic preparation for the position that they are in. Three participants
(5%) selected Strongly agree, 44 (67%) selected Agree and 14 (22%) selected
Disagree. No participant selected Strongly disagree. Four participants (6%) did
not respond to this item (Figure 3.1).
17


Figure 3.1 Responses to Survey Item One
Most conservation law enforcement
officers in the United States have
adequate academic preparation for
the position that they are in. (N = 65)
|
Strongly
Disagree
n = 0 (0%)
No
Response
n = 4 (6%)
Strongly
Agree
n = 3 (5%)
(67%)
i
Item two of the survey was designed to determine the opinions of agency
administrators on the minimum educational requirements for entry level conservation
law enforcement officers. All agencies included in the study had a minimum
educational requirement for new officers. These requirements, however, are often
determined by state or federal statute and personnel office requirements. This item
was included to determine if variation occurred between current agency requirements
and the educational requirements actually desired by administrators. The question
asked, What should be the minimum educational level for entry level law
enforcement officers within conservation and natural resource law enforcement
18


agencies? Thirty-three participants (50%) selected Bachelors degree, 18 (28%)
selected Associates degree, 6 (9 %) selected Some college and 7 (11%) selected
High school/GED. One participant (2%) did not respond to this item (Figure 3.2).
Figure 3.2 Responses to Survey Item Two
What should be the minimum
educational level for entry level law
enforcement officers within
conservation and natural resource
management agencies? (N = 65)
Some
College
n = 6
(9%)
High
School/ No
GED Response,
n =7 n = 1 (2%)
(11%)
I
l_
Associate's
Degree
n = 18
(28%)
Bachelor's
Degree
n = 33
(50%)
|
i
The third item on the survey instrument was designed to determine agency
administrators satisfaction with the current educational requirements of their agency
for new officers. This item stated, I am satisfied with the current educational
requirements that exist for new conservation law enforcement officers within my
19


agency. Fourteen (22%) participants selected Strongly agree, 36 (54%) selected
Agree, 14 (22%) selected Disagree and one (2%) selected Strongly disagree
(Figure 3.3).
Figure 3.3 Responses to Survey Item Three
I am satisfied with the current
educational requirements that exist for
new conservation law enforcement
officers within my agency. (N = 65)
i
Disagree
n = 14
(22%)
Strongly
Disagree
n = 1 (2%) Strongly
I Agree
i
i
Agree
n = 36
(54%)
Item four was designed to determine if agency administrators felt that a criminal
justice degree provides adequate academic preparation for entry level conservation
officers. The item stated, A criminal justice degree provides adequate undergraduate
20


preparation for conservation law enforcement officers. One participant (2%)
selected Strongly agree, 30 (46%) selected Agree, 25 (38%) selected Disagree
and five (8%) selected Strongly disagree. Four participants (6%) did not respond to
this item (Figure 3.4).
Figure 3.4 Responses to Survey Item Four
A criminal justice degree provides
adequate undergraduate preparation
for conservation law enforcement
officers. (N = 65)
!
Strongly
Disagree
n = 5(8%)
No
Response
n = 4 (6%)
Strongly
Agree
n = 1 (2%)
Agree
n = 30
(46%)
Disagree
n = 25-
(38%)
I
i
Item five was designed to determine if agency administrators felt that a degree in a
natural resource management area provides adequate academic preparation for entry
level conservation officers. The item stated, A degree in the field of natural
21


resources provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law
enforcement officers. Six participants (9%) selected Strongly agree, 42 (64%)
selected Agree, 14 (22%) selected Disagree and two (5%) selected Strongly
disagree. One participant (2%) did not respond to this item (Figure 3.5).
Figure 3.5 Responses to Survey Item Five
A degree in the field of natural
resources provides adequate
undergraduate preparation for
conservation law enforcement
officers. (N = 65)
Strongly
Disagree
n = 2 (3%)
No
Response
n = 1 (2%)
Strongly
Agree
n = 6 (9%)
Disagree
n = 14 (22%)
Agree
n = 42 (64%)
Item six was designed to determine the attitude of agency law enforcement
administrators toward the use of field training programs to enhance law enforcement
academy training. The item stated, Field training programs are essential for
22


conservation law enforcement officers after completion of a law enforcement
academy. Fifty-two participants (80%) selected Strongly agree,, 12 (18%)
selected Agree and one (2%) did not respond the item. No participants selected
Disagree or Strongly disagree (Figure 3.6).
Figure 3.6 Responses to Survey Item Six
Field training programs are essential for
conservation law enforcement officers
after completion of a law enforcement
academy. N = 65
Disagree,
n = 0
(0%)
Agree.
Strongly
Disagree,
n = 0
(0%)
No
Response,
n = 1
n = 12
(18%)
(2%)
^
Strongly
Agree,
n = 52
(80%)
|
Item seven was designed to determine the attitudes of agency administrators toward
allowing applicants for conservation law enforcement officer positions to substitute
23


professional experience for all or part of the undergraduate educational requirement
for the position. The item stated, It should be acceptable to allow applicants to
substitute professional experience for some or all undergraduate educational
requirements for conservation law enforcement positions. Five (8%) participants
selected Strongly agree, 34 (52%) selected Agree, 21 (32%) selected Disagree
and 4 (6%) selected Strongly disagree. One participant (2%) did not respond to this
item (Figure 3.7).
Figure 3.7 Responses to Survey Item Number Seven
It should be acceptable to allow
applicants to substitute professional !
experience for some or all j
undergraduate educational
requirements for conservation law
enforcement positions. ( N = 65) j
l
No
Strongly Response
Disagree n = 1 (2%)
n = 4 (6%) J
Disagree
n = 21
(32%)
Strongly
Agree
n = 5 (8%)
Agree
n = 34
(52%)
24


Items eight through fifteen inquired about participants opinions on various
undergraduate subject areas for preparation for a conservation law enforcement
career. Participants were asked to select Likert-type responses ranging from Not
recommended to Essential for each listed academic area.
Item eight asked, How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the
field of criminal justice to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement
career? Items nine through fifteen utilized the same wording. The curriculum
subject, however, was changed for each question. The subject for item nine was
biological sciences (i.e., zoology, ecology and botany). For item ten the subject was
physical sciences (i.e., chemistry, physics, soils and geology). For item 11 the
subject was quantitative sciences (i.e., statistics, computer science and calculus). For
item 12 the subject was social science (i.e., economics, sociology, psychology,
political science, government and history). For item 13 the subject was
communications (i.e., public speaking, technical writing and composition). For item
14 the subject was basic natural resource management (i.e., wildlife biology, forestry,
watershed management and range ecology). For item 15 the subject was natural
resource policy, administration and law. The responses to these items are displayed
in Table 3.2.
25


Table 3.2 Distribution of Survey Responses of Agency Administrators for
Undergraduate Course Areas (Survey Items #7 #15) N=65
; 'Academical* m -Not' ' Some^- Recommended Essential No ;
..Recommended Benefit - Response
S3 0 19 31 15 0
^ .. Justice trU (0%) (29%) (48%) (23%) (0%)
rtpy'i-Fii? 1 21 26 17 0
(2%) (32%) (4%) (26%) (0%)
teSiii 3 39 19 4 0
(5%) (60%) (29%) (6%) (0%)
^'Quantitative^ 6 36 22 1 0
Sciences (9%) (55%) (34%) (2%) (0%)
Social, 1 26 30 7 1
- Seie (2%) (40%) (46%) (11%) (2%)
5 Coning 0 2 23 40 0
^§fp (0%) (3%) (35%) (61%) (0%)
1 10 30 24 0
(2%) (15%) (46%) (37%) (0%)
Naturall 0 12 30 22 1
Polios ind Law;# (0%) (18%) (46%) (34%) (2%)
In order to determine the order of importance of the seven curriculum areas, the
scores from recommended and essential were summed for each area (Table 3.3).
These resulting scores were ranked applying the technique used by Giovengo (1988).
Communication skills were the highest ranked curriculum area. Natural resource
management and natural resource policy were ranked second and third respectively.
Coursework in criminal justice ranked fourth. Biological science courses ranked
fifth. Social science courses ranked sixth. Courses in physical sciences and
quantitative sciences ranked last with equal scores.
26


Table 3.3 Academic Subject Areas Ranked by Order of Importance to Survey
Participants
Sum of Essential and^ Recommended Scored Rank s -ri'iJY ..
63 i
54 2
52 3
46 4
43 5
37 6
23 7.5
23 ! 7.5
The data determined from survey instrument question two was also compared to the
educational requirements of the employing agency of the respondent. This was done
utilizing the identification number printed on each survey instrument. Each
respondents identity, however, remained confidential. From the 65 returned survey
instruments, it was determined that 40 respondents felt that the minimum educational
level for entry level conservation officers should be the same as their agencys
requirement. Thirteen respondents felt that the requirement should be higher and 9
27


felt that it should be lower than what their agency required. One respondent did not
respond to question two (Table 3.4).
TABLE 3.4
Agency Administrator Recommended Educational Requirements Compared to
Actual Requirements of Employing Agency (N=65)
NUMBER OF RESPONSES (n) PERCENTAGE
41 63%
14 22%
9 14%
1 2%
28


CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSIONS
The field of conservation law enforcement appears to be approaching the standards
suggested by Sigler and others in the 1970s. The number of agencies requiring a
college degree for entry-level conservation officers has increased steadily, but
somewhat slowly, over the past few decades. Fifty-two percent of the agencies
surveyed for this study require officers to have a bachelors degree or a significant
amount of substituted experience, and 74 percent require at least some college or the
equivalent experience.
These findings appear to be a substantial increase compared to Morses (1973)
findings, which showed only five percent of all surveyed officers possessing a degree
in 1968 and seven percent in 1972. Only state wildlife agencies, however, were
surveyed in those years. The number of state wildlife agencies requiring a degree has
increased from 13 in 1976, the last year of Morses survey, to 22 in 2002. Most state
wildlife agencies requiring a degree are still predominately Western or Midwestern.
This is probably a reflection of the diversity of duties, in addition to law enforcement,
that officers tend to perform in these regions, such as population monitoring and
habitat management.
29


Much of this study focused on the investigation of attitudes of agency administrators
toward current educational requirements and the determination of areas of concern
that administrators have about educational requirements. It was felt that a replication
of Giovengos (1988) study could partially accomplish this if a broader range of
agencies, as opposed to strictly wildlife agencies, was considered.
Administrators, in general, seem satisfied with the current educational and training
requirements for both their own agencies and for the field of conservation law
enforcement as a whole. The majority (63%) of those surveyed felt that the
requirements of their own agency were adequate. Twenty-two percent preferred
requirements that were higher than what their agency required, while 14% listed
lower minimum requirements than what their agency required. Many agencies do
allow substitution of experience for some educational requirements, and this could
account for some of the variation in preferences.
An overwhelming majority of agency administrators surveyed (72 percent) were
satisfied with the current academic preparation of most conservation law enforcement
officers; however, 22 percent, felt that most officers were not adequately prepared
academically for their position.
30


Seventy-six percent of administrators surveyed were satisfied with their agencies
current academic requirements for newly hired conservation officers. Twenty-four
percent were dissatisfied with the current requirements of their agency. Fifty percent
of surveyed administrators felt that a bachelors degree should be the minimum
standard educational requirement for conservation law enforcement officers. This is
somewhat consistent with the actual requirements of agencies included in this study
in that 52 percent require a bachelors degree or some equivalent combination of
education or experience for all new officers. The findings for associates degree
requirements are similar to that for bachelors degree. Twenty-two percent of
agencies included in the study require an associates degree, and 28 percent of
administrators surveyed felt that an associates degree should be the minimum
educational requirement for new officers.
Although 26 percent of agencies in the study require a high school diploma as the
minimum educational standard for entry level conservation officers, only eleven
percent of agency administrators surveyed felt that this level of education was
appropriate. An additional nine percent of surveyed administrators felt that officers
should have completed some college. This implies that agencies most likely hire
individuals with higher educational levels than are actually required for the position,
especially when the requirement is high school only.
31


Most administrators seem willing to allow applicants to substitute professional
experience in conservation law enforcement for all or part of their educational
requirements. Twenty-three percent of the agencies included in the study allowed
applicants to substitute experience for education; however, 60 percent of
administrators responding to the survey felt that this practice was acceptable.
Sigler (1995) reports, that in 1991, 86 percent of conservation law enforcement
agencies preferred an academic background in natural resource management for
conservation officers. This preference has declined somewhat, with 73 percent of
survey responses in this study indicating that a natural resource degree provides an
adequate academic background for applicants. Administrators still prefer an
educational background in natural resources as opposed to a criminal justice
background. Forty-seven percent of administrators responding, however, felt that a
criminal justice degree would provide adequate academic preparation for
conservation law enforcement positions. It is interesting to note that, although the
majority of administrators prefer a degree in a natural resource field, criminal justice
courses were ranked higher in importance than biological or physical science courses.
All administrators that answered the survey question dealing with field training
programs were in agreement that field training was essential for new officers after
completion of a law enforcement academy. This is a fairly recent shift in the
32


philosophy of conservation law enforcement training (Sigler, 1995). Although some
agencies only utilize an informal field training program, all agency administrators
responding in this study place a very high value in its use.
By combining aspects of Giovengos (1988) academic criteria with the academic
standards utilized by The Wildlife Society (2003) for professional wildlife biologist
certification purposes, a list of academic subject areas was developed for this study.
Giovengos 32 criteria were significantly more detailed than the eight subject areas
utilized for this study. With the exception of martial arts courses and emergency
medical technician certification, the broader subject areas of this study include each
of Giovengos course specialties. In addition, quantitative sciences coursework was
addressed in this study. None of the courses listed by Giovengo, however, dealt with
any aspects of quantitative science.
There are many similarities between Giovengos findings and the results of this study.
Communications skills are ranked as the most important academic area by
administrators in this study. This corresponds with Giovengos results, with public
speaking being ranked first and technical writing ranked fourth out of 32 areas.
Criminal justice courses, ranked second in the 1988 results, were ranked fourth in this
study. Natural resource management was the second highest ranking academic area
identified in this study. These courses ranked third in a qualitative grouping of
33


Giovengos results. Natural resource policy and law, the third highest ranked group
in this study, was ranked 14th out of 32 course areas in Giovengos results. Social
science and physical science course rankings also parallel Giovengos rankings.
Although that study separated these groups into several subject areas, physical
science courses were the lowest ranked, and social science courses ranked in the
lower half of the group.
A significant difference in the findings of this study compared to Giovengos 1988
results is the ranking of the importance of biological science courses to
administrators. Biological science coursework ranked fifth in this study. With the
exception of mammalogy courses, ranked in the top half of Giovengos more detailed
grouping, all biological science courses were ranked very low in that study. This
could be explained by the broader range of conservation law enforcement agencies
examined in this study. Giovengos study focused only on wildlife related agencies.
Fishery and wildlife biology courses, included in this study as natural resource
management related, were ranked in the top third of Giovengos results. Many
agencies included in this study deal with a wider variety of biological and
environmental issues and thus may give higher value to general biological courses
than more narrowly focused wildlife management agencies.
34


Suggestions for Future Research
A comparison of current programs of study related to conservation law enforcement
offered at universities to coursework deemed useful by agency administrators would
be helpful in evaluating effectiveness of these undergraduate programs to potential
employers.
Field training programs utilized by conservation law enforcement agencies should be
examined more closely to determine the effectiveness of traditional police type
programs compared to conservation and natural resource specific programs.
An evaluation of current undergraduate programs that focus on or allow formal or
informal concentrations in conservation law enforcement should be conducted in the
future to determine if the recommendations of administrators identified in this study
and by Giovengo (1988) are being utilized by university programs and to what extent.
Information of this type should be useful not only to law enforcement program
administrators and training directors but to educators involved in undergraduate
programs that attract potential future conservation law enforcement officers.
35


Summary
The field of conservation law enforcement, as well as educational requirements for
conservation officers, has greatly increased in complexity over the past century.
Academic requirements will most likely continue to increase as the field of
conservation law enforcement is influenced by changes in technology and natural
resource management.
Conservation law enforcement administrators, as a whole, seem satisfied with the
current state of educational preparation of conservation officers and with the
educational background that their agencies require for new officers. Almost all
administrators surveyed felt that conservation officers should have a bachelors
degree or a significant amount of college preparation. Many administrators stated
that a criminal justice degree provides a good background for officers, but a great
deal more preferred new officers to have obtained an undergraduate degree in a
natural resource field.
A wide variety of courses and academic areas appear to be valued by conservation
law enforcement administrators, with communications skills considered as the most
important part of undergraduate preparation for conservation officers. Courses in
natural resource management, policy and law are also considered essential
preparation by most administrators.
36


APPENDIX A
EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTS AND POSITION
TITLES OF AGENCIES SELECTED FOR STUDY
AGENCY POSTION TITLE(S) EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTS
FEDERAL ^ -
Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Ranger and Special Agent Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
Environmental Protection Agency Special Agent Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
Marine Fisheries Service Special Agent Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
National Park Service Park Ranger (Law Enforcement), Criminal Investigator and Special Agent Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service/ Division of Law Enforcement and Division of Refuges Refuge Law Enforcement Officer and Special Agent Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations Law Enforcement Officer and Special Agent Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
ALABAMA^
Alabama Marine Police Division Marine Police Officer High school diploma
ALASKA
Alaska Department of Public Safety/Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection State Trooper High school diploma
ARIZONA
Arizona Game and Fish Department Wildlife Manager Bachelors degree
37


Arizona State Parks Board Park Ranger Bachelors degree
ARKANSAS
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Park Ranger Associates degree
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officer Bachelors degree or substitution of experience with college
CALIFORNIA
California Department of Fish and Game Fish and Game Warden Associates degree
California Department of Forestry District Chief High school diploma
California Department of Parks and Recreation Park Ranger Associates degree
COLORADO
Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation Park Ranger Bachelors degree
Colorado Division of Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Bachelors degree
CONNECTICUT
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Conservation Officer Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
DELAWARE
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officer High school diploma
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Parks and Recreation Enforcement Officer High school diploma
FLORIDA
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Law Enforcement Division Law Enforcement Officer High school diploma
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer High school diploma
38


GEORGIA
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Conservation Ranger Associates degree
HAWAII
Hawaii Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement Conservation Resource Enforcement Officer High school diploma
IDAHO
Idaho Department of Fish and Game Conservation Officer Bachelors degree
ILLINOIS
Illinois Department of Natural Resources/Office of Law Enforcement Conservation Police Officer Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
INDIANA
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Associates degree
IOWA
Iowa Department of Natural Resources/Law Enforcement Bureau Conservation Officer High school diploma
KANSAS
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Conservation Officer Bachelors degree
KENTUCKY
Kentucky Department for Natural Resources Wildlife and Boating Officer and Park Ranger Bachelors degree
LOUISIANA
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Wildlife Enforcement Agent Associates degree or substitution of experience
MAINE
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Game Warden High school diploma
MARYLAND *
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Natural Resource Police Officer and Park Ranger High school diploma
39


MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts Executive office of Environmental Affairs/Division of Conservation Services Natural Resource Officer High school diploma
MICHIGAN
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer High school diploma
MINNESOTA
Minnesota Conservation Officer Associates degree
MISSISSIPPI
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Conservation Officer Associates degree
MISSOURI
Missouri Department of Conservation Conservation Agent Bachelors degree
Missouri Department of Natural Resources State Park Ranger Associates degree
Missouri State Water Patrol Water Patrol Officer Associates degree or substitution of experience
MONTANA
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Fish and Game Warden Bachelors degree
NEBRASKA
Nebraska Game and parks Commission Conservation Officer High school diploma
NEVADA
Nevada Division of Wildlife Law Enforcement Warden Bachelors degree
NEW HAMSHIRE
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officer Associates degree or substitution of experience
NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection/ Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Bachelors degree
40


New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Parks and Forestry Ranger Associates degree
NEW MEXICO
New Mexico State Parks and Recreation Division Park Ranger Bachelors degree
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Bachelors degree
NEW YORK
New York Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Law Enforcement Environmental Conservation Officer Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Officer, Park Ranger, Forest Ranger and Marine Fisheries Officer High school diploma
NORTH DAKOTA
North Dakota Game and Fish Department Game Warden Bachelors degree
North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department Park Ranger Bachelors degree
OHIO
Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation Park Officer Associates degree or substitution of experience
Ohio Division of Watercraft Watercraft Officer High school diploma
Ohio Division of Wildlife Wildlife Officer Associates degree
OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Game Warden Bachelors degree
OREGON
Oregon State Police/Fish and Wildlife Division State Trooper High school diploma
PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Waterways Conservation Officer High school diploma
41


Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer High school diploma
RHODE ISLAND
Department of Environmental Management (Rhode Island) Environmental Police Officer Bachelors degree
SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Officer Bachelors degree
South Carolina Forestry Commission Ranger, Special Agent Bachelors degree
SOUTH DKAOTA
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Conservation Officer and Park Ranger Bachelors degree
TENNESSEE
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Park Ranger Bachelors degree
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Wildlife Officer Bachelors degree
TEXAS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden and Park Ranger Bachelors degree
UTAH
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Wildlife Officer Bachelors degree
Utah State Parks and Recreation Park Ranger Bachelors degree
VERMONT
Department of Fish and Wildlife (Vermont) Game Warden Associates degree or substitution of experience
Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (Vermont) Ranger Associates degree or substitution of experience
VIRGINIA ^ fl
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of State Parks Police Officer High school diploma
42


Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Game Warden Bachelors degree
WASHINGTON
Washington Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Agent Bachelors degree
WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Bachelors degree or substitution of experience
WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Game Warden, Park Ranger and Forestry Officer Bachelors degree
WYOMING
Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Park Ranger High school diploma
Wyoming Game and Fish Department Game Warden Bachelors degree
43


APPENDIX B
Agency Administrator Survey Instrument
44


EDUCATIONAL REQURIMENTS OF CONSERVATION
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS SURVEY
University of Colorado at Denver
Graduate School of Public Affairs
2003
Please circle the answer that most closely agrees with your opinion to the following
statements.
1. Most conservation law enforcement officers in the United States have
adequate academic preparation for the position that they are in.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
2. What should be the minimum educational level for entry level law
enforcement officers within conservation and natural resource management
agencies?
Bachelors Degree Associates Degree Some College High School/GED
3. I am satisfied with the current educational requirements that exist for new
conservation law enforcement officers within my agency.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
4. A criminal justice degree provides adequate undergraduate preparation for
conservation law enforcement officers.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
45


5. A degree in the Held of natural resources provides adequate undergraduate
preparation for conservation law enforcement officers.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
6. Field training programs are essential for conservation law enforcement
officers after completion of a law enforcement academy.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
7. It should be acceptable to allow applicants to substitute professional
experience for some or all undergraduate educational requirements for
conservation law enforcement positions.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
8. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of
criminal justice to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement
career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
9. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of
biological sciences (zoology, ecology', botany) to a person preparing for a
conservation law enforcement career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
10. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of
physical sciences (i.e. chemistry, physics, soils, geology) to a person preparing for
a conservation law enforcement career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
46


11. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the
quantitative sciences (i.e. statistics, computer science, calculus) to a person
preparing for a conservation law enforcement career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
12. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in social sciences
(economics, sociology, psychology, political science, government, history) to a
person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
13. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in
communications (public speaking, technical writing, composition) to a person
preparing for a conservation law enforcement career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
14. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in basic natural
resource management (wildlife biology, forestry, watershed management,
recreation management, range ecology) to a person preparing for a conservation
law enforcement career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
15. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in natural
resource policy, administration and law to a person preparing for a conservation
law enforcement career?
Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential
47


APPENDIX C
Survey Instrument Cover Letter
48


Conservation Law Enforcement Study
University of Colorado at Denver
P.O. Box 4684
Grand Junction, CO 81502
July 1,2003
Title
Agency
Address
City, State,Zip
Dear Law Enforcement Administrator:
The attached survey has been sent to you as a part of a University of Colorado at Denver graduate
research project involving conservation law enforcement. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the
variation in educational requirements for law enforcement officers within various conservation
agencies in the United States.
Your voluntary completion and return of the survey to the researcher in the envelope provided will
significantly assist in the completion of the study. Return of the survey form implies consent to
include your survey response information in this study. Completed survey forms will be maintained
confidentially by the researcher and no identifying information about participants or agencies will be
included in the final documentation.
If you have any questions about the study before or after completion of the survey please contact me at
the above address. The Human Subjects Research Committee Administrator at the University of
Colorado at Denver can also be contacted at HSRC Administrator, CU-Denver Building, Suite 740,
Denver, Colorado, 80217 or by phone at (303) 556-4060
Thank you for your assistance in the completion of this research.
Sincerely,
Paul P. Huff
Masters Candidate
University of Colorado at Denver
Graduate School of Public Affairs
49


Conservation Law Enforcement Research
University of Colorado at Denver
P.O. Box 4684
Grand Junction, CO 81502
September 29, 2003
Name
Title
Agency
Address
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Law Enforcement Administrator:
Several weeks ago you were mailed a survey concerning conservation law enforcement educational
and training issues as a part of a University of Colorado at Denver graduate research project. If you
have already returned a completed survey, please disregard this letter and thank you for your
participation in this project.
If you have not yet responded, your reply is very important. Participants were selected specifically to
ensure adequate representation of the various fields of conservation law enforcement. I have enclosed
an additional survey form and postage paid reply envelope for your convenience.
Voluntary return of the survey form implies consent to include your survey response information in
this study. Completed survey forms will be maintained confidentially by the researcher and no
identifying information about participants or agencies will be included in the final documentation. If
you have any questions about the study before or after completion of the survey please contact me at
the above address. The Human Subjects Research Committee Administrator at the University of
Colorado at Denver can also be contacted at HSRC Administrator, CU-Denver Building, Suite 740,
Denver, Colorado, 80217 or by phone at (303) 556-4060.
Thank you for your assistance in the completion of this research.
Sincerely,
Paul P. Huff
Masters Candidate
University of Colorado at Denver
Graduate School of Public Affairs
50


APPENDIX D
Results of Survey Instrument Focus Group
A focus group was selected to pretest the survey instrument prior to the actual study.
Ten persons involved in the field of conservation law enforcement for state and
federal agencies were selected to participate in the survey by the researcher. These
participants were selected solely because of their availability and willingness to assist
the researcher. At the time of their participation, six participants were conservation
law enforcement officers, two were conservation law enforcement supervisors, one
was a conservation criminal investigator and one was a researcher/natural resource
manager. The responses to the survey instrument questions and comments received
are listed below.
Survey Instrument Responses
1. Most Conservation law enforcement officers in the United States have adequate
academic preparation for the position that they are in.
Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) agreed, two (20%) disagreed
and one (10%) strongly disagreed. No participants strongly agreed.
2. What should be the minimum educational level for entry level law enforcement
officers within conservation and natural resource management agencies?
Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) selected Bachelors Degree,
two (20%) selected Associates Degree and one (10%) selected Some College. No
participants selected High School/GED.
3. I am satisfied with the current educational requirements that exist for new
conservation law enforcement officers within my agency.
Ten participants responded. Five participants (50%) disagreed, three (30%) agreed
and two participants (20%) strongly disagreed. No participants strongly agreed.
51


4. A criminal justice degree provides adequate undergraduate preparation for
conservation law enforcement officers.
Ten participants responded. One participant (10%) selected more than one answer
(agree and disagree). This response was not included in the results. Of the remaining
participants, four (40%) agreed, three (30%) disagreed, one (10%) strongly agreed
and one (10%) strongly disagreed.
5. A degree in the field of natural resources provides adequate undergraduate
preparation for conservation law enforcement officers.
Ten participants responded. One participant (10%) selected more than one answer
(agree and disagree). This response was not included in the results. Of the remaining
participants, five (50%) agreed, three (30%) disagreed and one (10%) strongly
agreed. No participants strongly disagreed.
6. Field training programs are essential for conservation law enforcement officers
after completion of a law enforcement academy.
Ten participants responded. Nine participants (90%) strongly agreed and one (10%)
agreed. No participants disagreed or strongly disagreed.
7. It should be acceptable to allow applicants to substitute professional experience
for some or all undergraduate educational requirements for conservation law
enforcement positions.
Ten participants responded. Five participants (50%) agreed, four (40%) disagreed
and one (10%) strongly agreed. No participants strongly disagreed.
8. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of criminal
justice to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career?
Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) selected recommended and
three (30%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended or some
benefit.
52


9. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of biological
sciences (i.e. zoology, ecology, botany) to a person preparing for a conservation law
enforcement career?
Ten participants responded. Six participants (60%) selected recommended, three
(30%) selected essential and one (10%) selected some benefit. No participants
selected not recommended.
10. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field ofphysical
sciences (i.e. chemistry, physics, soils, geology) to a person preparing for a
conservation law enforcement career?
Ten participants responded. Five participants (50%) selected some benefit and five
(50%) selected recommended. No participants selected not recommended or
essential.
11. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the quantitative
sciences (i.e. statistics, computer science, calculus) to a person preparing for a
conservation law enforcement career?
Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) selected some benefit, two
(20%) selected recommended and one (10%) selected not recommended. No
participants selected essential.
12. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in social sciences
(economics, sociology, psychology, political science, government, history) to a person
preparing for a conservation law enforcement career?
Ten participants responded. Four participants (40%) selected some benefit, four
(40%) selected recommended and two (20%) selected essential. No participants
selected not recommended.
13. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in communications
(public speaking, technical writing, composition) to a person preparing for a
conservation law enforcement career?
53


Ten participants responded. Two participants (20%) selected some benefit, one
(10%) selected recommended and seven (70%) selected essential. No participants
selected not recommended.
14. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in basic natural
resource management (wildlife biology, forestry, watershed management, recreation
management, range ecology) to a person preparing for a conservation law
enforcement career?
Ten participants responded. Two participants (20%) selected recommended and eight
(80%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended or some benefit.
15. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in natural resource
policy, administration and law to a person preparing for a conservation law
enforcement career?
Ten participants responded. Four participants (40%) selected recommended and six
(60%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended or some benefit.
Participants Comments
Each of the ten participants surveyed stated that they had no difficulty understanding
or responding to the questions included in the survey instrument.
One participant stated that a question concerning prior work in natural resources or
law enforcement before working as a conservation officer would be appropriate. The
researcher felt that this area of concern was covered adequately by question seven on
the survey instrument.
One participant stated that names and job titles should be included on the survey form
to identify possible bias or influence from agency affiliation or educational
background of administrators. The researcher felt that bias would be reduced if the
survey forms remained anonymous. By using the numbers on the survey form, the
researcher was able to determine which agency returned each form. This enabled the
researcher to identify possible bias caused by agency educational requirements.
54


REFERENCES
Bachman, R., and R.K. Schutt. 2001. The Practice of Research in Criminology and
Criminal Justice. Pine Forge Press: Thousand Oaks, CA.
Beattie, K.H., R.H. Giles and C. J. Cowles. 1977. Lack of Research in Wildlife
Law Enforcement. Wildlife Society Bulletin 5(4): 170-174.
Beattie, K.H. and R.H. Giles. 1979. A Survey of Wildlife Law Enforcement
Research Needs and Current Research. Wildlife Society Bulletin 7(3):185-188.
Benoit, P.J. 1973. From Fish and Wildlife Officer to Environmental Conservation
Officer. Wildlife Society Bulletin 1(3): 128-130.
Giovengo, R.D. 1988. An Undergraduate Curriculum in Conservation Law
Enforcement. Wildlife Society Bulletin 6(2):218-221
Leopold, A. 1933. Game Management. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison.
Morse, W.B. 1973. Law Enforcement One Third of the Triangle. Wildlife
Society Bulletin l(l):39-44.
Morse, W.B. 1979. Law Enforcement A Tool of Management. Pp. 22 26
in R.D. Teague and Eugene Decker (eds.), Wildlife Conservation Principles and
Practices. The Wildlife Society: Washington, D.C.
National Wildlife Federation. 2002. 2002 Conservation Directory. Island Press:
Covelo, CA.
Oettmeir, T. N. 1995. Field Training and Evaluation Program. Pp. 296 299 in
W.G. Bailey (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Police Science, 2nd Ed. Garland: New
York.
Sigler, W.F. 1975. Recommended: B.S. Degree for State Wildlife Law
Enforcement Officers. Wildlife Society Bulletin 3(4): 173-175.
Sigler, W.F. 1995. Wildlife Law Enforcement, 4th Ed. McGraw- Hill: Boston.
55


The Wildlife Society. 1975. Ecopolicies of The Wildlife Society. Wildlife Society
Bulletin 3(l):36-43.
The Wildlife Society. 2003. Certified Wildlife Biologist Program,
www. wildlife, org/professional/index. cfm
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Full Text

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EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSERVATION LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS by Paul Phillip Huff B.S., Colorado State University, 1989 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Criminal Justice 2003

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by Paul Phillip Huff All rights reserved

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This thesis for the Master of Criminal Justice degree by Paul Phillip Huff has been approved

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Huff, Paul Phillip (M.C.J., Criminal Justice) Educational Requirements for Conservation Law Enforcement Officers Thesis directed by Professor Eric D. Poole ABSTRACT Educational requirements for conservation law enforcement officers within the United States have varied historically and among agencies. The primary purpose of this research was to identify current educational requirements for conservation officers, evaluate historic changes that have occurred within agencies and determine the satisfaction rate and recommendations of agency administrators pertaining to educational requirements. This study determined that agencies' educational requirements have progressively increased over time and that most agencies currently require a bachelor's degree or significant amount of col1ege for conservation officers. Conservation law enforcement administrators, as a whole, seem satisfied with the current state of educational preparation of conservation officers and with the educational background that their agencies require for new officers. Communications skiiis are considered by administrators as the most important part of undergraduate preparation for conservation officers. Courses in natural resource management, policy and law are also considered essential preparation by most administrators. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. iv

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DEDICATION This thesis is dedicated to Laura and Joshua Huff for their patience, understanding and assistance throughout the completion of this project.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Eric Poole, for his support and guidance throughout the completion of this project. I would also like to thank the members of my thesis committee, Dr. Mark Pogrebin and Dr. Mary Dodge. I am grateful to all of my colleagues in the natural resource field, especially Tim Reader and Scott Brown, who provided valuable input and support during the planning and focus group portion of this research. I would also like to thank my wife, Laura, for all of her assistance in data collection, manuscript preparation and data analysis. Her help with sorting, mailing and tracking survey instruments was particularly appreciated and her support throughout this project was invaluable. My son, Joshua, endured many long drives and demonstrated tremendous patience during the completion of this research.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Figures ........................................................................................... .iv Tables ............................................................................................... v CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................ I Background ..................................................................... 2 Historical Agency Requirements ............................................. 8 2. METHODS ...................................................................... II Determination of Current Agency Requirements ............................... I1 Agency Administrator Survey .............................................. I2 3. PRESENTATION OF DATA ................................................. 15 Current Agency Requirements ............................................. I5 Agency Administrator Survey ............................................. I7 4. CONCLUSIONS ............................................................... 29 Suggestions for Future Research .......................................... 35 Summary ..................................................................... 36 Vll

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APPENDIX A. EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTS AND POSITION TITLES OF AGENCIES SELECTED FOR STUDY ...................... 37 B. AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR SURVEY INSTRUMENT .............. .44 C. SURVEY INSTRUMENT COVER LETTERS ............................ .48 D. RESULTS OF SURVEY INSTRUMENT FOCUS GROUP .............. 51 REFERENCES ............................................................................... 55 Vlll

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FIGURES Figure 3.1 Responses to Survey Item One ..................................................... 18 3.2 Responses to Survey Item Two ..................................................... 19 3.3 Responses to Survey Item Three ................................................... 20 3.4 Responses to Survey Item Four. .................................................... 21 3.5 Responses to Survey Item Five ..................................................... 22 3.6 Responses to Survey Item Six...................................................... 23 3.7 Responses to Survey Item Seven ................................................... 24 IV

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TABLES Table 3.1 Educational Requirements of Conservation Law Enforcement Agencies ............................................................... 16 3.2 Distribution of Survey responses of Agency Administrators for Undergraduate Course Areas ................................................... 26 3.3 Academic Subject Areas Ranked by Order of Importance to Survey Participants ................................................. 27 3.4 Agency Administrator Recommended Educational Requirements Compared to Actual Requirements of Employing Agency ..................... 28 v

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Law enforcement has become an integral component of almost every state and federal natural resource management agency in the United States. Because laws provide the framework and foundation for natural resource management, law enforcement is involved with nearly every aspect of natural resource management (Morse, 1979). Morse (1973) identifies three fundamental activities that constitute natural resource management in the United States: research, management and law enforcement. The role of management is to apply knowledge gained with research activities to ecosystems in order to achieve management goals. Excluding the function of public safety, the role of law enforcement within natural resource agencies is to secure public compliance with the laws and regulations that are utilized as tools of management. It is the intent of this study to review current and historical educational requirements for conservation law enforcement officers set by agencies and identify attitudes and management concerns of agency law enforcement program administrators that influence these requirements.

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Background Conservation law enforcement in the United States began in the 1850's in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the first states to hire game wardens to protect wildlife populations and regulate harvests (Leopold, 1933:13 ). Sigler ( 1995 :98-99) identified fifty-three state agencies in the United States that perform wildlife law enforcement functions. There are numerous other state conservation agencies, such as state parks departments and state forestry divisions that employ law enforcement officers. The federal government has several natural resource management agencies that employ law enforcement officers, rangers and special agents. These include the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Other agencies within the federal government, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Marine Fisheries Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority, also perform a natural resource law enforcement function. State conservation law enforcement officers are statutorily considered peace officers within their respective states throughout the United States. Each state agency examined within the scope ofthis study requires officers to complete a basic state academy, such as Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.), and the majority have some form of post academy field training program for new officers. Several agencies utilize an internal academy that meets state requirements but is agency 2

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specific and conservation based. Federal natural resource management agencies utilize programs at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (F.L.E.T.C.). Two of these programs, the Natural Resource Police Training Program and Basic Law Enforcement for National Park Rangers, are similar in content to most basic police academies but also include conservation specific training. Criminal investigators and special agents for federal agencies complete the standard F.L.E.T.C. criminal investigation basic training program with no additional conservation based training. The majority ofliterature dealing with conservation law enforcement has centered upon the field of wildlife law enforcement. Most of the principles of wildlife enforcement can be applied to the broader field of conservation and land management law enforcement. During the past few decades, many agencies have created new positions simply titled conservation officer or conservation police officer, merging the traditional roles ofwildlife officers and park rangers and adding environmental enforcement responsibilities (Benoit, 1973 ). Educational requirements vary for conservation law enforcement officers depending on the employing agency. These requirements have become more complex as officers' duties have increased in complexity and diversity. Aldo Leopold (1933) made the earliest recommendations for educational requirements beyond the high school level in the first wildlife management text, Game Management. Leopold 3

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Management. Leopold ( 1933 :414-415) identified three levels of training for wildlife management professionals: vocational, technical and scientific. Law enforcement officers (or game wardens), as well as most other field level employees, were included in the vocational level, which Leopold recommended should require six to 18 months oftraining after high school. Leopold recommended that supervisory game wardens be included with other agency administrators in the technical group, which required a two-year college degree. Agency chiefs and researchers were placed in the scientific group for which a four year degree or higher was recommended. Sigler (1975) recommended that all state wildlife law enforcement agencies adopt a minimum standard of a bachelor's degree in a conservation field for all new officers. Although only a few universities with natural resource programs offer courses dealing with law enforcement, courses of this nature would also be a great asset. In many states, officers are required to collect biological data in the field, as well as make recommendations for the management of wildlife populations. A working knowledge of management practices, sampling techniques and biological science is required to perform these duties. Because of these requirements, it is easier to provide law enforcement training to an employee with a natural resource management background than to attempt to train a police officer in natural resource management techniques. 4

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Research in the area of conservation law enforcement and on the effects of illegal activities upon natural resources has been minimal. Increasing the number of officers with a college-level education would increase the quality of research activity in this area (Sigler, 1975). Morse (1973) recognized that most conservation law enforcement research is limited to manipulating techniques that are utilized by agencies on a routine basis. The goal of such research should be improving techniques and knowledge on a broader scale. Beattie and his colleagues ( 1977) note that, while agency budgetary restrictions appear to be the most limiting factor prohibiting wildlife law enforcement research, a lack ofprofessionalism and recognition in professional organizations also inhibits research activities. This lack of previous research might indicate to some that the subject matter lacks importance or that research is difficult to accomplish. Beattie and Giles (1979) note that only 40 percent ofwildlife law enforcement agencies conduct research programs of any sort. Higher educational requirements for entry level officers would expose them to previous research and research methods. This would stimulate both needed research in the field of conservation law enforcement and enhance the possibility that new findings would be put into practice. In its scientific policy statement, The Wildlife Society (1975) recognized both the importance of the role oflaw enforcement in natural resource management and the 5

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need for professional educational requirements for conservation officers. The Wildlife Society recommends that university-level training in the disciplines of natural science, conservation education and criminal justice should be the minimum standard for officers engaged in conservation law enforcement. The policy statement also encourages all conservation officers to affiliate with professional societies involved with natural resource management. Giovengo (1988) surveyed conservation law enforcement agency administrators to determine an appropriate undergraduate curriculum for students interested in a conservation law enforcement career. These recommendations were put into practice as a program in conservation law enforcement for wildlife biology and criminal justice students at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The changes over time in the responsibilities of conservation officers from traditional natural resource protection duties to duties such as watercraft enforcement, pollution enforcement, endangered species enforcement and international illegal wildlife trafficking have created a diversity of law enforcement roles for state and federal agencies. Most state and federal conservation law enforcement officers also perform more traditional police duties, enforcing traffic, criminal and controlled substance statutes. Giovengo recognized that conservation agencies have been forced to adapt to these changes by increasing eligibility standards and training requirements for enforcement personnel, 6

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but most programs within natural resource or criminal justice majors are too narrowly focused and do not reflect the diversity of knowledge required in the field. Public speaking and communication skills were the most important part of an undergraduate curriculum according to agency administrators surveyed by Giovengo (1988). Courses in basic fish and wildlife biology, forestry and other natural resource management techniques were considered essential, as were courses in criminal justice and criminal law. Basic natural and social science courses, traditionally required for undergraduate degrees, were identified as least essential for potential conservation law enforcement officers. These courses, however, are usually prerequisites for the courses that were identified as most essential. Many agency administrators recommended that more practical courses such as firearms familiarization and boating skills be added to undergraduate curriculums. Giovengo recognized that most universities would not have facilities for this and that the goal of an undergraduate curriculum should be to provide basic subject knowledge and philosophy of conservation law enforcement. These types of subjects might be better taught at law enforcement academies and during professional training. Giovengo did note that emergency medical technician training, offered at many colleges and universities, was recommended by many administrators. 7

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Both Giovengo (1988) and Sigler (1975) recognized that although basic academic preparation is extremely important, curriculum flexibility is also essential for undergraduate preparation in conservation law enforcement. Some students, for example, may desire to become certified wildlife biologists as well as law enforcement officers. Curriculums could be altered to allow required courses to be completed for these types of academic goals as well as graduate school preparation in natural resources or criminal justice. Historical Agency Requirements According to Morse (1973) there were 5,221 conservation law enforcement officers (primarily wildlife-oriented) working for state agencies in the United States in 1968. Two hundred forty-eight ofthese officers were identified as having earned a four-year college degree. Only nine states, seven of which were located in the west, required a degree for conservation officers. By 1972, the number of officers had increased to 5,734. The number of officers with a bachelor's degree had increased to 403. The same nine states required a degree for new hires. In a separate study, Morse (1979) identified 13, predominantly Western, states that required a bachelor's degree in 1976. The number of officers with a degree had increased to 596 that year. 8

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By 1984, 15 state conservation law enforcement agencies required a bachelor's degree. Five of them specifically required natural resource related degrees. Seven states required an associate's degree or two years of college, and 28 required only a high school diploma (Giovengo, 1988). A 1991 survey by Sigler (1995) examined 53 state wildlife conservation law enforcement agencies and determined that 21 required a bachelor's degree, seven required an associate's degree and 24 required a high school diploma. Of the states requiring a bachelor's degree, 86 percent required the degree to be in a natural resource field. Field training and evaluation programs have been utilized by traditional police agencies since their development by the San Diego (California) Police Department in 1972 (Oettmeir, 1995). A majority of conservation law enforcement agencies now utilize this type of program to supplement law enforcement academy training for new officers. These programs vary from 12 to 16 weeks in length and require new officers to work alongside field training officers (FTO's). Many conservation agencies have traditionally utilized an informal field training program, pairing up new officers with experienced officers for a few weeks after academy training. This trend appears to be declining, with conservation agencies implementing formal programs of a set length, 9

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using certified FTO's and developing a performance evaluation rating system for officers in the program (Sigler, 1995). 10

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CHAPTER2 METHODS The study required two individual components to determine current agency requirements and explore possible causation ofthese requirements due to attitudes of conservation law enforcement administrators. Initially, current educational requirements for entry level conservation law enforcement officers for agencies within the parameters of the study needed to be determined. After this was completed, a survey was developed and mailed to selected agency law enforcement administrators to determine attitudes toward educational requirements and undergraduate curriculum recommendations. Determination of Current Agency Requirements To evaluate the current educational requirements of conservation law enforcement agencies within the United States, agencies with significant law enforcement functions needed to be determined. A list of federal and state natural resource management agencies that performed a law enforcement function was determined using the 2002 edition of the National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Directory. From this list, only those agencies with fully commissioned, armed law enforcement officers were considered for this study. Agencies with regulatory functions, such as 11

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the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the Idaho Department ofParks and Recreation, that did not fully commission officers were excluded from the study. Agencies, such as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Police or the Tennessee Valley Authority Police, that have full police powers but only perform minimal conservation law enforcement duties were also excluded. Each agency identified as having a law enforcement function that fell within the parameters of the study (Appendix A) was contacted by telephone, mail or the Internet. Each agency was asked to provide the information that is sent to potential job candidates and asked about educational requirements. In the cases of Internet contact, the agency's human resource web page was contacted and information provided to applicants was reviewed. Agency Administrator Survey A survey instrument was designed utilizing Likert-type items (Bachman and Schutt, 2001) to measure the attitudes and educational recommendations of law enforcement administrators of the agencies selected earlier in the study. The educational requirement categories utilized by The Wildlife Society (2003) for professional wildlife biologist certification were selected as the basic categories for the survey instrument. These items were biological sciences, physical sciences, quantitative sciences, social sciences, communications, natural resource management and natural 12

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resource policy and law. Additional categories specific to conservation law enforcement were also included. These included degree requirements in the fields of natural resources and criminal justice, current agency educational requirements and field training programs. The survey categories were similar in content, but less detailed in course classification, to the survey instrument utilized by Giovengo ( 1988). Approval of the instrument and study was obtained by the Human Subjects Research Committee of the University of Colorado at Denver. The instrument was pre-tested using a group of law enforcement managers and officers from several conservation law enforcement agencies that were accessible to the researcher. This focus group was asked to report any difficulties understanding or completing the survey instrument. The group was also asked to provide comments on how questions could be improved or if any additional questions needed to be added. The results of the pre-test and focus group comments are included in Appendix D. The revised survey instrument (Appendix B) was mailed to a group of 74 law enforcement administrators from agencies identified in Appendix A. Administrators were identified by their position or title within each agency. If a law enforcement administrator could not be identified by contacting the agency (n=2), the letter was addressed to the law enforcement chief of the agency. A cover letter, explaining the 13

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purpose of the study and survey completion instructions was included with each mailing (Appendix C). Each instrument was numbered consecutively in order to determine which agency administrators had responded to the survey. No identifying information was included on the instrument except for this number. Twenty-one days after the survey instruments were mailed, in order to increase the survey response rate, a second survey form with a revised cover letter (Appendix C) was mailed to those administrators for which a completed survey instrument had not been received. The initial solicitation resulted in the return of 59 survey instruments. Six additional survey instruments were returned as a result of the follow-up solicitation. The data analysis was based upon the total response ofboth mailings (N=65). 14

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CHAPTER3 PRESENTATION OF DATA Current Agency Requirements Each contacted agency was evaluated to determine the educational requirements for entry-level law enforcement officers. Many agencies indicated that, due to the overwhelming interest in conservation law enforcement positions and the large number of applications received for each open position, many positions were often filled at a higher educational level than the minimum level required for the position. Of the 74 agencies surveyed, 28 required a bachelor's degree for entry-level law enforcement positions. Some agencies specified that the degree be in a field specifically related to the position, such as natural resource management, wildlife biology, biological science or criminal justice. Other agencies had no requirement for the course content of the degree. Ten agencies required a bachelor's degree for applicants but allowed career experience in the field of natural resource management or law enforcement to substitute for all or part of the educational requirement. Ten agencies required an associate's degree or two years of college. Seven agencies required an associate's 15

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degree or two years of college but allowed career experience to substitute for all or part of the requirement. Ninteen agencies required only a high school diploma or the equivalent for entry-level positions (Table 3.1 ). Table 3.1 Educational Requirements of Conservation Law Enforcement Agencies EDUCATIONAL NUMBER OF PERCENT REQUIRMENT AGENCIES OF TOTAL Bachelor s Degree 29 38% Required Bachelor s Degree or 10 14% Substitution of Experience Associates Degree 10 14% Required Associates Degree or 6 8% Substitution of Experience High School Diploma 19 26% or Equivalent 16

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Agency Administrator Survey Sixty-five out of the 74 agency administrators (88%) responded to the first or second survey instrument mailing. One administrator contacted the University Human Subjects Research Administrator and stated that a response would not be mailed because the agency did not perform a significant amount of conservation law enforcement duties. Eight agency administrators did not respond to the survey mailings after sixty days and were excluded from the results of this portion of the research. The first item on the survey form was intended to determine the opinion of agency administrators toward the current educational requirements of their agency and all conservation law enforcement agencies that they were familiar with. The survey form stated, "Most conservation law enforcement officers in the United States have adequate academic preparation for the position that they are in." Three participants (5%) selected "Strongly agree," 44 (67%) selected "Agree" and 14 (22%) selected "Disagree." No participant selected "Strongly disagree." Four participants (6%) did not respond to this item (Figure 3.1 ). 17

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Figure 3.1 Responses to Survey Item One Most conservation law enforcement officers in the United States have adequate academic preparation for the position that they are in. (N = 65) Strongly Disagree n = 0 (0%) Disagree, n = 14 (22%) No Response n = 4 (6%) Strongly Agree n = 3 (5%) Agree n = 44 (67%) Item two of the survey was designed to determine the opinions of agency administrators on the minimum educational requirements for entry level conservation law enforcement officers. All agencies included in the study had a minimum educational requirement for new officers. These requirements, however, are often determined by state or federal statute and personnel office requirements. This item was included to determine if variation occurred between current agency requirements and the educational requirements actually desired by administrators. The question asked, "What should be the minimum educational level for entry level law enforcement officers within conservation and natural resource law enforcement 18

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agencies?" Thirty-three participants (50%) selected "Bachelor's degree," 18 (28%) selected "Associate's degree," 6 (9 %) selected "Some college" and 7 (11%) selected "High school/GED". One participant (2%) did not respond to this item (Figure 3.2). Figure 3.2 Responses to Survey Item Two What should be the minimum educational level for entry level law enforcement officers within conservation and natural resource management agencies? (N = 65) Some College n=6 (9%) High School/ GED Associate's Degree n = 18 (28%) No Bachelor's Degree n = 33 (50%) The third item on the survey instrument was designed to determine agency administrators' satisfaction with the current educational requirements of their agency for new officers. This item stated, "I am satisfied with the current educational requirements that exist for new conservation law enforcement officers within my 19

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agency". Fourteen (22%) participants selected "Strongly agree," 36 (54%) selected "Agree," 14 (22%) selected "Disagree" and one (2%) selected "Strongly disagree" (Figure 3.3). Figure 3. 3 Responses to Survey Item Three i I am satisfied with the current educational requirements that exist for new conservation law enforcement officers within my agency. (N = 65) Disagree n = 14 (22%) Strongly Disagree n = 1 (2%) Agree n = 36 (54%) Strongly Agree n = 14 --,(22%) L -------------------------Item four was designed to determine if agency administrators felt that a criminal justice degree provides adequate academic preparation for entry level conservation officers. The item stated, "A criminal justice degree provides adequate undergraduate 20

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preparation for conservation law enforcement officers." One participant (2%) selected "Strongly agree," 30 (46%) selected "Agree," 25 (38%) selected "Disagree" and five (8%) selected "Strongly disagree." Four participants (6%) did not respond to this item (Figure 3.4). Figure 3. 4 Responses to Survey Item Four A criminal justice degree provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law enforcement officers. (N = 65) No Response Strongly n = 4 (6%) Disagree n = 5 (8%) Disagree n = 25 (38%) Strongly Agree n = 1 (2%) Agree n = 30 (46%) ----Item five was designed to determine if agency administrators felt that a degree in a natural resource management area provides adequate academic preparation for entry level conservation officers. The item stated, "A degree in the field of natural 21

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resources provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law enforcement officers." Six participants (9%) selected "Strongly agree," 42 (64%) selected "Agree," 14 (22%) selected "Disagree" and two (5%) selected "Strongly disagree." One participant (2%) did not respond to this item (Figure 3.5). Figure 3.5 Responses to Survey Item Five A degree in the field of natural resources provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law enforcement officers. (N = 65) Strongly Disagree -n = 2 (3%) No Response n = 1 (2%) Strongly Agree n = 6 (9%) Disagree n = 14 (22%) Agree n = 42 (64%) Item six was designed to determine the attitude of agency law enforcement administrators toward the use of field training programs to enhance law enforcement academy training. The item stated, "Field training programs are essential for 22

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conservation law enforcement officers after completion of a law enforcement academy." Fifty-two participants (80%) selected "Strongly agree,", 12 (18%) selected "Agree" and one (2%) did not respond the item. No participants selected "Disagree" or "Strongly disagree" (Figure 3.6). Figure 3. 6 Responses to Survey Item Six Field training programs are essential for conservation law enforcement officers after completion of a law enforcement Agree, n = 12 (18%) academy. N = 65 Disagree, n=O (0%) Strongly Disagree, n=O (0%) No Response, n = 1 (2%) .. ..... I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I ' I I t Strongly Agree, n =52 (80%) Item seven was designed to determine the attitudes of agency administrators toward allowing applicants for conservation law enforcement officer positions to substitute 23

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professional experience for all or part of the undergraduate educational requirement for the position. The item stated, "It should be acceptable to allow applicants to substitute professional experience for some or all undergraduate educational requirements for conservation law enforcement positions." Five (8%) participants selected "Strongly agree," 34 (52%) selected "Agree," 21 (32%) selected "Disagree" and 4 (6%) selected "Strongly disagree." One participant (2%) did not respond to this item (Figure 3.7). Figure 3. 7 Responses to Survey Item Number Seven It should be acceptable to allow applicants to substitute professional experience for some or all undergraduate educational requirements for conservation law enforcement positions. ( N = 65) Strongly Disagree n=4(6%) Disagree n = 21 (32%) No Response n = 1 (2%) 24 Strongly Agree n = 5 (8%) Agree n = 34 (52%)

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Items eight through fifteen inquired about participants opinions on various undergraduate subject areas for preparation for a conservation law enforcement career. Participants were asked to select Likert-type responses ranging from "Not recommended" to "Essential" for each listed academic area. Item eight asked, "How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of criminal justice to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career?" Items nine through fifteen utilized the same wording. The curriculum subject, however, was changed for each question. The subject for item nine was biological sciences (i.e., zoology, ecology and botany). For item ten the subject was physical sciences (i.e., chemistry, physics, soils and geology). For item 11 the subject was quantitative sciences (i.e., statistics, computer science and calculus). For item 12 the subject was social science (i.e., economics, sociology, psychology, political science, government and history). For item 13 the subject was communications (i.e., public speaking, technical writing and composition). For item 14 the subject was basic natural resource management (i.e., wildlife biology, forestry, watershed management and range ecology). For item 15 the subject was natural resource policy, administration and law. The responses to these items are displayed in Table 3.2. 25

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Table 3.2 Distribution of Survey Responses of Agency Administrators for Undergraduate Course Areas (Survey Items #7-#15) N=65 (0%) (48% (23%) (0%) 1 26 17 0 (2%) (32% (4%) (26%) (0%) 3 39 19 4 0 (5%) (60%) (29%) (6%) (0%) 6 36 22 1 0 (55%) (34%) (2%) (0%) 26 30 7 1 (40%) (46%) (11%) (2%) 2 23 40 0 (3%) (35%) (61%) (0%) 10 30 24 0 (15% (46%) (37%) (0%) 12 30 22 1 (0%) (18%) (46%) (34%) (2%) In order to determine the order of importance of the seven curriculum areas, the scores from "recommended" and "essential" were summed for each area (Table 3.3). These resulting scores were ranked applying the technique used by Giovengo (1988). Communication skills were the highest ranked curriculum area. Natural resource management and natural resource policy were ranked second and third respectively. Coursework in criminal justice ranked fourth. Biological science courses ranked fifth. Social science courses ranked sixth. Courses in physical sciences and quantitative sciences rariked last with equal scores. 26

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Table 3.3 Academic Subject Areas Ranked by Order of Importance to Survey Participants 54 2 52 3 46 4 43 5 37 6 23 7.5 23 7.5 The data determined from survey instrument question two was also compared to the educational requirements of the employing agency of the respondent. This was done utilizing the identification number printed on each survey instrument. Each respondent's identity, however, remained confidential. From the 65 returned survey instruments, it was determined that 40 respondents felt that the minimum educational level for entry level conservation officers should be the same as their agency's requirement. Thirteen respondents felt that the requirement should be higher and 9 27

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felt that it should be lower than what their agency required. One respondent did not respond to question two (Table 3.4). TABLE 3.4 Agency Administrator Recommended Educational Requirements Compared to Actual Requirements of Employing Agency (N=65) NUMBER OF RESPONSES n 41 14 9 1 28 PERCENTAGE 63% 22% 14% 2%

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CHAPTER4 CONCLUSIONS The field of conservation law enforcement appears to be approaching the standards suggested by Sigler and others in the 1970's. The number of agencies requiring a college degree for entry-level conservation officers has increased steadily, but somewhat slowly, over the past few decades. Fifty-two percent of the agencies surveyed for this study require officers to have a bachelor's degree or a significant amount of substituted experience, and 74 percent require at least some college or the equivalent experience. These fmdings appear to be a substantial increase compared to Morse's (1973) findings, which showed only five percent of all surveyed officers possessing a degree in 1968 and seven percent in 1972. Only state wildlife agencies, however, were surveyed in those years. The number of state wildlife agencies requiring a degree has increased from 13 in 1976, the last year of Morse's survey, to 22 in 2002. Most state wildlife agencies requiring a degree are still predominately Western or Midwestern. This is probably a reflection of the diversity of duties, in addition to law enforcement, that officers tend to perform in these regions, such as population monitoring and habitat management. 29

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Much of this study focused on the investigation of attitudes of agency administrators toward current educational requirements and the determination of areas of concern that administrators have about educational requirements. It was felt that a replication ofGiovengo's (1988) study could partially accomplish this if a broader range of agencies, as opposed to strictly wildlife agencies, was considered. Administrators, in general, seem satisfied with the current educational and training requirements for both their own agencies and for the field of conservation law enforcement as a whole. The majority (63%) of those surveyed felt that the requirements of their own agency were adequate. Twenty-two percent preferred requirements that were higher than what their agency required, while 14% listed lower minimum requirements than what their agency required. Many agencies do allow substitution of experience for some educational requirements, and this could account for some of the variation in preferences. An overwhelming majority of agency administrators surveyed (72 percent) were satisfied with the current academic preparation of most conservation law enforcement officers; however, 22 percent, felt that most officers were not adequately prepared academically for their position. 30

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Seventy-six percent of administrators surveyed were satisfied with their agencies' current academic requirements for newly hired conservation officers. Twenty-four percent were dissatisfied with the current requirements oftheir agency. Fifty percent of surveyed administrators felt that a bachelor's degree should be the minimum standard educational requirement for conservation law enforcement officers. This is somewhat consistent with the actual requirements of agencies included in this study in that 52 percent require a bachelor's degree or some equivalent combination of education or experience for all new officers. The findings for associate's degree requirements are similar to that for bachelor's degree. Twenty-two percent of agencies included in the study require an associate's degree, and 28 percent of administrators surveyed felt that an associate's degree should be the minimum educational requirement for new officers. Although 26 percent of agencies in the study require a high school diploma as the minimwn educational standard for entry level conservation officers, only eleven percent of agency administrators surveyed felt that this level of education was appropriate. An additional nine percent of surveyed administrators felt that officers should have completed some college. This implies that agencies most likely hire individuals with higher educational levels than are actually required for the position, especially when the requirement is high school only. 31

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Most administrators seem willing to allow applicants to substitute professional experience in conservation law enforcement for all or part of their educational requirements. Twenty-three percent of the agencies included in the study allowed applicants to substitute experience for education; however, 60 percent of administrators responding to the survey felt that this practice was acceptable. Sigler ( 1995) reports, that in 1991, 86 percent of conservation law enforcement agencies preferred an academic background in natural resource management for conservation officers. This preference has declined somewhat, with 73 percent of survey responses in this study indicating that a natural resource degree provides an adequate academic background for applicants. Administrators still prefer an educational background in natural resources as opposed to a criminal justice background. Forty-seven percent of administrators responding, however, felt that a criminal justice degree would provide adequate academic preparation for conservation law enforcement positions. It is interesting to note that, although the majority of administrators prefer a degree in a natural resource field, criminal justice courses were ranked higher in importance than biological or physical science courses. All administrators that answered the survey question dealing with field training programs were in agreement that field training was essential for new officers after completion of a law enforcement academy. This is a fairly recent shift in the 32

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philosophy of conservation law enforcement training (Sigler, 1995). Although some agencies only utilize an informal field training program, all agency administrators responding in this study place a very high value in its use. By combining aspects ofGiovengo's (1988) academic criteria with the academic standards utilized by The Wildlife Society (2003) for professional wildlife biologist certification purposes, a list of academic subject areas was developed for this study. Giovengo's 32 criteria were significantly more detailed than the eight subject areas utilized for this study. With the exception of martial arts courses and emergency medical technician certification, the broader subject areas of this study include each ofGiovengo's course specialties. In addition, quantitative sciences coursework was addressed in this study. None of the courses listed by Giovengo, however, dealt with any aspects of quantitative science. There are many similarities between Giovengo's findings and the results of this study. Communications skills are ranked as the most important academic area by administrators in this study. This corresponds with Giovengo's results, with public speaking being ranked first and technical writing ranked fourth out of 32 areas. Criminal justice courses, ranked second in the 1988 results, were ranked fourth in this study. Natural resource management was the second highest ranking academic area identified in this study. These courses ranked third in a qualitative grouping of 33

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Giovengo's results. Natural resource policy and law, the third highest ranked group in this study, was ranked 141h out of32 course areas in Giovengo's results. Social science and physical science course rankings also parallel Giovengo's rankings. Although that study separated these groups into several subject areas, physical science courses were the lowest ranked, and social science courses ranked in the lower half of the group. A significant difference in the findings of this study compared to Giovengo's 1988 results is the ranking of the importance of biological science courses to administrators. Biological science coursework ranked fifth in this study. With the exception ofmarnmalogy courses, ranked in the top halfofGiovengo's more detailed grouping, all biological science courses were ranked very low in that study. This could be explained by the broader range of conservation law enforcement agencies examined in this study. Giovengo's study focused only on wildlife related agencies. Fishery and wildlife biology courses, included in this study as natural resource management related, were ranked in the top third ofGiovengo's results. Many agencies included in this study deal with a wider variety of biological and environmental issues and thus may give higher value to general biological courses than more narrowly focused wildlife management agencies. 34

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Suggestions for Future Research A comparison of current programs of study related to conservation law enforcement offered at universities to coursework deemed useful by agency administrators would be helpful in evaluating effectiveness of these undergraduate programs to potential employers. Field training programs utilized by conservation law enforcement agencies should be examined more closely to determine the effectiveness of traditional police type programs compared to conservation and natural resource specific programs. An evaluation of current undergraduate programs that focus on or allow formal or informal concentrations in conservation law enforcement should be conducted in the future to determine if the recommendations of administrators identified in this study and by Giovengo (1988) are being utilized by university programs and to what extent. Information of this type should be useful not only to law enforcement program administrators and training directors but to educators involved in undergraduate programs that attract potential future conservation law enforcement officers. 35

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Summary The field of conservation law enforcement, as well as educational requirements for conservation officers, has greatly increased in complexity over the past century. Academic requirements will most likely continue to increase as the field of conservation law enforcement is influenced by changes in technology and natural resource management. Conservation law enforcement administrators, as a whole, seem satisfied with the current state of educational preparation of conservation officers and with the educational background that their agencies require for new officers. Almost all administrators surveyed felt that conservation officers should have a bachelor's degree or a significant amount of college preparation. Many administrators stated that a criminal justice degree provides a good background for officers, but a great deal more preferred new officers to have obtained an undergraduate degree in a natural resource field. A wide variety of courses and academic areas appear to be valued by conservation law enforcement administrators, with communications skills considered as the most important part of undergraduate preparation for conservation officers. Courses in natural resource management, policy and law are also considered essential preparation by most administrators. 36

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APPENDIX A EDUCATIONAL REQUIRMENTS AND POSITION TITLES OF AGENCIES SELECTED FOR STUDY AGENCY POSTION TITLE(S) EDUCATIONAL REQ U IRMENTS E FED RAL .. Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Ranger Bachelor's degree and Special Agent or substitution of expenence Environmental Protection Special Agent Bachelor s degree Agency or substitution of experience Marine Fisheries Service Special Agent Bachelor's degree or substitution of experience National Park Service Park Ranger (Law Bachelor's degree Enforcement), Criminal or substitution of Investigator and Special expenence Agent U. S Fish and Wildlife Service / Refuge Law Enforcement Bachelor s degree Division of Law Enforcement Officer and Special Agent or substitution of and Division ofRefuges experience U.S. Forest Service Law Law Enforcement Officer Bachelor's degree Enforcement and Investigations and Special Agent or substitution of expenence ALABAMA t '1 ;:;: .1!. Alabama Marine Police Division Marine Police Officer High school diploma ALASKA ;: :.: 11.:> !" Alaska Department of Public State Trooper High school Safety/Division ofFish and diploma Wildlife Protection .;-.:,.; 7t'. \ Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Bachelor s degree Department 37

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Arizona State Parks Board Park Ranger Bachelor's degree ARKANSAS """ ",;: I< s Arkansas Department ofParks Park Ranger Associate s and Tourism degree Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Bachelor's degree Commission or substitution of experience with college CALIFORNIA California Department of Fish Fish and Game Warden Associate s and Game degree California Department of District Chief High school Forestry diploma California Department of Parks Park Ranger Associate's and Recreation degree COLORADO ''' '' Colorado Division of Parks and Park Ranger Bachelor's degree Outdoor Recreation Colorado Division of Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Bachelor s degree CONNECTICUT Connecticut Department of Conservation Officer Bachelor s degree Environmental Protection or substitution of expenence DELAWARE Delaware Department ofNatural Enforcement Officer High school Resources and Environmental diploma Control, Division ofFish and Wildlife Delaware Department ofNatural Enforcement Officer High school Resources and Environmental diploma Control Division ofParks and Recreation FLORIDA . Fl orida Department of Law Enforcement Officer High school Environmental Protection diploma Law Enforcement Division Florida Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer High school Conservation Commission diploma 38

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GEORGIA ,. .. ,, Georgia Department of Natural Conservation Ranger Associate's Resources degree HAWAII "-"' ... Hawaii Division of Conservation Conservation Resource High school and Resource Enforcement Enforcement Officer diploma IDAHO ,,. Idaho Department of Fish and Conservation Officer Bachelor's degree Game ILLINOIS '. '' Illinois Department ofNatural Conservation Police Bachelor's degree Resources / Office of Law Officer or substitution of Enforcement experience INDIANA ' .. Indiana Department of Natural Conservation Officer Associate s Resources degree IOWA """ ,,,.,--" Iowa Department of Natural Conservation Officer High school Resources / Law Enforcement diploma Bureau KANSAS ;;> Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Conservation Officer Bachelor's de gree KENTUCKY Kentucky Department for Wildlife and Boating Bachelor's degree Natural Resources Officer and Park Ranger LOUISIANA Louisiana Department of Wildlife Enforcement Associate s Wildlife and Fisheries Agent degr ee or substitution o f MAINE ""' .. _.,_ Maine Department of Inland Game Warden High school Fisheries and Wildlife diploma MARYLAND -fl "' Maryland Department of Natural Natural Resource Police High school Resources Officer and Park Ranger diploma 39

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MASSACHUSETTS Massachusetts Executive office Natural Resource Officer High school of Environmental diploma Affairs/Division of Conservation Services MICHIGAN ., Michigan Department of Natural Conservation Officer High school Resources diploma MINNESOTA d.,.,: "' Minnesota Conservation Officer Associate s degree MISSISSIPRI '"' ,, -'1 ., "' Mississippi Department of Conservation Officer Associate s Wildlife Fisheries, and Parks degree MISSOURI .,. Missouri Department of Conservation Agent Bachelor s degree Conservation Missouri Department ofNatural State Park Ranger Associate s Resources degree Missouri State Water Patrol Water Patrol Officer Associate's degree or substitution of expenence MONTANA Montana Department of Fish, Fish and Game Warden Bachelor s degree Wildlife and Parks NEBRASKA .. .. .;. Nebraska Game and parks Conservation Officer High school Commission diploma NEVADA __ "' Nevada Division of Wildlife Law Enforcement Warden Bachelor s degree NEW HAMSHIRE .. New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officer Associate s Department degree or substitution of expenence NEW JERSEY ... ;:. ---..w-:., .. ""' New Jersey Department of Conservation Officer Bachelor s degree Environmental Protection/ Division ofFish and Wildlife 40

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New Jersey Department of Ranger Associate's Environmental Protection degree Division ofParks and Forestry NEW MEXICO . ., New Mexico State Parks and Park Ranger Bachelor's degree Recreation Division New Mexico Department of Wildlife Officer Bachelor's degree Game and Fish NEW YORK \" .,. New York Department of Environmental Bachelor's degree Environmental Conservation Conservation Officer or substitution of Division of Law Enforcement experience NORTH CAROLINA .,, North Carolina Department of Wildlife Officer, Park High school Environment and Natural Ranger Forest Ranger and diploma Resources Marine Fisheries Officer NORTH DAKOTA North Dakota Game and Fish Game Warden Bachelor's degree Department North Dakota Parks and Park Ranger Bachelor's degree Recreation Department OHIO ; Ohio Division ofParks and Park Officer Associate's Recreation degree or substitution of experience Ohio Division of Watercraft Watercraft Officer High school diploma Ohio Division of Wildlife Wildlife Officer Associate's degree OKLAHOMA r'l.. 'ii ,-"''' c -'-Oklahoma Department of Game Warden Bachelor's degree Wildlife Conservation OREGON "' 'ii Oregon State Police/Fish and State Trooper High school Wildlife Division diploma PENNSYLVANIA ". Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Waterways Conservation High school Commission Officer diploma 41

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Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation High school Officer diploma RHODE ISLAND '"r Department of Environmental Environmental Police Bachelor s degree Management (Rhode Island) Officer SOUTH CAROLINA ... 1:. South Carolina Department of Law Enforcement Officer Bachelor s degree Natural Resources South Carolina Forestry Ranger, Special Agent Bachelor s degree Commission SOUTHDXAOTA '" South Dakota Department of Conservation Officer and Bachelor's degree Game, Fish and Parks Park Ranger TE"l'NNESSEE Tennessee Department of Park Ranger Bachelor's degree Environment and Conservation Tennessee Wildlife Resources Wildlife Officer Bachelor's degree Agency TEXAS Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden and Park Bachelor's degree Dep_artment Ranger UTAH Utah Division of Wildlife Wildlife Officer Bachelor s degree Resources Utah State Parks and Recreation Park Ranger Bachelor s degree VERMONT' .; '_ Department of Fish and Wildlife Game Warden Associate s (Vermont) degree or substitution of expenence Department afForests, Parks Ranger Associate's and Recreation (Vermont) degree or substitution of experience VIRtHNIA .... '"' '"' Virginia Department of Police Officer High school Conservation and Recreation diploma Division of State Parks 42

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Virginia Department of Game Game Warden Bachelor s degree and Inland Fisheries WASHINGTON .,: Washington Department of Wildlife Agent Bachelor s degree Natural Resources WEST VIRGINIA "" .. West Virginia Division of Conservation Officer Bachelor s degree Natural Resources or substitution of expenence WISCONSIN "' ... ,, Wisconsin Department of Game Warden, Park Bachelor s degree Natural Resources Ranger and Forestry Officer WYOMING ..,, 'I:, ;:!!./ ,.,,, ,:;;, ,;; ,, Wyoming State Parks and Park Ranger High school Cultural Resources diploma Wyoming Game and Fish Game Warden Bachelor's degree Department 43

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APPENDIXB Agency Administrator Survey Instrument 44

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EDUCATIONAL REQURIMENTS OF CONSERVATION LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS SURVEY University of Colorado at Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs 2003 Please circle the answer that most closely agrees with your opinion to the following statements 1. Most conservation law enforcement officers in the United States have adequate academic preparation for the position that they are in. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 2. What should be the minimum educational level for entry level law enforcement officers within conservation and natural resource management agencies? Bachelor's Degree Associate's Degree Some College High Schooi/GED 3. I am satisfied with the current educational requirements that exist for new conservation law enforcement officers within my agency. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 4. A criminal justice degree provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law enforcement officers. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 45

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5. A degree in the field of natural resources provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law enforcement officers. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 6. Field training programs are essential for conservation law enforcement officers after completion of a law enforcement academy. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 7. It should be acceptable to allow applicants to substitute professional experience for some or all undergraduate educational requirements for conservation law enforcement positions. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 8. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of criminal justice to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 9. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of biological sciences (zoology, ecology, botany) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 10. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of physical sciences (i.e. chemistry, physics, soils, geology) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 46

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11. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the quantitative sciences (i.e. statistics, computer science, calculus) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 12. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in social sciences (economics, sociology, psychology, political science, government, history) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 13. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in communications (public speaking, technical writing, composition) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 14. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in basic natural resource management (wildlife biology, forestry, watershed management, recreation management, range ecology) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 15. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in natural resource policy, administration and law to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Not Recommended Some Benefit Recommended Essential 47

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APPENDIXC Survey Instrument Cover Letter 48

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July 1, 2003 Title Agency Address City, State,Zip Conservation Law Enforcement Study University of Colorado at Denver P.O. Box 4684 Grand Junction, CO 81502 Dear Law Enforcement Administrator: The attached survey has been sent to you as a part of a University of Colorado at Denver graduate research project involving conservation law enforcement. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the variation in educational requirements for law enforcement officers within various conservation agencies in the United States. Your voluntary completion and return of the survey to the researcher in the envelope provided will significantly assist in the completion of the study. Return of the survey form implies consent to include your survey response information in this study. Completed survey forms will be maintained confidentially by the researcher and no identifying information about participants or agencies will be included in the fmal documentation. If you have any questions about the study before or after completion of the survey please contact me at the above address. The Human Subjects Research Committee Administrator at the University of Colorado at Denver can also be contacted at HSRC Administrator, CU-Denver Building, Suite 740, Denver, Colorado, 80217 or by phone at (303) 556-4060 Thank you for your assistance in the completion of this research. Sincerely, Paul P. Huff Master's Candidate University of Colorado at Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs 49

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September 29, 2003 Name Title Agency Address City, State, Zip Code Conservation Law Enforcement Research University of Colorado at Denver P.O. Box 4684 Grand Junction, CO 81502 Dear Law Enforcement Administrator: Several weeks ago you were mailed a survey concerning conservation law enforcement educational and training issues as a part of a University of Colorado at Denver graduate research project. If you have already returned a completed survey, please disregard this letter and thank you for your participation in this project. If you have not yet responded, your reply is very important. Participants were selected specifically to ensure adequate representation of the various fields of conservation law enforcement. I have enclosed an additional survey form and postage paid reply envelope for your convenience. Voluntary return of the survey form implies consent to include your survey response information in this study. Completed survey forms will be maintained confidentially by the researcher and no identifying information about participants or agencies will be included in the final documentation. If you have any questions about the study before or after completion of the survey please contact me at the above address. The Human Subjects Research Committee Administrator at the University of Colorado at Denver can also be contacted at HSRC Administrator, CU-Denver Building, Suite 740, Denver, Colorado, 80217 or by phone at (303) 556-4060. Thank you for your assistance in the completion of this research. Sincerely, Paul P. Huff Master's Candidate University of Colorado at Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs 50

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APPENDIXD Results of Survey Instrument Focus Group A focus group was selected to pretest the survey instrument prior to the actual study. Ten persons involved in the field of conservation law enforcement for state and federal agencies were selected to participate in the survey by the researcher. These participants were selected solely because of their availability and willingness to assist the researcher. At the time of their participation, six participants were conservation law enforcement officers, two were conservation law enforcement supervisors, one was a conservation criminal investigator and one was a researcher/natural resource manager. The responses to the survey instrument questions and comments received are listed below. Survey Instrument Responses 1. Most Conservation law enforcement officers in the United States have adequate academic preparation for the position that they are in. Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) agreed, two (20%) disagreed and one (10%) strongly disagreed. No participants strongly agreed. 2. What should be the minimum educational level for entry level law enforcement officers within conservation and natural resource management agencies? Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) selected Bachelor's Degree, two (20%) selected Associate's Degree and one (1 0%) selected Some College. No participants selected High SchooVGED. 3. I am satisfied with the current educational requirements that exist for new conservation law enforcement officers within my agency. Ten participants responded. Five participants (50%) disagreed, three (30%) agreed and two participants (20%) strongly disagreed. No participants strongly agreed. 51

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4. A criminal justice degree provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law enforcement officers. Ten participants responded. One participant (10%) selected more than one answer (agree and disagree). This response was not included in the results. Of the remaining participants, four (40%) agreed, three (30%) disagreed, one (10%) strongly agreed and one (10%) strongly disagreed. 5. A degree in the field of natural resources provides adequate undergraduate preparation for conservation law enforcement officers. Ten participants responded. One participant (1 0%) selected more than one answer (agree and disagree). This response was not included in the results. Of the remaining participants, five (50%) agreed, three (30%) disagreed and one (1 0%) strongly agreed. No participants strongly disagreed. 6. Field training programs are essential for conservation law enforcement officers after completion of a law enforcement academy. Ten participants responded. Nine participants (90%) strongly agreed and one (1 0%) agreed. No participants disagreed or strongly disagreed. 7. It should be acceptable to allow applicants to substitute professional experience for some or all undergraduate educational requirements for conservation law enforcement positions. Ten participants responded. Five participants (50%) agreed, four (40%) disagreed and one (10%) strongly agreed. No participants strongly disagreed. 8. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of criminal justice to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) selected recommended and three (30%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended or some benefit. 52

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9. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of biological sciences (i.e. zoology, ecology, botany) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Ten participants responded. Six participants (60%) selected recommended, three (30%) selected essential and one (1 0%) selected some benefit. No participants selected not recommended. 10. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the field of physical sciences (i.e. chemistry, physics, soils, geology) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Ten participants responded. Five participants (50%) selected some benefit and five (50%) selected recommended. No participants selected not recommended or essential. 11. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in the quantitative sciences (i.e. statistics, computer science, calculus) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Ten participants responded. Seven participants (70%) selected some benefit, two (20%) selected recommended and one (1 0%) selected not recommended. No participants selected essential. 12. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in social sciences (economics, sociology, psychology, political science, government, history) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Ten participants responded. Four participants (40%) selected some benefit, four (40%) selected recommended and two (20%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended. 13. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in communications (public speaking, technical writing, composition) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? 53

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Ten participants responded. Two participants (20%) selected some benefit, one (10%) selected recommended and seven (70%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended. 14. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in basic natural resource management (wildlife biology, forestry, watershed management, recreation management, range ecology) to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Ten participants responded. Two participants (20%) selected recommended and eight (80%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended or some benefit. 15. How important to an undergraduate program are courses in natural resource policy, administration and law to a person preparing for a conservation law enforcement career? Ten participants responded. Four participants (40%) selected recommended and six (60%) selected essential. No participants selected not recommended or some benefit. Participants Comments Each of the ten participants surveyed stated that they had no difficulty understanding or responding to the questions included in the survey instrument. One participant stated that a question concerning prior work in natural resources or law enforcement before working as a conservation officer would be appropriate. The researcher felt that this area of concern was covered adequately by question seven on the survey instrument. One participant stated that names and job titles should be included on the survey form to identify possible bias or influence from agency affiliation or educational background of administrators. The researcher felt that bias would be reduced if the survey forms remained anonymous. By using the nwnbers on the survey form, the researcher was able to determine which agency returned each form. This enabled the researcher to identify possible bias caused by agency educational requirements. 54

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REFERENCES Bachman, R., and R.K. Schutt. 2001. The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Pine Forge Press: Thousand Oaks, CA. Beattie, K.H., R.H. Giles and C. J. Cowles. 1977. Lack of Research in Wildlife Law Enforcement. Wildlife Society Bulletin 5(4):170-174. Beattie, K.H. and R.H. Giles. 1979. A Survey of Wildlife Law Enforcement Research Needs and Current Research. Wildlife Society Bulletin 7(3):185-188. Benoit, P.J. 1973. From Fish and Wildlife Officer to Environmental Conservation Officer. Wildlife Society Bulletin 1(3):128-130. Giovengo, R.D. 1988. An Undergraduate Curriculum in Conservation Law Enforcement. Wildlife Society Bulletin 6(2):218-221 Leopold, A. 1933. Game Management. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison. Morse, W.B. 1973. Law Enforcement-One Third of the Triangle. Wildlife Society Bulletin 1 (1 ):39-44. Morse, W .B. 1979. Law Enforcement-A Tool of Management. Pp. 22 26 in R.D. Teague and Eugene Decker (eds.), Wildlife Conservation Principles and Practices. The Wildlife Society: Washington, D.C. National Wildlife Federation. 2002. 2002 Conservation Directory. Island Press: Covelo, CA. Oettmeir, T. N. 1995. Field Training and Evaluation Program. Pp. 296-299 in W.O. Bailey (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Police Science, 2nd Ed. Garland: New York. Sigler, W.F. 1975. Recommended: B.S. Degree for State Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers. Wildlife Society Bulletin 3(4): 173-175. Sigler, W.F. 1995. Wildlife Law Enforcement, 4th Ed. McGrawHill: Boston. 55

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The Wildlife Society. 1975. Ecopolicies of The Wildlife Society. Wildlife Society Bulletin 3(1):36-43. The Wildlife Society. 2003. Certified Wildlife Biologist Program. www. wildlife.org/professionaVindex.cfm 56