Oglala Lakota College is a regional leader in environmental science. We offer Natural Resources and Bachelor of Science degrees in Natural Resources and Natural Science with emphasis areas of Conservation Biology and Earth Science and Associate degree programs in pre-Engineering, Life Science, and Natural Resources.
The Math and Science learning philosophy emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning through fieldwork and research internships in our analytical and GIS remote sensing laboratories. Our department is pursuing innovative approaches to distance education though podcasting and web-hosted classroom learning centers.
The needs and demands of the Pine Ridge reservation have evolved during the last eight years. As a result, the Math and Science Environmental Science program has undergone a series of changes to meet the changing needs of our students. We conducted an intensive program review in 2007 and reviewed our program again in 2008 to accommodate a departmental merger with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department in 2008. As a result, we have made several important changes to our degree programs, which are summarized below. Our resulting degree programs take advantage of our faculty's diverse expertise in the fields of environmental science, water resources, agriculture, and wildlife biology, and GIS remote sensing by providing core requirements across several degree areas, and emphasis areas that allow a student to tailor a degree to his or her educational needs. Furthermore, all of our degree programs emphasize hands-on learning through student internship opportunities, bringing research into the classroom, and emphasizing geospatial understanding in resource management and protection.
The Lakota have always held their land base to be sacred. The land is something that must be protected and managed wisely and effectively. Consequently, OLC has developed strong programs in the areas of Natural Science and Natural Resources. The Lakota perspective is a vital component of our natural science and natural resources programs. All students enrolled in these programs are required to take specific courses that incorporate traditional Lakota concepts concerning language, land, plants and animals.
Our department philosophy is to provide opportunities for learning Natural Science and Natural Resources while incorporating practices that support Lakota values. Students will have the prerequisite skill set, foundation and knowledge to succeed in a graduate program or in an environmental career.