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 departmental philosophy is to provide opportunities for learning Natural Science and Natural Resources while incorporating practices that support traditional Lakota values. Students will have the prerequisite skill set, foundation and knowledge necessary to succeed in a graduate program or in an environmental career.
Our Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science is now called a Bachelor of Science in Natural Science to provide more wide-ranging employment opportunities for our graduates. The Bachelor of Science degree provides students with a solid foundation in the disciplines of mathematics, physical, and biological sciences needed to collaboratively solve multi-faceted environmental issues in conservation biology and earth science. The Natural Science degree provides students with necessary skills to succeed in a Master's or PhD program in the natural sciences. Furthermore, students in the Bachelor of Science in Natural Science program have abundant research internship opportunities in earth science, conservation biology, and GIS remote sensing. The degree program has two emphasis areas: conservation biology and earth science. The conservation biology option emphasizes conservation and sustainable use of wildlife and plant communities. The earth science option emphasizes GIS remote sensing, riparian ecosystems management and the appropriate development of water resources and waste management facilities.