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Students Dig Environmental Science Tech Classes

Students dig environmental science tech classes

If you like getting your hands dirty while also studying the environment, then there’s a perfect program waiting for you at OTC.

The Environmental Science Technology program offered at OTC’s Richwood Valley, Waynesville and Lebanon campuses, gives students a chance to focus on laboratory and field testing to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination.

Alexander Neeley, the Environmental Science program coordinator, said the work students do to earn their degree can lead to a satisfying career.

“Students can go to work right after graduation in the compliance area or in conservation work. They can work with the department of natural resources, state parks department or a fishery,” he said.

“Other students can transfer to a four-year institution to do further study because we are providing a quality environmental education at OTC, which has never had this program before.”

The program is funded through a grant from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. It is funded through the fall 2016 semester. Once the grant runs out, the classes will be taught at all locations. OTC has a Memo of Understanding with Drury University allowing most students to transfer directly into their Environmental Management and Assessment program.

Students utilize the hybrid program that includes both hands-on learning and online study in operating environmental testing equipment, conducting field tests and monitoring the environment, in some cases for possible contamination that could impact public health.

Recently, a group of students took soil samples from the area near the Richwood Valley campus to study and test them for nitrogen, pH levels, potassium and aluminum.

The courses are offered in eight-week. Students can qualify for tuition waivers. Those interested in seeing if they qualify for the program should contact Neeley at or call (417) 447-7888.

“We are looking for highly motivated students who care about the environment,” Neeley said.









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