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Veterans' Green Jobs Academy

Northern on-going enrollment for the Veterans' Green Job Academy.


Employment Opportunities Educational Support Support Services


The Academy is focused on the needs of veterans interested in preparing for careers in the green jobs sector. We emphasize a positive learning environment for veterans to support one another during their academic endeavor. The Academy provides workforce training and specific degree programs to support military veterans to be at the forefront of ensuring America’s future energy independence and environmental restoration for economy and communities renewal. Students work with faculty members that have extensive practical experience in the environmental sciences and renewable energies.

The Academy qualifies veterans in career pathways identified by the Veterans Green Jobs Program as well as fill much needed positions in the federal, state, and private environmentally-related workforce sectors. Graduates may qualify for job such as:

  • Environmental Technician (cleanup, restoration, monitoring, other)
  • Hazardous Waste Management Specialist
  • Natural Resources Specialist
  • Renewable Energy Technician/Specialist
  • Forestry Technician
  • Soil Science and Agricultural Technician/Specialist
  • Water Quality Specialist
  • Environmental Health and Safety Officer
  • Environmental Risk Management Specialist
  • Wildland Firefighter

Contact Dr. James Biggs, Veteran's Green Jobs Academy Coordinator at 505-747-5453 or email:


As America increases its focus and development on the green jobs sector, several facts about green jobs growth have already emerged:

  • Clean energy jobs have grown more than twice the rate of other jobs in the U.S. over the past 10 years and we could experience exponential job growth if any type of clean energy bill is enacted by the federal government (U.S. News & World Report, March 2010).
  • A trained and educational workforce is needed to fill future positions.
  • Participate in addressing challenges to national security, economic viability and environmental protection.
  • America is faced with significant environmental restoration needs including restoring our national forests to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire, cleaning up chemically and radioactively contaminated sites, and ensuring a safe supply of air, water, and food.

These challenges can be addressed through the development of workforce training programs in renewable energy, environmental monitoring and management, natural resources management, and sustainable agricultural practices.

The Academy offers a variety of degree programs that will train and educate students to meet the growing demand for jobs related to energy independence, environmental monitoring and management, forest restoration, and improved food security. Our programs provide students with the tools needed to identify, assess, and solve these problems.


The degrees offered by the Academy consist of curricula established or recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. The degrees are accredited by the New Mexico Department of Higher Education, and the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities–The Higher Learning Commission. The Academy consists of college-level lower and upper division courses that will meet the requirements for certifications, an Associate degree, or a Bachelor of Science degree in the following areas:


  • Renewable Energy

Associate Degree in Applied Sciences

  • Pre-Forestry
  • Range Ecology
  • Environmental Science
  • Wildland Fire
  • Radiation Protection
  • Construction Trades Technology
  • Renewable Energy

Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science

  • Concentration in Forestry
  • Concentration in Environmental Monitoring
  • Concentration in Sustainable Agriculture

For descriptions of courses offered for these degrees and certifications, please refer to NNMC’s Course Catalog


Admission to the Academy is based on the guidelines and requirements for all students applying to NNMC, including those interested in the Academy. Apply now.

Course Delivery Structure and Schedule

The Academy specifically meets the objective of allowing students to complete their degrees in a condensed period of time. This consolidated delivery allows students to strategically shorten the amount of time it takes to fulfill program requirements. As well as formal accreditation, the Academy provides customized, non-credit training programs designed to meet workforce needs, continuing education credit units, and certificate maintenance. An intensive program such as this can allow for residential education and training with on-site tutoring, and field activities. The Academy also offers certain courses via a web-based or on-line format providing flexibility for the student.

Laboratory and Field Resources

NNMC is situated in an ideal location to apply the theories and concepts taught in the classroom to very real environmental management problems. Some key elements of our Academy pertaining to practical experience include:

  • Participation with Los Alamos National Laboratory providing students with opportunities in environmental monitoring, radiological and non-radiological waste management, and waste-water management.
  • Extensive involvement with the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area which encompasses an area stretching from Santa Fe to the Colorado border.
  • Involvement in research, monitoring, and management projects in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera National Preserve, and Carson National Forest. These areas also provide magnificent opportunities for hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities.
  • Because NNMC is in the heart of a vibrant agriculturally-focused community, students get first-hand experience with on-the-ground sustainable farming practices. Student may participate in projects with the ¡Sostenga! Center for Sustainable Food, Agriculture, and Environment, which supports sustainable living projects and the natural agricultural and land-based heritage of the northern Rio Grande Valley.
  • Hands-on training related to solar, biomass, and wind-generated energy sources using functional examples of each alternative energy source.


The Veteran's Academy, NNMC ensures support services are in place so that veterans are appropriately assessed for academic skills and readiness to participate, and provided with effective counseling, advice, and referrals to other service providers. The college provides veterans access to a “veterans affairs coordinator” that ensures veterans receive all necessary services and support that will allow them to successfully complete their chosen program of study, including those related to financial aid. Additionally, a Student Veteran’s Support Center is located at the El Rito campus. The center allows students to access numerous resources that provide educational, employment, and health services. The center also has private rooms for meetings and other uses and an outdoor area for social events. For additional information pertaining to financial aid and other educational benefits for veterans, please visit NNMC’s Veterans benefits.

"Support for the Academy comes from the New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services."

Espanola vet