Vaccine Clinic Appointments: prepmod.doh.wa.gov. People without internet access may call 360.778.6075.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences

Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences - AAS-T - WWU-NWIC Articulation

The Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences Program prepares students for employment in a variety of fisheries occupations with emphasis on the transfer articulation of credits to Western Washington University (WWU) & Northwest Indian College (NWIC) from Bellingham Technical College (BTC).

The program offers an Associate of Applied Science Transfer degree to the WWU BA in Environmental Studies and BA in Geography. The Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program gives students experience in biological studies with state and private agencies.

Students work with smolt traps, spawner surveys, data collection, scale and otolith samples, and water quality. This field experience provides practical work for the instructional “laboratory.” These valuable experiences compliment the classroom theory and related instruction components.

The program operates in partnership with regional, tribal and statewide industries as well as Regional Enhancement Associations.

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you’re interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you’re interested in, email outreach@btc.edu for more information.

Employment Information

88% BTC graduate placement rate in all states*
69% BTC graduate placement rate

$34,341 starting annual wage
$45,521 average annual wage
$57,231 potential annual wage


* Many Fisheries & Aquaculture students are employed outside of WA and OR. According to BTC faculty records, 88% of 2017-18 graduates seeking employment have been hired in their field of study.

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Wages:
    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( esd.wa.gov) reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program typically starts in Fall Quarter on a space available basis.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?

Classes

Total Program Credits: 90

  • Quarter 1

  • AQUA 100Intro to Fisheries and Aquaculture2 CR
  • AQUA 100Intro to Fisheries and Aquaculture2 CR
  • AQUA 110Water Quality3 CR
  • AQUA 110Water Quality3 CR
  • AQUA 120Aquatic Biodiversity3 CR
  • AQUA 120Aquatic Biodiversity3 CR
  • AQUA 130Reproduction2 CR
  • AQUA 130Reproduction2 CR
  • AQUA 135Hatchery Practicum I4 CR
  • AQUA 135Hatchery Practicum I4 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • OR Higher
  • OR Higher
  • AQUA 140Growth and Nutrition3 CR
  • AQUA 140Growth and Nutrition3 CR
  • AQUA 150Fundamentals of Aquaculture3 CR
  • AQUA 150Fundamentals of Aquaculture3 CR
  • AQUA 165Aquaculture Practicum3 CR
  • AQUA 165Aquaculture Practicum3 CR
  • AQUA 190Toxicology and Diseases3 CR
  • AQUA 190Toxicology and Diseases3 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • AQUA 160Fundamentals of Fisheries Biology3 CR
  • AQUA 160Fundamentals of Fisheries Biology3 CR
  • AQUA 170Freshwater Ecology3 CR
  • AQUA 170Freshwater Ecology3 CR
  • AQUA 180Oceanography3 CR
  • AQUA 180Oceanography3 CR
  • AQUA 195Fisheries Practicum4 CR
  • AQUA 195Fisheries Practicum4 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications (recommended)5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications (recommended)5 CR
  • OR
  • OR
  • CMST& 220Public Speaking5 CR
  • CMST& 220Public Speaking5 CR
  • OR
  • OR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • OR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 102English Composition II5 CR
  • ENGL& 102English Composition II5 CR
  • AQUA 200Genetics in Fisheries and Aquaculture3 CR
  • AQUA 200Genetics in Fisheries and Aquaculture3 CR
  • AQUA 210Hatchery Practicum II3 CR
  • AQUA 210Hatchery Practicum II3 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • AQUA 250Advanced Sampling Techniques4 CR
  • AQUA 250Advanced Sampling Techniques4 CR
  • AQUA 260Natural Resource Management4 CR
  • AQUA 260Natural Resource Management4 CR
  • BIOL& 160General Biology with Lab5 CR
  • 5 Credits from the AAS-T Acceptable Transferable Courses list in Humanities, Social Sciences, or Physical and Natural Sciences.5 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • AQUA 270Introduction to GIS for Fisheries & Aquaculture4 CR
  • CHEM& 121Introduction to Chemistry5 CR
  • AQUA 270Introduction to GIS for Fisheries & Aquaculture4 CR
  • AQUA 290Acquaculture Management2 CR
  • 10 Credits from the AAS-T Acceptable Transferable Courses list.10 CR
  • AQUA 290Advanced Hatchery Techniques2 CR
  • Five Credits from the AAS-T Acceptable Transferable Courses list.5 CR

Program Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the AAS-T degree in Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences, will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency in biological studies and apply appropriate techniques to conduct studies and sample data.
  • Demonstrate competency in Habitat Restoration evaluation methods and apply techniques to improve and restore habitat.
  • Demonstrate competency in field research, stream surveys, tag studies, spawning assessments, and smolt trap projects.
  • Sample scales, otoliths, water quality, migrating smolts, and spawning adults in the field.

Employment Outlook

You can put your education to work. Skilled fisheries workers with AAS-T and AAS degrees are needed by employers such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as private hatcheries, shellfish farms, enhancement organizations, salmon operations, and federal and private scientific companies. The employment outlook for program graduates is very strong, and students can expect to earn excellent wages.

The average annual wage in this field is $45,521, with an earning potential of about $57,231 per year.*

Program graduates work as fish hatchery specialists, fish culturists, fisheries technicians, shellfish hatchery workers, and scientific aides.

 

Faculty & Support

Photo of Brittany Palm
Brittany Palm

Photo of Sara Smith
Sara Smith