Goal and Function
The goal of NMFWA's certification program is to assist the Department of Defense in meeting its Sikes Act requirement by recognizing trained natural resource professionals. The Sikes Act, Sec. 670e-2, (107) states that the Secretary of each military department shall ensure that sufficient numbers of professionally trained natural resources management personnel are available and assigned responsibility to perform tasks necessary to carry out this subchapter, including the preparation and implementation of integrated natural resources management plans. Certification by NMFWA as a "Military Natural Resources Professional" identifies those personnel who have the specific natural resources management education and experience related to military missions, applicable laws, and conditions unique to Department of Defense
1. To provide a means by which individuals engaged in Defense Department conservation activities may establish, validate, and obtain recognition of their professional credentials.
Certification aids the Department of Defense to develop, promote, monitor and maintain the skills, excellence, professionalism, and continuing education of its natural resources professionals. Certification also helps the Department of Defense ensure a common standard of professional conduct by means of peer review and censure.
2. To guide the Department of Defense, other Federal and State agencies, tribes, and the public in defining minimum standards of education and experience for natural resources professionals and to encourage these individuals to meet such standards.
Certification helps inspire the respect and confidence both from within the Department of Defense and from other Federal and State agencies, conservation groups, and the general public. The Certified Military Natural Resources Professional has met the highest standards of professionalism, experience, training, and dedication to the military mission.
Certification provides a means by which individuals engaged in Defense Department natural resource profession may establish, validate, and obtain recognition for their professional credentials.
3. To create and maintain confidence, by the Department of Defense, other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and the general public, in the advice and opinions of the Certified Military Natural Resources Professional as educated and experienced professionals who have pledged to act in the best interest of the DoD mission.
Certification by the NMFWA will make the Association a more effective voice in natural resources stewardship in support of the military mission on military installations.
Background: At the 2005 Annual Training Workshop of the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association (NMFWA), a suggestion was raised that guidelines to certify Department of Defense (DoD) personnel as “Certified Military Natural Resources Professional” be developed. This was echoed at the 2006 meeting. The purposes for this designation would include:
Providing formal recognition of an employee’s education and experience as a natural resources professional;
Providing a clear indication that the certified individual recognizes that the primary purpose of DoD land management is to support military training and readiness;
Providing evidence of these standards to various levels of military command as well as to others both inside and outside the military land management profession.
Several other professional societies offer certification programs for their members and others. These include The Wildlife Society, American Fisheries Society, Society of American Foresters, Ecological Society of America, the Society of Wetlands Scientists, the Society for Range Management, and others. The American Fisheries Society offers the following justification for professional certification:
Certification is widely practiced by the professions as one means of setting standards and guidelines for professional competence. It serves to upgrade the professional image and is a mark of accomplishment. Certification also is a mechanism to demonstrate responsible peer evaluation. The specific objectives of certification are as follows: (1) to provide governmental and nongovernmental agencies and organizations, private firms, courts, and the general public with a definitive standard of experience and education for fisheries professionals; and (2) to foster broader recognition of…professionals as well-educated and experienced, acting in the best interest of the public. (Source: www.fisheries.org).
Most (if not all) professional certification programs are also a means to monitor an individual’s continuing education and career development, to promote standards of professional conduct, and to investigate claims of ethical violations on the part of a certified association member.
Procedure: Official recognition as a Certified Military Natural Resources Professional shall be by application, not examination.
Requirements for Eligibility - Education and Experience:
The Board of Directors of NMFWA recognizes that the administration of professional certification programs requires a lengthy and complicated process. Because appropriate programs in related societies already exist, NMFWA will require professional certification of an applicant by one of the above-named organizations as a prerequisite. These certification programs consider education, including undergraduate and graduate degrees. Membership in NMFWA is recommended, but not required.
Levels of Certification:
Associate Certified Military Natural Resources Professional: At this level, a person is certified within his/her profession and has attended at least 40 hours of DoD natural resources training.
Certified Military Natural Resources Professional: At this level, a person is certified within his/her profession, has attended at least 80 hours of DoD natural resources training, and has a minimum of five years DoD natural resource experience. To maintain this level, the individual must attend at least 100 contact hours of DoD related natural resources training or conferences every five years and submit a record of that continuing professional development to NMFWA once every 5 years.
Senior Certified Military Natural Resources Professional: At this level, a person must be certified within his/her profession, has attended at least 160 hours of DoD natural resources training, and has a minimum of ten years DoD natural resource experience. To maintain this level, the individual must attend at least 100 contact hours of DoD related natural resources training or conferences every five years and submit a record of that continuing professional development to NMFWA once every 5 years.
Certified Military Natural Resources Professional Emeritus: A person who has honorably retired, having achieved any level described above and no-longer wishes to maintain an active certification status. No continuing professional development requirement would apply to this status.
An applicant who does not qualify under the above criteria may submit a statement to the NMFWA Certification Committee, explaining why and how the intent of the education and experience requirements is satisfied.
Recertification: Certification will be valid for 5 years from date of certification. Recertification will be through continuing education or advancement from Associate Certified Military Natural Resources Professional to Certified Military Natural Resources Professional to Certified Senior Military Natural Resources Professional.
Member of the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association - $15.00
Non-Member - $75.00
Recertification, or advancement between levels - $5.00
Emeritus - no fee
Ethics and Professional Conduct
Certified Military Natural Resources Professionals shall conduct their activities in accordance with the highest standards of professional conduct and personal honor.
Certified Military Natural Resource Professionals recognize that DoD lands exist first and foremost to support the training, testing, and power projection needs of our armed forces, and that there is great opportunity for conservation of the natural resources on these lands in harmony with mission demands. They constantly strive to remove all natural resource encroachments on the mission while at the same time providing the highest degree of natural resource stewardship."
Certified Military Natural Resources Professionals will not represent themselves as spokespersons for NMFWA without express authorization by the President of NMFWA.
Certified Military Natural Resources Professionals will cooperate with other Military Natural Resources Professionals whenever possible and appropriate to assure rapid interchange and dissemination of knowledge.
Certified Military Natural Resources Professionals will not plagiarize in verbal or written communication, but will give full and proper credit to the works and ideas of others, and make every effort to avoid misrepresentation.
Certified Military Natural Resources Professionals will not fabricate, falsify, or suppress results, deliberately misrepresent research findings, or otherwise commit scientific fraud.
A decision of the NMFWA Certification Committee to deny certification may be appealed in writing to the NMFWA Board of Directors.
Disciplinary Procedure The NMFWA Certification Committee, with oversight by the NMFWA Board of Directors, shall have the authority to censure a Certified Military Natural Resources Professional, to suspend certification for a stated period, or to revoke certification on the finding that an individual has willfully violated ethical and professional conduct standards or misrepresented the facts at the time of certification. Such an allegation may be presented to the Certification Committee in writing, by any member of NMFWA, member of the service, or DoD employee. Anonymous allegations will not be entertained. Anyone named a party to such proceeding shall be informed in a timely manner of the evidence brought forward and be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations. After review of the case by the Certification Committee, a written decision informing all involved persons and the NMFWA Board of Directors will be rendered. Any such action of the Certification Committee may be appealed to the Board of Directors, whose decision will be final.