BISMARCK, N.D. — Officials at the United Tribes Technical College are pushing to attract more students to environmental science and research studies.

The Bismarck Tribune ( reported that the college has a two-year environmental science degree program. With the help of a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the college created a bachelor’s degree program.

Program department chairman Jeremy Guinn said he expects the number of students in the program to increase.

“Now that we have a bachelor’s degree, that’s going to help a lot. We have a lot of students who call us and ask for a four-year program,” said Guinn.

Guinn also said he has seen a gradual increase in students signing up for environmental science and research, but that it’s too soon to determine whether the contention over the Dakota Access Pipeline that has led to protests will spark more interest.

“I can’t say that we’ve seen many new students right away because that happened so quickly right before school started,” he said. “I would expect it, to be honest with you. I would expect we might have some draw as far as students just general interest of what would happen because of the pipeline, and how all the legal aspects work.”

Currently there are 25 students in the college’s environmental science program.

Information from: Bismarck Tribune,