Forest Resources Management is the planning, administration, and management of a wide variety of forest resources to provide environmental and economic benefits for society including wood, wildlife, special forest products, water, and recreation opportunities. Settings for forest resources management range from urban forests to remote wilderness areas. Majors in forest re¬sources management at The University of Tennessee receive academic training in a full spectrum of disciplines including dendrology and silvics, forest ecology, silviculture, soils, forest economics, forest measurement techniques, human dimensions, recreation, wood properties and identification, and wildlife biology. This diverse training is designed to equip students with the range of skills necessary to address the biological, social, and economic aspects of forest resources management. The forestry program at UT is the only accredited forestry degree program in Tennessee.
Career Opportunities in Forest Resources Management
Graduates of the forest resources management program may be employed in the private or public sectors. Private sector opportunities include working as land management or procurement foresters in forest industry or as a private forestry consultant. Industry land management foresters are responsible for managing company property for timber production as well as non-timber uses such as wildlife habitat and recreation. Procurement foresters purchase timber from landowners to supply the mill. Private forestry consultants work with landowners to manage their lands for a wide range of uses including timber, wildlife, recreation, and investment opportunities. Public sector employment normally is with state forestry agencies or the U.S. Forest Service, although foresters are also hired by state and federal wildlife agencies. State foresters are involved in landowner education, land management, and fire control. Foresters with the U.S. Forest Service may be responsible for a variety of activities including fire control, land management, recreation, wildlife habitat management, and visitor education. International opportunities continue to expand.
The Master of Science (MS) in Forestry and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Natural Resources degrees are offered through the graduate program in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Students receiving a MS in Forestry are hired by similar agencies as those with a BS; however, the opportunities for advancement and salary levels tend to be greater than for those with only a BS degree. Students receiving a PhD in Natural Resources are generally interested in teaching and/or research at universities or other institutions, or in serving in a variety of positions with conservation organizations and agencies.
Salary Trends in Forest Resources Management
Recent graduates of the forest resources management program have earned between $30,000 and $50,000 in entry-level positions, with an average salary of approximately $38,000. Salaries vary depending on location, candidate’s abilities, and previous work experience.
High School Preparation
Students interested in majoring in forest resources management should focus on high school courses emphasizing science and math. Courses in biology, chemistry, and agriculture are particularly useful. Criteria for admission include successful completion of the full high school program, grade point average, and acceptable performance on the ACT or SAT tests. Students completing advanced placement high school courses may be able to test out of certain university courses following their enrollment at The University of Tennessee.
How to Major in Forest Resources Management
Students interested in majoring in forest resources management should contact the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Each student is assigned to a forest resource management faculty member who advises the student with program planning and career counseling.
Requirements for Forest Resources Management
All students at UT are required to complete 14 courses as part of the general education requirement. These courses have been integrated into the forest resources management curriculum and are completed as part of the four-year curriculum. To meet the requirements, courses must be completed in: English composition, mathematical sciences, humanities and the arts, cultures and civilizations, social sciences, and natural sciences.
All students in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries must apply for permission to progress to junior- and senior-level classes in the department. Students must obtain an overall 2.2 GPA in 13 core courses including English, mathematics, chemistry, botany, economics, public speaking, statistics, soil science, and ecology. In addition, each student must provide a statement of career goals, names of three references, a summary of work experience, and a transcript.
Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships
A formal internship program is available for forest resource management students through the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Most students acquire work experience during the summers preceding their junior and senior years, either through a formal internship or informally with private companies or state or federal agencies. Forest resource management faculty members assist students in identifying work experience opportunities.
Highlights of Forest Resources Management
In the spring term of their senior year, majors in forest resources management enroll in a block of forestry courses designed to maximize hands-on experience in conducting management activities in forested settings. Fall block courses follow a specialized schedule that maximizes time in the field and facilitates field trips requiring overnight stays. Courses offered within the fall block include:
- Prescribed Fire Management
- Silvicultural Practices
- People and Forest Practices
- Wood Properties
- Forest Resource Inventory
Ready for the World
Students are encouraged to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs sponsored by CASNR. Other UT faculty-led and semester abroad programs are offered through the Center for International Education, and some students choose to spend a semester or year abroad as part of their degree program. CASNR does offer some scholarships for CASNR students participating in study abroad programs. Students, faculty and staff participate in the annual Unity through Diversity Dinner held each fall. Some students select a minor in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature.
Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.
Academic Plan and Milestones
Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.
To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, go to http://catalog.utk.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=16&poid=6353.
For More Information
Dr. Keith Belli, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, 427 Plant Biotech Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-4563 (865) 974-7126 http://fwf.ag.utk.edu
The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.