Forestry – Forest Resources Management Concentration Major Guide for 2011-2012

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What is Forest Resources Management

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, 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. 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 $27,000 and $45,000 in entry-level positions, with an average salary of approximately $35,000. 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, and interviews for these positions are coordinated through the department.

Highlights of Forest Resources Management

In the fall 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 logoReady 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 semster 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.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Calculus 3
General Botany 8
Forests in American Society 3
Social Science Elective 3
Principles of Chemistry 4
General Elective 3
Critical Courses: English 101-102, Biolgy 111-112  
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Speech Communications 3
Introduction to Soil Science 4
Geographic Information Systems 3
Dendrology and Silvics 3
Tree Biology 3
Introductory Economics 4
Introduction to Statistics 3
Forest Ecology 3
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 3
Critical Courses: ESS 210, FOr 214 and 215, AGEC 201 or ECON 201  
Junior Year Credit Hours
Forest/Wildland Resource Economics 2
Principles of Silviculture 3
Measurements and Sampling 3
Wildlife & Fisheries Management 3
Wildland Recreation 3
Wildland Fire  1
Forest Insects and Disease  3
Human Dimensions of Nat. Resour. 3
People & Forest Practices 1
Land Measurement Techniques 2
Forest Resource Inventory 3
Arts & Humanities Elective 3
 Critical Courses: FWF 317, Statistics 201  
Senior Year Credit Hours
Forest Management 3
Forest & Wildland Resource Policy 3
Prescribed Fire Management 2
Habitat Managment 1
Wood Science 3
Forest Resource Inventory 3
Planning/Mgmt of FWF Resources 3
Advanced Silviculture  3
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 3
Communications Elective 3
Ethics Elective 3

For More Information

Dr. Keith Belli
Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries
427 Plant Biotech Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-4563
(865) 974-7126


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.