Forestry – Wildland Recreation Concentration Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Forestry – Wildland Recreation Concentration

The wildland recreation concentration prepares students to work in natural resource based park and recreation settings on private and public lands, including local, state, and national parks and other state and federal agencies and private or non-profit organizations providing outdoor recreation opportunities. Students prepare for professional positions related to the planning, development, management, and interpretation of private and public lands for recreation purposes.

The current and future challenge to management of our recreational lands is to find the proper balance between resource sustainability and providing for use and enjoyment by a growing population. To prepare students for this challenge, the wildland recreation degree program uses an interdisciplinary approach combining study in natural resources and the social sciences, so that students are prepared to manage both park resources and park visitors.

Career Opportunities in Forestry – Wildland Recreation Concentration

Majors in wildland recreation are employed by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, state parks, and city/county park systems. They also provide guiding and outfitting services and work in the retail sector. Others find positions in environmental education and interpretation at nature centers and residential camps. Another growing area of employment is in the area of urban forestry.
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 Ph.D. 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 Forestry – Wildland Recreation Concentration

Recent graduates of the wildland recreation program have earned between $20,000 and $42,000 in entry-level positions, with an average salary of approximately $24,000. Salaries vary depending on location, candidate’s abilities, and previous work experience.

High School Preparation

Students interested in majoring in wildland recreation 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 Forestry – Wildland Recreation Concentration

Students interested in majoring in Wildland Recreation should contact the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Each major is assigned to a faculty member in wildland recreation who advises the student with program planning and career counseling.

Requirements for Forestry – Wildland Recreation Concentration

All students at UT are required to complete 14 courses as part of the general education requirement. These courses have been integrated into the wildland recreation curriculum and are completed as part of the four-year curriculum. To meet these requirements, courses must be completed in English composition, mathematical sciences, humanities and the arts, historical studies, social sciences, natural sciences, and integrative studies.

All students in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries must also 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, computer applications, 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 10-week professional internship experience (6 credits) is required during the final 45 hours of credit in the program. The internship is a highly structured field experience guided by specific learning objectives pre-approved by the instructor and the field supervisor.  Co-op positions are available with several federal agencies.  Preparation for the internship should be made well in advance of actual placement. Summer employment or volunteer work in a related field prior to the internship is strongly encouraged.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Students are encouraged to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs sponsored by CASNR, which include Thailand and Jamaica. Other UT faculty-led and semester abroad programs are offered through the Center for International Education. 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
Forests in American Society 3
English Composition 6
Calculus 3
Chemistry 4
General Botany or Biology 8
Social Science Elective 3
Arts & Humanities Electives 6
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Dendrology and Silvics 3
Tree Biology 3
Forest Ecology 3
Introduction to Soil Science 4
Introductory Economics 4
Introduction to Statistics 3
Speech Communications 3
Environmental Sociology 3
Cultures & Civilizations Electives 6
Junior Year Credit Hours
Wildland Recreation 3
Principles of Silviculture 3
Measurements and Sampling 2
Wildlife and Fisheries Management 3
Wildland Recreation Planning/Mgmt 3
GIS/GPS Applications 3
Fixed Electives
Forest/Wildland Resource Economics 2-3
Recreation 3
Landscape Design 2–3
General Elective 4
TOTAL 28-30
Senior Year Credit Hours
Wildland Recreation Internship (summer) 6
Forest & Wildland Resource Policy 3
Wildlife and Fisheries Science 3
Human Dimensions of Natural Res 3
Planning/Management of FWF Resources 3
Communications Elective 3
General Electives 4-6
TOTAL 25-27

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.