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Forest Ecology and Management: BS

Forest Ecology and Management

USU's forestry degree is the only one in Utah that is nationally accredited with the Society of American Foresters, and USU is the only university in the state with a college devoted to the study of natural resources.

In the program, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to manage public or private forests. The program focuses on providing future foresters with the broadest possible understanding of the biological, physical, economic, political, and social aspects of forestry. This multidisciplinary degree consists of courses in biology, math, chemistry, statistics, forest ecology, inventory, water quality, wildlife habitat, tree species, and geographic information systems.

Forest ecosystems supply water, maintain climate, help purify the air, protect soils, provide recreational experiences, and serve as habitat for wildlife. Foresters develop, use, and communicate their knowledge to sustain and enhance these forest resources for diverse benefits now and in the future. Foresters also oversee the use of timber, recreation, and water, and by doing so strive to ensure biological diversity.

With a degree in forestry, students may be qualified for the following careers:

  • Forester for state/federal land management agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, private consulting firms, private timber industries, nonprofit environmental organizations, etc.
  • Manager of urban tree resources for city government or utilities
  • Provide assistance and advice to private landowners

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the forestry program has additional requirements:

  • New Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions or from other USU majors need a 2.5 total GPA for admission.

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Wildlife Society: The student chapter of the Wildlife Society is an organization for students who have an interest in wildlife. It prepares students for careers dealing with wildlife by providing hands-on experiences. The chapter's activities include things such as surveys, habitat work, professional meetings, tours, and specialty fieldtrips. It works with the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources on such projects as helping with deer check stations, checking for chronic waste disease, and helping with the annual youth pheasant hunt. It also takes annual trips to places like Yellowstone National Park.

Xi Sigma Pi National Forest Management Honors Society: Although Xi Sigma Pi is a forest management national honors society, it has expanded its view of forest management to recognize fields such as fisheries, wildlife management, and outdoor recreation. In keeping with the stated national goals of the society, the USU chapter seeks to recognize and encourage academic excellence among students.

Aggie Recyclers: Aggie Recyclers is a club designed to serve the community and the environment, accomplished through educating people how to live in a sustainable way. The club is very involved with recycling on campus as well as promoting other sustainable practices. In addition to raising awareness, members also participate in a variety of service activities.

Forestry Club/Society of American Foresters Student Chapter: The forestry club is one of the longest running clubs at Utah State and also serves as a student chapter of the Society of American Foresters. The club hosts various activities, such as visiting one of USU’s yurts, making trips to the Forestry Club cabin, and cutting and selling Christmas trees to raise money for the club. The club also participates in various community service projects. The Forestry Club also serves as the USU Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.

Student Organization for Society and Natural Resources: SOSNR was established in 2003 to promote opportunities for service in the community, provide forums for individuals to present research, and give students opportunities to participate in conferences to help further their academic careers.

Student Sustainability Council: The Student Sustainability Council is a student organization devoted to promoting sustainability on campus, educating the student body and the local community, and giving students the opportunity to serve in areas related to sustainability.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

Ecology Center: The Ecology Center is an administrative structure in the university that supports and coordinates ecological research and graduate education in the science of ecology and provides professional information and advice for decision makers considering actions that affect the environment. The Ecology Center at USU has had a string of directors known nationally and worldwide as premier scientists in the field of ecology, and students graduating with a degree in ecology are able to make important contacts with influential faculty that can help them go on to prestigious post-doctoral programs and faculty positions at universities around the world.

S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Natural Resources Research Library: The Quinney Library maintains collections of materials pertaining to natural resources and the environment in a number of formats that support the programs of study and research in the College of Natural Resources and several partnering centers. The library has more than 60,000 items, both print and electronic, as well as videos, images, and more.

T.W. Daniel Experimental Forest: The T.W. Daniel Experimental Forest is located in the Cache Valley National Forest and is dedicated for the use of USU College of Natural Resources students. This property houses a cabin that serves as a base of operations for research, teaching, and road-building in the student forest. Since the 1950s, the 18x18-square-foot cabin has been restored by USU’s forestry club for the use of student outings.

Utah Climate Center: The UCC facilitates access to climate data and information and uses expertise in atmospheric science to interpret climate information in an accurate and innovative fashion for the public. The mission includes the design of new products to meet present and future needs of agriculture, natural resources, government, industry, tourism, and educational organizations in Utah and the Intermountain region.

Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit: In 1935, the U.S. Department of Interior and Utah State University established this research unit. Expertise includes landscape and spatial ecology, population and system analysis for both aquatic and terrestrial systems, aquatic food webs of large water systems, and wildlife-habitat and vegetation modeling. Technical expertise in the fields of statistics, GIS, and spatial analysis is strong.