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Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

Forest Resources (B.S.For.Res.)

Fire Ecology and Management (B.S.Fire.Ecol.Mgmt.)

Rangeland Ecology and Management (B.S.Rangeland Ecol.-Mgt.)

Renewable Materials (B.S.Renew.Mat.)

Ecology and Conservation Biology (B.S.Ecol.-Cons.Biol.)

Fire Ecology and Management Minor

Forest Operations Minor

Forest Resources Minor

Rangeland Ecology and Management Minor

Renewable Materials Minor

Fire Ecology, Management and Technology Academic Certificate

Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences Graduate Degree Programs

Anthony S. Davis, Department Head (204 CNR Bldg. 83844-1133; phone 208/885-7952; fores@uidaho.edu). Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences Faculty: Luigi Boschetti, Randall, H. Brooks, Stephen C. Bunting, Mark D. Coleman, Steven Daley Laursen, Anthony S. Davis, Jan U. Eitel, Jo Ellen Force, Amanda L. Gearhart, Paul E. Gessler, Thomas M. Gorman, Philip E. Higuera, Kathleen L. Kavanagh, Robert F. Keefe, Karen L. Launchbaugh, Timothy E. Link, Gary E. Machlis, John D. Marshall, Armando G. McDonald, Penelope Morgan, A. George Newcombe, Beth A. Newingham, Kurt S. Pregitzer, Ronald Robberecht, Alistair Smith, Eva K. Strand, David Tank, Lee A. Vierling. Affiliate Faculty: Cort Anderson, Louis L. Edwards, Mark J. Kimsey, Jr., Robert L. Mahler, John S. Morris, Jay O'Laughlin, Steven R. Shook, Jeerapun Worapong.

The Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences offers programs leading to the degrees of: Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources; Bachelor of Science in Fire Ecology and Management; Bachelor of Science in Rangeland Ecology and Management with career tracks in rangeland conservation, restoration ecology, invasive species, watershed management, riparian ecology, wildlife habitat ecology, and landscape ecology; Bachelor of Science in Renewable Materials; Master of Science with a major in Natural Resources (thesis and non-thesis options); and Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Natural Resources (see Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences Graduate Degree Programs for more information). Graduate degrees are administered at the college level for all departments; areas of emphasis are focused within the academic departments.

The instructional goal of the Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences is to provide both undergraduate and graduate students of all ethnicities and nationalities with a high-quality general education and the professional knowledge of significant concepts, multiple use principles, social factors, and technical details of forest and rangeland biology, ecology, measurements, management, and social science to effectively manage forest and rangeland resources.

To attain this goal, the departmental faculty and administration will: emphasize the dynamic nature of the sciences and technologies by teaching new concepts and methods and revising the curricula as necessary; stress understanding rather than rote learning of facts and principles; provide challenging programs to develop individual talents and interests; maintain class sizes in laboratory and field-oriented courses at a level commensurate with instructional effectiveness; maintain student-faculty ratios that allow for more personalized instruction and advising; expand and improve instructional facilities; develop more efficient and effective instructional techniques; expand field-oriented programs, especially at the Experimental Forest and the Forest Nursery, at Moscow and other field stations; encourage and assist students in finding seasonal professional employment and opportunities for involvement in student clubs and professional organizations; and encourage development and research programs for faculty to increase their abilities to pass their knowledge on to others.

Students pursuing degrees in the Department attain a strong understanding of biology, ecology, soils, vegetation in plant and animal communities as well as socioeconomic and management implications. Field study is also an integral part of all curricula.

Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources. Forestry is "managing and using for human benefit the forest lands and natural resources that occur on and in association with forest lands." These benefits may include values, services, or products such as stable human communities, aesthetics, biodiversity, recreational opportunities, clean water and air, soil protection, forage, fish and wildlife, medicinal and ornamental items, wood products, and many others. One-third of the nation's land area and 40 percent of Idaho's land area are forested. Present-day forest management requires professionals highly trained in an interdisciplinary approach that adapts to scientific developments and sociological and economic constraints while sustaining healthy forest ecosystems.

The educational program, leading to the Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources, is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). SAF is the specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Post-secondary Accreditation as the accrediting agency for forestry in the United States.

The B.S. Forest Resources curriculum not only provides students with an interdisciplinary education, but also the opportunity to strengthen their understanding of ecology, forest ecosystem processes, forest social sciences, computer applications in forestry, aerial-photo interpretation (remote sensing), geographic information systems, silviculture, protection against insects, disease, and fire, tree nursery management, forest operations, and other specialties by selective use of elective credits. Graduates with a professional forestry degree are employed by a wide range of federal and state forestry and natural resource agencies; private forestland companies, such as Potlatch, Forest Capital, Weyerhaeuser; consulting companies that work with private non-industrial forest landowners and others that do environmental assessments and monitoring of forest lands; and non-governmental agencies that manage and/or are interested in forest ecosystem land management.

Bachelor of Science in Rangeland Ecology and Management. The term RANGELAND was invented in the United States to describe the extensive, unforested lands dominating the western half of the continent. Rangelands around the world are known by many names including prairie, plains, grassland, shrubland, savanna, steppe, desert, semi-desert, sward, tundra, and alpine. These lands form about half of the earth's land surface. Idaho is 48% rangeland. Limited precipitation, generally sparse vegetation, sharp climatic extremes, highly variable soils, frequent salinity, and diverse topography characterize the kind of land called RANGELAND. Rangelands produce a wide variety of goods and services desired by society, including livestock forage, wildlife habitat, water, mineral resources, wood products, wild-land recreation, open space, and natural beauty. The geographic extent and many important resources of rangelands make their proper use and management vitally important to people everywhere.

Rangeland managers enjoy careers with a variety of private organizations and government agencies. State and federal land management agencies, such as the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and State Departments of Lands, hire rangeland professionals to oversee the management of public rangelands. Wildlife management agencies also hire range managers to maintain and improve wildlife habitat. Private land owners employ range consultants and managers to oversee livestock operations, enhance hunting programs, maintain forage resources and control weeds. Biological assessment companies require the careful measurement and assessment of vegetation resources; therefore they often hire rangeland professionals. A growing number of rangeland professionals work as natural resource facilitators to bring rangeland stakeholders together to craft plans for environmental stewardship. Internships are also available. Over 85% of the graduates of the B.S. Rangeland Ecology and Management program at the University of Idaho in the last 10 years have secured careers in natural resource management or advanced to graduate school.

Bachelor of Science in Fire Ecology and Management. The College of Natural Resources has provided over 35 years of leadership in fire education. We offer more courses focused on fire than any other natural resources school in the country, and deliver science to users in innovative ways. Our courses and degree programs are developed to provide students with real world skills and fundamental principles to become leaders in fire and natural resource management. Our fire research program attracts top graduate students and collaborates both with the leading fire scientists and innovative effective fire managers. Our research and outreach efforts provide useful, timely and sound science to help solve fire management issues across the state, region and nation.

We provide a range of educational opportunities for wildland fire managers and others interested in a career in wildland fire research with a focus on solving real world problems through an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on educating current and future fire professional leaders. The BS in Fire Ecology and Management is the only such program in the US.

A fire ecology and management academic minor, graduate and undergraduate academic certificates in fire ecology, management, and technology are also available.

Bachelor of Science in Renewable Materials. Renewable materials are those that can be replaced by biological means, such as sustainably-managed forests or residues from agricultural food crops, and offer environmental benefits as well as useful products for society. Renewable and biodegradable materials typically consume less energy in their preparation, and can be reused, recycled or composted at the end of their useful life. Wood is a primary renewable, recyclable and biodegradable material in the U.S. and the world and is used to produce over 5,000 different products for shelter, packaging, and chemicals. Renewable, bio-based energy sources reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to energy self-reliance.

The B.S. Renewable Materials curriculum prepares students for a wide range of careers in the manufacture, marketing, and utilization of sustainable, renewable materials. Interdisciplinary coursework and project-based learning opportunities lead to a choice of several career tracks including procurement of timber and other renewable materials; production management, marketing and distribution of bio-based products; green building materials selection, construction and design; and bio-based energy production systems. This degree program is accredited by the Society of Wood Science and Technology. The undergraduate curriculum is structured, but still allows students to follow specific interests through course selection from restricted and unrestricted electives in the areas of architecture, business, entrepreneurship, forest operations, and agriculture.

Fire Ecology, Management and Technology Academic Certificate. This 15-credit certificate program is designed for traditional and non-traditional students who would like to receive more depth in the concepts, science and tools currently used in fire ecology and management, or for those seeking educational requirements required for federal employment. After completing this certificate program students will be able to apply sound science to solving complex issues facing fire management. Many of our students combine this certificate with other degrees.

Students who wish to work towards this certificate program must be admitted to the University of Idaho as a degree-seeking student. Once admitted you may register for courses online. We strongly recommend that you contact us at fire@uidaho.edu to talk to an advisor who will help you develop an individualized program of study to help meet your educational needs. Note that there is an additional fee for all online courses and for some campus-based courses and that there is no additional fee for part-time non-resident students who are taking online courses. For more information please contact us or visit the following website: www.cnr.uidaho.edu/wildlandfire.

Graduate Programs. Graduate programs are offered in many forest and rangeland specialization areas including Ecology and Biogeosciences of Forest and Rangeland Ecosystems: ecosystem processes/modeling, biometrics, biogeochemistry, hydrology and ecohydrology, remote sensing and geospatial ecology, landscape ecology, community ecology, population ecology, ecosystem ecology, disturbance ecology, paleoecology, restoration ecology, ecophysiology, global environmental change, conservation biology/genetics, and molecular plant systematic; Forest Sciences and Management: forest mensuration, forest regeneration, forest ecosystem management, tree physiology, forest pathology, forest policy, forest operations, silviculture, forest ecology, and forest genetics; Renewable Materials: procurement of timber and other renewable materials; production management, marketing and distribution of bio-based products; green building materials selection, construction and design; and bio-based energy production systems; Fire Sciences and Management: fire effects and recovery, fire behavior, fuels management, biophysical controls of fire and fire regimes, air quality and smoke management, fire history, and fire ecology; Rangeland Sciences and Management: grazing behavior and management, invasive plant management, livestock-wildlife relations, rangeland and habitat management, rangeland riparian management, and rangeland ecology.

Admission to the graduate program is based on: evidence of ability to complete graduate-level work as discerned from undergraduate transcripts, the applicant's statement of career objectives, and letters of recommendation; the compatibility of the student's educational and career objectives with faculty expertise and departmental objectives; and availability of graduate faculty to act as major advisor for an applicant. The GRE is required. An undergraduate degree related to our programs is also recommended but an applicant may be accepted with the understanding that certain course deficiencies may be required by the student's advisory committee.

Students can transfer up to 12 approved credits taken as a non-degree seeking student into a MS or PhD program in the College of Natural Resources with permission of the departmental graduate committee. Students who are considering transferring non-degree credits into a CNR graduate program should request early advising from the appropriate department.

Further information can be obtained from the department head (208/885-7952).


See the course description section for courses in Forest Resources (For), Rangeland Ecology and Management (REM) and Renewable Materials (RMat).