Goal and Objectives for Students in the Major
The Major in Forest Ecology and Management provides students with a thorough understanding of the science, philosophy, and practice of managing forested ecosystems. Through study and active learning experiences, students obtain a consistent and broad background in course work that encompasses foundational and integrative topics. Given the range of knowledge and expertise needed to effectively manage forested ecosystems, students are then provided an opportunity to select a minor and pursue a specialization consistent with the overall objectives of the Major. Although the Major is designed to expose students to contemporary knowledge and techniques drawn from a variety of disciplines in the natural and social sciences, students also are encouraged to challenge conventional knowledge paradigms and approaches to forest management.
The degree/Major is accredited by the Association of BC Forest Professionals and may meet the education requirements for admission to the College of Applied Biology. Graduates from the Major will be prepared for careers as natural resource professionals or to pursue post graduate studies in a wide range of disciplines that span the life, earth, social, and management/conservation sciences.
The Major is structured to meet a number of learning and experience-based objectives that define the knowledge and professional maturity of our target graduate: (1) understanding of the ecological and social workings, interactions, and dynamics of forested systems; (2) appreciation and respect for the range and integration of values that define the use and management of natural resources; (3) growth of the individual as a qualified and effective natural resource professional; and (4) the ability to think critically and improve conventional practices.
Our Target Graduate
Understanding of forests as complex ecological systems is an essential quality of all who aspire to a career in the natural resources. In our graduates, such understanding is based on a solid foundation of knowledge in the physical sciences and math, biological sciences, and synthesis disciplines (e.g. applied ecology and conservation biology). Our graduates understand and appreciate ecosystem structure, dynamics and function as a necessary context for assessing today’s natural resource issues and needs such as sustaining forest ecosystem integrity and healthy human communities, conserving biological diversity, and maintaining resource productivity over the long term.
Integrated Thinking & Skills
Any single use of natural resources has implications for all other uses that people may wish to make of the land. Our graduates understand the relationships among the natural resources and possess skills and knowledge to integrate a variety of uses and values in land and resource management plans.
Experience & Work Attitude
Our graduates are sought after by employers because they have achieved a health balance of academic learning with real-world perspectives and experience. Forestry students at UNBC have been encouraged to learn about career options and potential employers, and to gain experience and practical skills that complement their university studies. Having explored career options, our graduates are better able to identify jobs and employers that satisfy their personal and professional objectives and that they will be able to commit to over the long term.
Problem Solving Ability
Original thinking and problem-based learning are emphasized in our curriculum. As a result, our graduates are critical thinkers who tend to take a positive, creative approach to complex problem solving. As they begin on their career paths, our graduates are able to demonstrate how to apply knowledge, experience, and technology in achieving solutions that are scientifically sound and socially responsible.
A Big Picture Perspective
The most challenging problems in natural resources today involve a magnitude of scale and complexity that extends beyond the traditional boundaries of the individual natural resource disciplines. Our graduates possess perspectives and technical skills to examine resource relationships across a variety of spatial scales, temporal scales, and patterns of resource ownership. Their global perspective on natural resources provides valuable context for thinking about local and regional issues, policies, and developments.
Ethics & Professionalism
The values and actions of our graduates reflect a moral obligation to the land and to the people who depend on natural resources. Each graduate has adopted a personal ethic that includes stewardship principles and high standards of professional conduct. In whatever jobs they find themselves, our graduates think about the implications of their decisions and actions, and reflect on the linkages of forest management to broader ecological and social concerns.
Not only do our graduates have well-developed skills in oral and written communications, they are eager to share their knowledge and experience. Their efforts are helping the public become more informed about forest ecosystems and natural resources management. Our graduates choose to be willing spokespersons for resource stewardship and sustainable forest management.
A graduate of our program participates actively in the overall community of which he or she is a part. As forestry professionals and good citizens, our graduates are helping to frame society’s questions concerning natural resources, to work through the socio-political process, and to implement scientifically and socially responsible solutions.