OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Forestry Degree, Forest Management Option

Forest Management Undergraduate Advising Guide (PDF)

OSU Catalog Description: Forest Management

Tall trees

Forest Managers must understand natural resource systems and how to organize the management of forest resources for multiple uses and multiple values. Successful Forest Managers must be able communicate with the full spectrum of forest users and those who value forest resources. They must be able to propose management solutions that are compatible with the biological and ecological processes of the forest yet are sensitive to the cultural, social and economic forces that shape forest policies.

As a graduate of the Forest Management Program, you will have:

  • an understanding of forest ecosystem structure, function and dynamics and be able to identify major forest ecosystems of the PNW and describe their changes over time, with and without human influence/management.
  • skills in geospatial analysis and an ability to carry out basic surveying, mapping and geographic location activities (including GIS).
  • an understanding of the social and political context of forestry and be able to describe current policies, laws, and regulations governing the management of forest lands.
  • knowledge of vegetation measurement and modeling and be able to measure and inventory forest vegetation with precision and accuracy and forecast its development over time using models of forest growth.
  • an understanding of forestry investment analysis and be able to evaluate typical financial investments in forestry.
  • knowledge of resource management planning over time at the stand level and be able to describe desired future conditions of forest stands and develop a plan to effectively achieve those conditions.
  • knowledge of intertemporal management and planning at the forest and landscape levels, and be able to develop alternative management scenarios for forest lands and describe their relative impacts on forest products, environmental services, social amenities, cultural and other resource values.
  • an understanding of the importance of communication in both planning and practice settings, and be able to communicate effectively with co-workers and stakeholders on forest resource issues and practices.

The core curriculum in Forest Management is a broad-based education, including basic courses in mathematics, statistics, biology and ecology, the physical and social sciences, professional courses in forest biology and ecology and forest management, and at least 6 months of work experience (12 months for those participating in the Cooperative Education Internship Program). Strength in a specific area is obtained by selecting an option in one of the following areas (which serve to fulfill the 180 credits for graduation): 

Entry-level positions for graduates can include duties that span the full range of forest resource uses and management activities, including: recreation management, fire control and prevention, watershed protection, wildlife habitat management, forest roads and trails, timber management and regeneration, forest health assessment and insect/disease control measures, community-based forestry, ecosystem services markets and carbon offset sales, and management consulting. Graduates are employed by private and public organizations. Private sector employers include the forest timber and wood products industries, forestry consulting firms, NGOs and environmental organizations, and self-employment. Public employers include federal, state, and local government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Peace Corps, and state departments of forestry and natural resources.