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Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

What You Will Learn

Fire is―and always will be―a natural part of our forest ecosystems. And as residential development continues to encroach on wildlands, fire professionals will be needed more than ever. Through our rigorous curriculum and one-of-a-kind lab and field work experiences, you’ll gain a solid background and practical skills, including: 

  • Strategies for assessing potential fire hazards
  • Fuels inventory, fire prevention, fire suppression and fire management approaches
  • Fuels management practices to protect people and property – what works where and why?
  • Best practices for planning, conducting and evaluating the success of prescribed burns
  • How to properly evaluate the ecological effects of fire and the subsequent potential for invasive species
Our Prescribed Burning Laboratory (FOR 427) is just one example of our innovative teaching and the vibrant learning experiences offered. To earn credit, the students use field assessments, simulation models and GIS to plan prescribed burns to meet particular management objectives, then they conduct the burns and return later to evaluate the degree the burns achieved the desired effects. They also work in teams and make professional presentations to peers and professionals. The University of Idaho Experimental Forest is home to one of the few and longest running prescribed burning laboratory classes in the country. For more than 35 years, this course has fostered students in developing leadership and fire skills. This course is required of all seniors in the B.S. Fire Ecology and Management degree.

Your B.S. Fire Ecology and Management is an excellent complement to other majors offered by the College of Natural Resources, such as Forest Resources or Rangeland Ecology and Management. In addition, many of our faculty members participate in the college-wide Ecology and Conservation Biology program.

Our Approach
The College of Natural Resources has long been a leader in fire ecology teaching, research and outreach. Our graduates and our educators are widely respected for their expertise. Our students become adept at applying science to challenging management issuessuccessfully balancing the effects of fire to property and people with the effects of fire on wildlife habitat, ecosystem sustainability and land health. Our highly-visible program will give you an advantage, making you marketable to future employers. You’ll be prepared for leadership positions in federal and state government agencies, like the US Forest Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, or for consulting roles with nonprofits or businesses looking for fire managers, fuels specialists, ecologists or land restoration specialists.