From Department to Premier Natural Resources College: Looking Back Over the Past 100 Years of Forestry Education

Wednesday, September 9 2009

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho College of Natural Resources will celebrate 100 years of forestry education Sept. 11-13 during events on the Moscow campus. The kickoff event is the first of several leading up the college’s centennial in 2017.

“The College of Natural Resources faculty and graduates are positioned to be key players at the regional, national and global levels for sustainability and environmental efforts,” said Bill McLaughlin, college dean. “Faculty members are in leadership roles as policy advisers for state and regional task forces that are focused--for example--on forestry health and strategic energy alliances.”

The College of Natural Resources began in 1909 as the Department of Forestry within the College of Agriculture. Considered something of a fad at the time, the fledgling department began life with one professor and 11 students. That first professor, Charles Houston Shattuck, was also first department head. He also created the university’s Shattuck Arboretum. The first class of Idaho foresters—three members strong—graduated in 1911.

As the years passed, the college assumed broader duties and extended its responsibilities. Curricula in range management, forest products, wildlife, fisheries, and wildland recreation management, now resource recreation and tourism, joined the original forestry curriculum.

Over time, early programs developed into a diverse natural resource college presently comprised of eight undergraduate majors; three graduate programs; three certificate programs; more than 50 faculty; and 90 staff. In response to those extended responsibilities, the college underwent a series of name changes that reflected its offerings until settling upon its current title of College of Natural Resources. Today, CNR’s faculty members, many of them among the most respected in their fields, address a broad spectrum of renewable natural resource concerns, both in their teaching and in their research.

A celebration package registration fee of $100 includes Friday lunch and Saturday barbecue, coffee, tote bag and DVD of CNR photos. Registration is available online at or by calling (208) 885-6154.


About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit

Media Contact: Sue McMurray, College of Natural Resources, (208) 885-6673,

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit