Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences
Advance your career with one of the best programs in the nation with a long history of success. For more than 100 years, we have been training leaders in forestry, rangeland and fire sciences. The programs we deliver are noted for their quality and affordability:
- Renewable Materials major rated as the most affordable bachelor of science program in the US for wood science, wood products/pulp and paper technology by College Calc.
- Forestry program ranked 9th in the country by College Factual’s 2018 "Best for the Money" rankings.
- Rangeland Conservation program is rated the 8th best in the U.S. for range science and management degrees by universities.com
- Fire ecology and management program is the nation's oldest and most intensive program of its kind.
Our degree programs are accredited by their respective organizations, including the Society of American Foresters, the Society of Rangeland Ecology and Management, the Association for Fire Ecology, and the Society of Wood Science and Technology.
Our students engage in hands-on studies, working directly with top faculty in amazing laboratories and outdoor classrooms. Some of the places you can study include:
- Pitkin Forest Nursery, the only operational, commercial nursery at a university in the country.
- The iFire Lab, one of the only fire Combustion labs located on a university campus in the U.S.
- U of I Experimental Forest, more than 10,000 acres of research and working forest, providing learning and employment opportunities for students.
- McCall Field Campus where students learn by immersing themselves in the Idaho Rockies.
- Rock Creek Ranch more than 10,000 acres of Idaho rangelands for research, education and outreach.
Take advantage of abundant opportunities for undergraduate research in our department, working with faculty who are at the top of their fields. A few examples of our faculty’s work:
- Tara Hudiburg was awarded $750,000 to study the sustainability of biofuels as part of $104 million project funded by the Department of Energy to create a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective bioproducts and bioenergy.
- Randy Brooks’ studies on fatigue and wildland firefighters have made headlines across the country.
- Jason Karl recently secured two grants from the USDA to use technology to improve rangeland management.
- Crystal Kolden is leading a multidisciplinary $2.8 million National Science Foundation-funded project to help Northwest states better predict and recover from wildfires.
- Rob Keefe is using GPS technology to help improve the safety of loggers, one of the most dangerous professions in the world.