Become a Leader in Forestry
Building off a 100-year tradition of training leaders in forest science and management, our Forestry program (accredited by the Society of American Foresters) is one of the top-ranked programs for quality and value in the nation. Our students work directly with world-class faculty in the laboratory and unique outdoor settings throughout their college careers.
Our forestry courses emphasize a “hands-on” approach, bridging learning opportunities in the classroom with direct experience in the field. Whether out on the University of Idaho’s 8,500+ acre Experimental Forest, in the Pitkin Forest Nursery, or at the McCall Field Campus along Payette Lake, our students experience the diverse landscapes of Idaho and the Inland Northwest.
Prepare for the Future
As a Forestry major, you will focus on forest ecosystems and learn about forest science and management, with a strong focus on forest operations and sustainable forest management. Our graduates are prepared to balance the many demands placed on the nation’s forests, and as a result are in high demand with both forest industry and natural resource agencies, including the US Forest Service and Idaho Department of Lands.
Students majoring in Forestry have the ability to customize their curriculum to meet their interests or choose among numerous pre-determined minors such as:
- Forest Operations
- Fire Ecology and Management
- Wildlife Resources
- Rangeland Ecology and Management
What Will You Learn?
Below are some of the courses Forestry majors take which sets the University of Idaho apart from other forestry programs in the nation.
- FOR 102 – Introduction to Forest Management
Intro to forestry, current management issues, timber and non-timber resources, educational and professional opportunities. Includes regional field trips ranging in length from one afternoon to one weekend.
- FOR 274 – Forest Measurement and Inventory
Practical techniques for the design and execution of vegetation measurements for the inventory of forests, shrublands, and fire-fuels. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. (Fall only).
Prereq: Math 143; or SAT math score of 610 or above, or ACT math score of 27 or above.
Prereq or Coreq: Math 144
- FOR 221 – Principles of Ecology
Principles of ecology and their relevance to management of natural resources. Major topics include plant and wildlife population, community, ecosystem, and landscape level processes and how these processes interact with the environment. Exploration of how ecosystems are affected by humans and global change. Introduction to the types of questions asked by ecologists, the principal concepts and theories that guide ecological inquiry, and the methods that are used to answer ecological questions. Both terrestrial and aquatic systems are considered.
Prereq: Biol 102/Biol 102L or Biol 114 or Biol 115 or PlSc 205; or Permission
- FOR 275 – Forest Resource Sampling
Principles and practice of natural resource inventory, forest sampling and data analysis techniques, LIDAR, forest growth, and quantitative decision support. Lab analysis examples and use of Excel and statistical packages are integrated into lectures.
Coreq: For 274 and Stat 251
- FOR 320 - Dendrology
Phylogenetic approach to understanding the systematics, morphology, geography, and ecology of the major species of North American woody plants. Includes identification and classification of important tree species of North American and other important woody plants of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. Three lectures and two 1.5-hour labs a week; two 1-day field trips.
Prereq or Coreq: Biol 114 or PlSc 205
- FOR 324 – Forest Regeneration
Natural and artificial regeneration of forest ecosystems; reproduction methods; selection of seed source and stock type; nursery cultural practices; tree improvement; site preparation methods to establish regeneration. One lecture and one 2-hr lab a week. Two all day field trips. A semester-long project requires time spent weekly in a nursery to regularly monitor plant development under varied environmental conditions (approximately 45 hours over the 18-week spring semester in addition to lectures, labs and out-of-class studying). Cooperative: open to WSU degree-seeking students.
Prereq: For 274, Soil 205 and Soil 206
Coreq: For 330
- FOR 375 – Introduction to Spatial Analysis for Natural Resource Management
Methods and techniques for obtaining quantitative and qualitative geospatial information from aerial and satellite images, maps, and the Global Positioning System for input into geographic information systems. Analysis of geospatial data for mapping, monitoring and planning associated with all aspects of natural resource management. Two lec and one 2-hr lab a wk.
Prereq: College Algebra
- FOR 330 – Forest Soil and Canopy Processes
Above- and below-ground biophysical processes that determine how forest ecosystems function. Emphasis is on interactions affecting forest productivity including soil nutrient cycles, light energy, water and nutrient acquisition. Process modeling is used to illustrate effects of complex interactions on carbon budgets. Applications include effects of environmental stress and disturbance such as forest management, fire, pests and global climate change. Builds from general ecology (For 221/REM 221) by exploring processes controlling forest production, and establishes a foundation to address forest management questions in For 324 and For 424. Two lectures and one 4-hr lab a week, including several field trips.
Prereq: Soil 205; and Math 143 or Math 160; and Phys 100/100L or Phys 111/111L; and For 221 or REM 221
- FOR 424 – Silviculture Principles and Practices
Theory underlying silvicultural practices to control forest composition and growth, including forest stand dynamics, tree growth and quality, and growth-density relationships. Study of intermediate stand treatments and reproduction methods. Final project required involving field data collection and forest modeling to develop and mark silvicultural prescriptions. 3-hrs of lecture and 2-hrs of lab per week.
Prereq: Senior standing and For 274, For 320 or other plant identification course, For 330, or instructor permission
- FOR 430 – Forest Operations
Overview of the primary equipment and harvesting systems used in modern forest operations, including field design, layout, and administration of timber sales, logging production and cost estimation, laws, and certification. A brief introduction to quantitative forest planning methods is also provided. There are 2-3 early morning trips and one Saturday field lab (Fall only).
Prereq: Phys 100/100L or Phys 111/111L
Prereq or Coreq: Math 144
- FOR 462 – Watershed Science and Management
Influence of land management practices on hydrologic processes, water quality, and riparian habitat w/emphasis on wildland watersheds. One day field trip.
Prereq: Math 143; and Phys 100 or Phys 111, or high school equivalent.
- FOR 468 – Forest and Plant Pathology
A survey of plant diseases. Emphasis on forest trees and other woody plants. Organisms that cause diseases. Strategies to minimize negative effects. Symbiotic roles of microbes in plants. Two hours of lecture, and two hours of lab per week, in addition to multiple field trips (as weather allows) to observe diseases and their effects. (Spring only).
Prereq: For 320 and For 330
- FOR 484 – Forest Policy and Administration
Evaluation of land and forest problems and policies in the U.S.; analysis of current conditions and policies; historical development of governmental and private agencies concerned with the administration of forest conservation program. Recommended Preparation: FOR 235.
Prereq: Junior standing