UBC Forestry: Overview
Matthew Tran - January 4th, 2022
Written by Fernanda Munoz and Matthew Tran
UBC Forestry is known for its award-winning teaching programs and leading-edge research on a wide range of subjects. They focus on experiential learning opportunities, near and far – in our state-of-the-art learning spaces, strolling through nearby Pacific Spirit Regional Park, at their research forests in Maple Ridge and Williams Lake, in forest ecosystems and communities throughout the world, or at their newly established Haida Gwaii Institute. Their research continually strives to redefine and broaden our conception of forestry by addressing a wide variety of issues from biodiversity conservation, environmental justice, and climate change mitigation to sustainable forest management, urban forestry, and bioproducts development, to name a few. And their main building is located on UBC’s Point Grey campus, located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory.
What is Forestry?
Forestry is the science, art, and practice of understanding, managing, and using wisely the natural resources associated with, and derived from forest lands.
The diverse degree programs offered at the UBC Faculty of Forestry reflect the spectrum of forest resources and the businesses they generate. Students learn to combine social and biological sciences with technical skills, striving to achieve a balance between society’s ever-increasing need for goods and services, and environmental sustainability.
Forestry career paths that graduates follow include forest biologists, professional foresters, wood engineers, forestry business administrators, conservationists, and renewable resource managers. As an applied science, a forestry education can also serve as a foundation for entry into other professions such as education, business, and law.
Why choose UBC Forestry?
- Their vision is to “To strive to be a global exemplar in supporting the health and well-being of our planet’s forested eco-systems and all who interact with them. In all that we do, we aim to create a better world.” The Faculty of Forestry has spearheaded many initiatives to get closer to achieving this vision. This includes unique and meaningful partnerships, projects, special programs, and areas of focus that shape their community, programs, and research.
- Their building and working spaces are amazing! The Forest Sciences Centre was completed in 1998 and was designed to showcase construction using Canadian forest products. The 17,505-square-metre Forest Sciences complex has 11 classrooms, 2 lecture theatres, teaching laboratories, office space, computer labs, study areas, and a cafeteria and houses the Faculty’s three departments.
- The Faculty of Forestry has two Research Forests where students can enhance their classroom learning with field studies and researchers can establish projects requiring forested environments. These are working forests, where students, faculty, and researchers from UBC and beyond can study in an outdoor setting. Forest management, silviculture, forest harvesting, forest ecology, and conservation figure prominently in studies conducted at the Research Forests.
- UBC’s Forestry faculty was part of a team that developed the world’s first fully-compostable and biodegradable medical mask for COVID-19.
- Last year, UBC Forestry professor Nicholas Coops was awarded the prestigious Marcus Wallenberg Prize, known as the “Nobel Prize of Forest Research” for his work in satellite imagery analysis and climate change.
What can you study at UBC Forestry?
1. FOREST BIOECONOMY SCIENCES & TECHNOLOGY:
Students will learn molecular, biological, and ecological approaches for utilizing renewable natural resources and how to measure the environmental impacts and ethical business practices while applying systems thinking and policy planning and implementation.
The Forestry program offers two majors, both of which are accredited by the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board as providing the academic requirements for becoming a professional forester in the eight Canadian provinces that have professional forestry organizations. There is also an option to obtain a professional engineer (P.Eng.) designation.
3. FOREST SCIENCES:
Students study the scientific principles related to the growth & development of forest organisms and the ecology of plant & animal communities and the importance of balancing biological diversity with our resource needs. The forest science degree program offers a unique opportunity to specialize your studies while applying what you learn to the bigger picture of forest resources management and forest ecosystem.
4. NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION
This degree helps you to develop the skills to play an active role in protecting and managing our natural environments, such as wildlife, forests, rivers, oceans, and land. By gaining an understanding of how to balance social, economic, cultural, and aesthetic issues, this multidisciplinary degree will help you shape our future and our planet. Core subjects include biodiversity and sustainability, resource socio-economics and policy, ecology and conservation biology, and land-use planning.
5. WOOD PRODUCTS PROCESSING
Understanding the merits of a sustainable product for use in building, manufacturing, and engineering while exploring innovative product potentials for wood will equip you to meet demands from the world of tomorrow. Throughout the program, students have access to Canada’s national centre of excellence for wood products at our extensive facilities housed in UBC’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing.
6. URBAN FORESTRY
If you love the urban environment and are interested in sustainability, green space planning, healthy living, and nature in the city, then the Bachelor of Urban Forestry may be for you. The Urban Forestry program is for students interested in areas such as urban ecology, sustainability planning, recreation, human well-being, social inclusion and justice, forest sciences, and management. The program will feature both local field courses in the Vancouver area, and international case studies based on UBC research and our professional networks in China, India, South America, Europe, across North America, and elsewhere.
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