The Applied Forest Management Program is conservation-based, promoting the wise and sustainable use of our natural resources through an understanding of science. This theme is emphasized throughout the forestry curriculum.
It is the mission of the UMFK Forestry Program to nurture its students to become individuals who are responsible and skilled forestry professionals capable of performing all technical field tasks; who understand the tenets of good forestry and personnel management; who possess good communication and problem solving skills; who are aware of the ethical dimensions of their actions; and who are prepared to further their education at the university or as life-long learners.
The Applied Forest Management Program is designed to prepare students for careers in forestry. Students in the program study basic forestry, such as tree identification, tree measurement, forest ecology and silviculture, and then choose a concentration in either forest management or wildland firefighting. UMFK faculty members have worked closely with forestry professionals in industry, forest management and the Maine Forest Service to develop a curriculum that satisfies the needs of the employer. UMFK graduates provide skills that are the foundation of good forestry and conservation in Maine. Some of these skills include boundary surveying; forest inventory and mapping; and supervision of harvesting, thinning, and planting crews; as well as fire suppression, emergency management and other skills. UMFK’s forestry graduates have a broad forestry education and graduate with many marketable skills. Graduates find work as forest technicians, foresters, and forest rangers. Many graduates work in forest operations and several are GIS specialists. Potential employers include consulting foresters; land management companies; forest industry; and the forestry, conservation, and agriculture departments of the state and federal governments. Presently, the job-to-student ratio is very high, and a number of UMFK students have received permanent job offers prior to their graduation. Summer internships also are numerous.
This associate degree also may serve as entry to a baccalaureate education in business management, rural public safety, environmental studies, forestry or other fields. Several programs are available where students can complete the Associate of Science in Applied Forest Management and a baccalaureate degree within four years. For example, local industry encouraged UMFK to develop a forestry concentration under the Business Management major. With proper planning, a student can complete both degrees (Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science) in four years. Refer to the Business Major for more information. The Maine Forest Service worked with UMFK faculty to develop the concentration in Wildland Firefighting. UMFK graduates are fully-qualified to work as rangers for the Maine Forest Service, or for federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. Students interested in pursuing careers in government can further their education with a baccalaureate degree in Rural Public Safety, easily completing both degrees in four years.
Many of UMFK’s forestry courses are field-oriented and require the student to possess mobility in a field setting. Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented limitations; nevertheless, all students must be able to visit field sites and should realize that employment in forestry often requires a physical fitness exam by the employing agency.