The Applied Forest Management program emphasizes field-orientated, hands-on learning throughout much of its curriculum. UMFK's forestry graduates have a broad forestry education and graduate with many marketable skills. Students in the program study a range of forestry topics including tree identification, tree measurements, timber harvesting, forest ecology and silviculture, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Faculty members have worked closely with professionals in the forestry industry and in the Maine Forest Service to maintain a curriculum that satisfies the needs of employers. UMFK graduates provide skills that are the foundation of good forestry and conservation in Maine. These skills include timber harvest planning and layout, forest inventory and mapping, supervision of harvesting, thinning, and planting crews, and boundary surveying. UMFK is very well equipped to integrate state-of-the-art GIS, GPS, and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technologies into the curriculum. These technological skills are crucial to success in today's forestry profession and are used for such tasks as forest inventory and mapping, harvest and forest road layout, and surveying.
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. 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. Some graduates have gone on to start successful logging companies. 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 are numerous.
This associate degree may serve as entry to a baccalaureate education in business management, rural public safety, environmental studies, or other fields. Several programs are available on campus where students can complete the Associate of Science in Applied Forest Management and a baccalaureate degree within four years.
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.