Skip to main content



The Department of Wildland Resources

Forest Ecology and Management students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to manage public or private forests for a wide variety of objectives such as timber production, recreation, wildlife, water, biological diversity, conservation, and resilience to disturbances such as fire and insects.  This professional degree provides future foresters with a broad understanding of the biological, physical, economic, political, and social environmental context that they will work in as forestry professionals.

See where our graduates are now

Current students are encouraged to visit the Wildland Resources Department’s home page’s undergraduate programs tab (here) for current news and information.

View Degree Program in the USU General Catalog


What is Forestry?

Forestry is the science and art of attaining desired forest conditions and benefits. Forest ecosystems supply our water, maintain our climate, help purify the air, protect soils, provide for recreational experiences, and serve as habitat for wildlife and preserves of biological diversity.

Foresters develop, use, and sustain and enhance forest resources for diverse benefits now and in the future..

What type of students study Forest Ecology and Management?

Students who …

  • Want to work outdoors.
  • Are interested in plants and ecology.
  • Are interested in sustainability issues.

What do Forest Ecology and Management majors study?

  • Foundation courses in biology, math, chemistry, and statistics.
  • Forest ecology, water quality, wildlife habitat, and identifying tree species.
  • Advanced computer applications such as geographic information systems.
  • Forest management policies and economics.

What are some of our graduate and undergraduate students doing in forestry-related professions?

  • Area forester, Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands
  • Silviculturist for the Umatilla National Forest
  • Prescribed fire and fuels specialist, USFS
  • Sale preparation forester, USFS
  • Biological Scientist, USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis program
  • Silviculture forester for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
  • Forester Weyerhaeuser Company
  • Forester working for the Wisconsin Department of Forestry
  • Assistant Professor in Forestry at Colorado State University 
  • Assistant Professor in Silviculture and Applied Forestry at Utah State University
  • Assistant Professor in Silviculture and Applied Forestry at University of Minnesota
  • Silviculturist for the Tillamook District of the Bureau of Land Management
  • Silviculturist, USFS, Pacific Northwest Region, Three Rivers Ranger District
  • Silviculture Technician, USFS, Northern Region, Missoula Ranger District
Shelly Kotynek


Shelly Kotynek

NR 120

Shelly brings years of experience in academic advising, and her love for the outdoors to help students succeed in their educations and future careers.

  • Semester-by-semester planning
  • Connecting with clubs
  • Changing your major
  • Academic success resources


Justin DeRose


Dr. Justin DeRose

NR 326
  • Career planning
  • Graduate school planning
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Selecting degree program electives

The Forest Ecology and Management degree is the only 4-year forestry program in Utah and has been accredited by the Society of American Foresters since 1936.

Society of American Foresters
SAF logo
Intermountain Chapter of SAF

OPM Requirements