Forest Sciences

Unravel the mysteries of nature with the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Forest Sciences degree.

This degree is based on the principle that there is a multitude of values which forests provide us with such as wood fibre, drinking water, hunting and fishing and that our use of one part of the forest ecosystem can impact all the others. Forest scientists aim to answer questions such as: How do the plants and animals in forest ecosystems react to insects and disease, climate change, pollution, harvesting and recreational use? and How do we sustain the biological diversity of our forests while meeting our resource needs?

Forests are complex ecosystems, comprised of thousands of organisms, both plants and animals, but also insects, fungi, algae, and bacteria. The way we manage our natural resources is based upon our understanding of how these organisms live and interact with each other. It is also based on our understanding of the non-living components of the forest environment, such as geology, soil, water (hydrology), fire, and climatology. The vast number of different factors that affect the growth and health of forest ecosystems make the field of forest science exciting and diverse, as it encompasses multiple scientific disciplines.

Within the Forest Sciences degree, students study the scientific principles related to the growth and development of forest organisms and the ecology of plant and animal communities. An area of concentration is selected during second year to allow students to specialize their studies in a particular area of interest. The specialization is determined in consultation with the program director and examples include: genetics, ecology, entomology, pathology, silviculture and hydrology. An International Specialization is also available to those students who wish to have a greater focus on forest ecosystems in another part of the world.

The degree provides a partial basis for acquiring professional certification as either a Registered Professional Forester or Registered Professional Biologist.

Research is ongoing in all aspects of forestry and forest conservation to better understand individual aspects of our forests such as wildlife, fire, insects, disease, soil, tree genetics, and forest regeneration. Each of these components is studied in isolation, but this focus is expanded to see how they interact with each other as part of the larger forest ecosystem. The forest science degree program offers a unique opportunity to specialise your studies while applying what you learn to the “bigger picture” of the forest ecosystem and forest resources management.