We also have four minors, available to our students or students across campus, to help tailor your degree. Check out the ways you can learn more about natural resources and have more skills to offer on the job market. (Click here for SFWS Minors)
Our forestry program provides students with the knowledge to sustain and manage the diverse forest resources that make up local and regional landscapes. In addition, students choose in one of ten emphasis areas their senior year: forest biology, land management, forest operations, forest products, urban forestry, business, wildlife management, spatial analysis, policy, and a scholar’s option.
For a hands-on introduction to field work, students in the forestry program spend the summer between their second and third years at our summer practicum program held at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center outside Andalusia, Alabama.
The objectives of the forestry curriculum are to provide: 1) the fundamental knowledge regarding the resources that professional foresters typically manage and the multiple uses, sustaining, and conservation of those resources; 2) a general education integrating physical, social and biological sciences to prepare the forester for the role as steward of public and private forest resources; and 3) training and skills needed for initial forestry employment, as well as for advancement to higher levels of managerial responsibility. The forestry degree is appropriate for students who seek employment in any aspect of forest resource management, from forest industry lands where timber production is typically the primary objective, to private non-industrial properties where multiple use predominates, to public lands where recreation or environmental protection is often paramount. The curriculum emphasizes biological, ecological, environmental, social, economic, and ethical considerations in forest management.
The bachelor’s programs in forestry are accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). SAF is the accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the accrediting agency for forestry education in the United States. Graduation from such SAF-accredited programs is required of all applicants for Registered Forester status in Alabama and several other states.
I would not have had the same experience these past four years had it not been for the generosity of our donors at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Luke describes the support by the University as “unparalleled,” and is excited to begin his professional journey in forestry, where he will work hard to make a difference in people’s lives. Having spent years learning the scientific aspects of this work, he is excited to now apply his learning to actual practice. Luke is pursuing a career as a consulting forestry manager.Luke Carlson
Natural Resources Management
Natural Resources Management is the management of both people and the environment to achieve society’s goals and sustain natural systems. The Natural Resources Management major prepares the next generation of leaders with the knowledge, ability, and excellence to conserve and manage our natural systems for a sustainable future. The degree is an innovative interdisciplinary combination of social and ecosystem sciences, structured to generate critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to address the many challenges of complex natural resources issues. The degree is flexible and requires a minor, which provides students the opportunity to tailor their academic experience so that they may discover and pursue their own interests and passions. Small class size and close contact with world-class faculty provide for a challenging and high quality academic experience. Natural resources management is a growing field with a wide variety of career options and solid earning potential in both public and private sectors.
I chose the Natural Resources Management degree program because of the variety of choices it offers. It allows students to choose any minor and provided enough flexibility for me to shape a major that fit my interests.Mignon Denton
Wildlife Ecology & Management
The Wildlife Ecology and Management degree program provides a broad biological education that is specifically designed to meet the needs of students interested in careers involving wildlife ecology, management, and conservation.
During their four years, students are exposed to field experiences through outdoor labs and work opportunities. They have the opportunity to work hands-on with a number of wildlife species that have included white-tailed deer, feral hogs, bobwhite quail, and birds of prey.
In addition to living and working with top forestry and wildlife scholars, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of state, corporate, and private entities during their summer practicum. Brae Buckner, a senior in wildlife sciences, said “the summer provides a lot of networking opportunity…you get to work with the best ornithologists, the best herpetologists, and the top minds in today’s wildlife research.”Brae Buckner
Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet Concentration
The Wildlife Science Pre-Vet program exposes students to the basic principles of wildlife management while at the same time preparing them for veterinary school either at Auburn or other schools. Students who have an interest in the outdoors and free range populations may find this major especially useful. The minimum requirements for admission to the CVM are incorporated in the first three years in the Wildlife Sciences, Pre-Veterinary Medicine Concentration.
(Acceptance into the Vet School at Auburn University is highly competitive and based on satisfactory completion of prerequisites and experience.)
Being involved in student clubs within the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has allowed me to truly experience much of what this wonderful school has to offer. I have made countless professional contacts through my participation in The Wildlife Society and in serving as a SFWS Student Ambassador. I believe that getting involved in student clubs and organizations is one of the most important things a student can do for his or her academic and professional careers.Matt George
Forest Engineering Option:
The Forest Engineering option at Auburn is the only one of its kind in the South, has evolved through more than two decades of cooperation between Auburn’s College of Engineering and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Students enroll in the College of Engineering; the program is jointly supervised by the deans of engineering and forestry and is administered by the Department of Biosystems Engineering. Graduates are eligible for registration as Professional Engineers. Upon completion of a minor in forest resources, graduates may also become registered foresters. In addition to completing the full set of engineering fundamentals courses, forest engineering students obtain additional specialization in process engineering for forest products; structural design using engineered wood products; land and water conservation engineering; design of forest roads and transportation systems; and design of forest machine systems and mobile equipment. Students in the program also take courses in ecology, biology, silviculture, mensuration, economics, forest management, and forest operations. Education as both an engineer and a forester gives the forest engineer a broad selection of career opportunities.
The forest engineering option in biosystems engineering with addition of the forest resources minor are accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). SAF is the accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the accrediting agency for forestry education in the United States. Graduation from such SAF-accredited programs is required of all applicants for Registered Forester status in Alabama and several other states.