A.A.S. Forest Technology
The forest technology program provides students with a unique combination of knowledge and skills. Students learn about all aspects of forest technology through a carefully planned combination of classroom lectures, demonstration and hands-on fieldwork. The curriculum's emphasis is on fundamental forestry knowledge and applied field training as well as the relationship between forest technology and managerial needs.
This degree provides students with knowledge of the field practice of forest management, the ability to work and communicate effectively with professional and paraprofessional personnel, and an understanding of the physical, biological and quantitative aspects that form the basis of forestry.
Graduates are immediately eligible to find jobs at the technical level and are generally classified as forest technicians or forestry aides in initial employment positions. Forestry agencies and wood-using industries employ forest technicians as an important part of their forest management teams, usually as the “people on the ground” who plan and execute the field practice of forestry, normally under the supervision of a professional forester.
Students interested in a baccalaureate degree should investigate the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management’s bachelor’s degree curriculum. Transfer is possible upon completion of the A.A.S. degree at The Ranger School. Transfer into other baccalaureate programs at ESF may be possible, but students should consult with an advisor in the Undergraduate Admissions office as soon as possible. Students who may consider transferring to a baccalaureate program after graduation from the forest technology program should pay close attention to the footnotes under “freshman year.”
Combining an A.A.S. with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree
There are several advantages of combining a Ranger School forest technology or environmental and natural resources associate's degree with a four-year B.S. degree in professional forestry. Ranger School graduates who go on to pursue the bachelor's degree have a solid field education as well as a managerial orientation and the deeper ecological and social understanding provided by the professional curriculum.
Students wishing to transfer from the Ranger School to the B.S. programs at the Syracuse campus will be admitted as juniors. They will be given credit for the summer session in field forestry. They will still have to complete some physical sciences, social sciences and humanities requirements while in residence at Syracuse, depending on prior preparation. All other requirements as set forth in the forest resources management program option must be met.
Students contemplating subsequent transfer should concentrate their freshman year electives in the social sciences and humanities. Students should also complete the first semester in chemistry, one semester in physics and a course in calculus prior to transferring. It is possible to be admitted without these courses, but subsequent progress in the program becomes more difficult.
The freshman-year forest technology curriculum consists of general studies courses which may be taken at any accredited four-year, community, or agricultural college, or college of technology.
The second year of the curriculum is offered at The Ranger School. Presented in a varied forest environment, the curriculum’s emphasis is on fundamental forestry knowledge and applied field training as well as the relationship between forest technology and managerial needs. About 50 percent of studies are devoted to field exercises, most of which are held at the school’s James F. Dubuar Forest. This excellent forest backdrop for the technology program provides a diverse laboratory for instructional purposes.
High school students are encouraged to apply for admission by following the appropriate application proceedures. Accepted applicants will be guaranteed a place for their sophomore year at the Wanakena Campus upon successful completion of the first year requirements. Students not applying while in high school should apply in the fall semester of their freshman year of college. All applicants are encouraged to contact The Ranger School to arrange for a tour of the campus and its facilities.
Facilities and Equipment
All classes are taught at The Ranger School, which houses the classrooms, library and computer lab, in addition to student residence facilities. The Ranger School's 2,800-acre forest provides an excellent outdoor laboratory for fieldwork and hands-on learning. Students learn to use a variety of tools that are used in forest technology jobs.
Student Enrollment and Graduation Rates
Academic Year Enrolled Graduated
2009-1010 35 34
2010-2011 38 37
2011-2012 35 35
2012-2013 21 21
2013-2014 22 22
2014-2015 22 20
Ranger School forest technology graduates are eligible to find jobs and are generally classified as forest technicians or forestry aides in initial employment positions. Forestry agencies and wood-using industries employ forest technicians as an important part of their forest management teams, usually as the "people on the ground" who plan and execute the field practice of forestry, normally under the supervision of a professional forester.
Course of Study
First Year Required Courses
Completed at a college of the student’s choice
|General Biology with lab||4|
|Science Course with lab (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)||4|
|English with a Focus on Writing (Two 3-credit courses)||6|
|Trigonometry or pre-calculus (1 course)||3|
Total Maximum Transfer Credits
Second Year Required Courses
|FTC 202||Introduction to Surveying||3|
|FTC 204||Introduction to Natural Resources Measurements||4|
|FTC 206||Forest Ecology||4|
|FTC 207||Communications and Safety||3|
|FTC 208||Remote Sensing and GIS Technology||3|
|FTC 209||Timber Harvesting||2|
|FTC 213||Forest Inventory Practicum||2|
|FTC 214||Leadership and Organizational Performance||2|
|FTC 217||Wildland Firefighting and Ecology||2|
|FTC 219||Introduction to Forest Recreation||1|
|FTC 221||Natural Resources Management||3|
|FTC 225||Timber Transportation and Utilization||3|
|FTC 234||Wildlife Conservation||3|
|FTC 238||Forest Insects and Disease||3|