e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Forest Resources Management Bachelor of Science

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Forest resources management is an integration of forest ecology and biology, forest measurements, forest policy and administration, and courses to predict and evaluate the effects of manipulation.

Timber, water, soils, recreation, wildlife, and a broad array of environmental values and services, such as biodiversity and healthy forest systems, are important results of effective management. This major prepares students to be well-rounded generalists who can practice forestry and succeed as professionals in a variety of allied natural resources management fields.

The educational program in forest resources management, leading to the professional bachelor of science degree in forest management, is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). SAF is recognized by the Council on Higher Education as the specialized accrediting body for forestry in the United States.

Educational Objectives

Understand forest ecosystems

  • Identify the major species, both flora and fauna, in a given area.
  • Describe relationships among flora and fauna including the biological and physical requirements.

Describe and analyze forest ecosystems

  • Describe technical forestry terms to different audiences using consistent and accurate terminology.
  • Plan, conduct, analyze forest inventories, including biological, physical, and social characteristics, using different statistical sampling methods, and communicate results in both written and oral form.
  • Explain forest development in both written and oral form and apply computer growth and yield models to project stand and forest development.

Analyze how forest resources are managed

  • Describe and explain to different audiences in both written and oral form alternative ways to change or maintain forest structure.
  • Evaluate tradeoffs among biological sustainability, economic feasibility, and social acceptability with respect to alternative forest management plans.
  • Explain the conceptual framework and systematic process for problem solving and demonstrate effective teamwork skills and ethics.
  • Describe and apply appropriate decision-making tools and techniques to evaluate alternative forest management practices appropriate to ownership goals and objectives.

Describe influence of government policies

  • Explain how U.S. and state government policies influence the management of forest resources on public and private lands.
  • Describe how government policies impact management opportunities.

Forestry Education at ESF

Professional forestry education has been featured at ESF since the College's founding in 1911. Today's forest resources management program is based on a clear vision that combines professional competency with a strong foundation in the biophysical sciences, humanities, and social sciences to meet society's needs for forest managers.

Many ESF students enjoy trees and forests and want to work in forested settings. They appreciate nature and want to master the knowledge and skills needed to conserve and manage forests and the environment. With 25,000 acres of College forest lands as teaching and research laboratories, ESF provides many opportunities to meet student needs for experiential learning.

The forest technology program at ESF's Wanakena campus prepares students for careers in field forestry and is a route to the forest resources management program that emphasizes field practice. Internships with forest-based organizations in the private, public and nonprofit sectors amplify these hands-on experiences. Practical experience is combined with learning concepts and problem solving and critical thinking skills in the classroom and laboratory on ESF's Syracuse campus. The educational outcomes of the forest resources management degree program are among the best anywhere in North America.

Forest management offers a wide variety of employment opportunities. Our graduates are working throughout the United States as professional foresters and natural resource managers in public agencies, private industry, and for nonprofit organizations. Their duties range from timber management to recreation planning to environmental education, to name a few.

Learn More


Students interested in more information are encouraged to review the SRM Undergraduate Student Handbook and the Handbook for Effective, Professional Communication (PDF).

Contact Us

René Germain
Professor and Forest Ecosystem Science Coordinator
316 Bray Hall
One Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210-2788
(315) 470-6698

Summer Program

The Summer Program is required for all B.S. degree candidates in FES, FRM and NRM. Students who completed an A.A.S. degree from the ESF Ranger School meet this requirement through transfer credits. The program is a four-week session that begins at the end of May and lasts through late June. It is taught at ESF's Wanakena Campus in the Adirondacks. The program consists of one course: FOR 304 Adirondack Field Studies. Students must complete the summer program before the junior year.


The undergraduate curriculum in forest resources management consists of two broad categories of courses. The first category, general education, provides students with knowledge and skills that are useful and important for all educated persons regardless of their profession as well as preparation for advanced courses leading to a specific profession. The second category, professional courses, provides students with direct preparation for a career. The first two years of college usually focus on general education and the second two on the professional studies.