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.
Learn more about Auburn’s Forestry Degree program.
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.
Learn more about Auburn’s Forest Engineering Degree option.
Geospatial and Environmental Informatics
Geospatial technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), the global positioning system (GPS), satellite-based remote sensing, and computer simulations are tools commonly used today by all sectors of the economy for planning and decision-making. Industry and government have grown increasingly reliant on geospatial technologies to manage the interface between human activity and the environment. Geospatial technology is also used for business purposes to forecast potential markets for retail and development.
The Geospatial and Environmental Informatics (GSEI) degree program brings together information technology, spatial science, data analysis, natural resources and ecological modeling and is collaboratively taught by world-renowned faculty from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and the colleges of Agriculture, Science and Mathematics, Engineering and Business. This interdisciplinary approach prepares students to be successful and highly competitive in a diverse and rapidly growing job market.
Professionals with skills in GSEI related areas are in high demand for collecting, collating, modeling, analyzing, visualizing, and communicating geospatial information. Graduates can anticipate a wide variety of career opportunities within public agencies and government, private corporations, consulting firms, NGOs, and other international organizations.
Learn more about Auburn’s Geospatial and Environmental Informatics Degree program.
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.
Learn more about the Natural Resources Management Degree program.
Sustainable Biomaterials & Packaging
The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and Auburn’s College of Agriculture, College of Engineering, College of Architecture, Design, and Construction, and College of Business have partnered to create a multi-disciplinary degree to address the needs of the growing industries of sustainable biomaterials and packaging.
As companies continue to move toward the use of sustainable forest biomaterial for the production of homes, home furnishings, non-residential construction, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automobiles, packaging and cosmetics, there is an increased need for employees with unique expertise in biomass production, operational logistics, and conversion processes of products and packaging.
One of the only programs of its kind offered in the Southeastern U.S., the Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging* degree program is aimed at providing students with knowledge, expertise, and hands-on experience in the areas of biomass production, harvesting, transportation and other logistics; biomass processing and products/packaging development and testing; and business marketing and sustainability.
It is anticipated that biobased industries, which includes wood processing, construction, chemicals and energy, bioplastics, and packaging will be our next area of significant economic growth. Our graduates can anticipate abundant career opportunities that offer lucrative salaries and great personal reward as they contribute to the development and production of cost-effective sustainable solutions to global environmental problems.
* Pending ACHE approval, enrollment will begin in the fall 2018.
Learn more about Auburn’s Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging Degree program.
Wildlife Ecology & Management
Whether it be working with endangered species, with farmers to help mitigate agricultural depredation by wildlife, or with the CDC to understand the role of wildlife populations as carriers of disease, 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 at Auburn, students are exposed to field experiences through outdoor labs and work opportunities. For a hands-on introduction to field work, students in the wildlife program spend a portion of the summer between their third and fourth years at our summer practicum program where 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.
Our students are trained to address issues involving free-ranging wildlife populations and are sought after by state and federal agencies due to their high level of technical ability. Others carve their niche as youth education specialists, thereby ensuring the next generation understands and appreciates the natural world. Whatever their ultimate destination, wildlife ecology and management graduates are making an impact.
Learn more about Auburn’s Wildlife Ecology and Management Degree program.
Wildlife Enterprise Management
The Wildlife Enterprise Management* degree merges the fields of wildlife management and hospitality and is ideal for those that have a desire to run a business that is focused upon hunting, fishing and eco-tourism. This interdisciplinary curriculum is taught by faculty within Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and the Colleges of Human Sciences and Business and was developed to incorporate a business minor.
With this degree, our students will be well versed in principles of wildlife management, have a strong foundation in conservation biology and ecotourism, and hospitality skill sets that enable them to offer customers exceptional service and outstanding adventure experiences in the outdoors, while maintaining a successful and economically viable business enterprise.
With only one other program of its kind in the country, Auburn graduates will find abundant employment opportunities around the globe within privately-owned businesses or quasi-public agencies that offer eco-tourism, hunting and fishing, and other wildlife-recreation activities.
* Pending ACHE approval, enrollment will begin in the fall 2018.
Learn more about Auburn’s Wildlife Enterprise Management Degree program.
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 University or other schools. Students who have an interest in the outdoors and free ranging wildlife populations may find this major especially useful, as they gain the necessary understanding of wildlife ecology, management, and conservation to be effective wildlife veterinarians. However, many of our Wildlife Pre-Vet graduates choose this major because it effectively prepares them for veterinary school while satisfying their wildlife interests. The minimum requirements for admission to the CVM are incorporated in the first three years in the Wildlife Sciences, Pre-Veterinary Medicine Concentration, thus allowing students to be eligible for and apply to Vet School after only three years at Auburn University.
(Acceptance into the Vet School at Auburn University is highly competitive and based on satisfactory completion of prerequisites and experience.)
Learn more about Auburn’s Wildlife Pre-vet Degree program.