Forestry and Environmental Resources

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The department offers training in all of the major sub-disciplines of forest, natural resources, and environmental-related science and management. Considerable flexibility is allowed in developing graduate programs tailored to the student's objectives.

Admission Requirements

All parts of the application are considered in making decisions. Admission is competitive and depends on the willingness of at least one member of the faculty to serve as major professor. An undergraduate degree in forestry is not required.  The GRE is no longer required for admission.

Master's Degree Requirements

The Master of Forestry is now accredited by the Society of American Foresters. It requires 40 credits, with a 1 credit project. The Master of Science course work requirements range from 30 to 36 credits. Students without an appropriate background will require additional preparatory work. For the M.S. degree, a minor is required.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

As a rule, students must complete a master's degree before entering the Ph.D. program. However, exceptionally well-prepared students may petition to have their degree objective changed to Ph.D. before completing the master's degree. In addition to the dissertation, Ph.D. programs require 36 to 54 credits of course work beyond the master's degree. A minor is required.

Student Financial Support

Stipend levels allow students to graduate without incurring significant debt. Those who begin without an assistantship are considered for funding as projects become available. Additional funding is available through a limited number of teaching assistantships.

Other Relevant Information

MS and PhD graduate students must meet the following requirements:

  1. take a one-credit research methodology course, FOR 603 or FOR 803, early in his/her program;
  2. take a seminar course (typically FOR 601/FOR 801), and
  3. begin the final oral exam with a seminar to the department based on work accomplished during the graduate program.

  • Robert Carroll Abt
  • Robert E. Bardon
  • Frederick Willis Cubbage
  • Christopher S. DePerno
  • Stith Gower
  • George R. Hess
  • Gary Ray Hodge
  • Fikret Isik
  • John S. King
  • Bailian Li
  • Steven Edward McKeand
  • Ross Meentemeyer
  • Mark Megalos
  • Christopher E. Moorman
  • Stacy Arnold Charles Nelson
  • Elizabeth Guthrie Nichols
  • Marcus Peterson
  • Joseph Peter Roise
  • Robert Scheller
  • Erin Odonnell Sills
  • Mary Watzin
  • Ross W. Whetten
  • Justin Scott Baker
  • Gary B. Blank
  • Rachel Cook
  • Caren Beth Cooper
  • Jason Delborne
  • Ryan Emanuel
  • Madhusudan Katti
  • Marcelo Ardon Sayao
  • Theodore Henry Shear
  • Mirela Tulbure

Assistant Professor

  • Ayse Ercuman
  • Jodi Forrester
  • Josh Gray
  • Jordan Kern
  • Zakiya Holmes Leggett
  • Katie Martin
  • Meredith Pearl Martin
  • Kelly Felderhoff Oten
  • Jamain Pacitici
  • Kitt Payn
  • Leah Rathbun
  • Louie Rivers
  • Lindsey Suzanne Smart
  • Jack Wang
  • Justin Graham Alexander Whitehill

  • Angela Malelya Allen
  • Elizabeth Typhina
  • Juan Jose Acosta
  • Jennifer Richmond Bryant
  • Jennifer Costanza
  • Solomon Beyene Ghezehei
  • Stephanie Jeffries
  • Robert Miller Jetton
  • Roland Kays
  • Megan Lupek
  • Albert Edward Mayfield
  • Kevin M Potter
  • Douglas J. Frederick
  • Dennis W. Hazel

Courses

FOR 501  Dendrology  (3 credit hours)  

Identification and natural history of eastern woody species with studies of their taxonomic classification, physical characteristics, and typical habits. Laboratories stress sight recognition and use of identification keys and trips to natural forest communities.

Prerequisite: PB 200

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 502  Forest Measurements  (1 credit hours)  

One-third semester mini-course. Forest measurements covering principles, terminology, and practical field applications. Land area measurement, units of timber measure (cubic feet, cords, weight, board feet), estimating volume of standing trees, sampling techniques for forest inventory (strips, plots, points), measures of site quality and stand density, methods for projecting future timber volumes.

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 503  Tree Physiology  (1 credit hours)  

One-third semester mini-course. Fundamental principles of physiological processes in forest trees affecting tree and stand growth and development in natural forests and managed plantations. Concepts of whole plant physiological processes includingphotosynthesis, respiration, water relations, nutrition, periodic growth, sexual and vegetative reproduction, and seedling quality with forestry examples of each process.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 504  The Practice of Silviculture  (3 credit hours)  

The theory and practice of stand regeneration, controlling composition, intermediate treatments and growth; application of the knowledge of silvics in the management of stands. Emphasis on forest communities of North America. Co-requisite course is FOR 506: Silviculture Laboratory (Optional)

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 505/FOR 405  Forest Management  (4 credit hours)  

Fundamental principles and analytical techniques necessary in the planning, management and optimization of forest operations. Formulation of objectives and constraints, yield forecasting, forest regulation, procurement and marketing, inventory methods, and management plan preparation. Written and oral reporting.

Prerequisite: FOR 304, FOR 319, FOR 374

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 506  Silviculture Laboratory  (1 credit hours)  

Development of site specific prescriptions to establish stands for a wide variety of objectives, including fiber, water, wildlife, recreation and health. Emphasis on forest communities of North America.

Corequisite: FOR 504

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 507  Silviculture Mini Course  (1 credit hours)  

One-third semester mini-course. A condensed version of silviculture. Ecological processed affecting establishment and growth of forest stands with particular emphasis on forest types of southeastern United States. Forest stand productivity, how productivity influenced by site, stand, climatic factors, and application of site specific prescriptions to establish and manipulate composition, growth, and health of forest stands.

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 508/FOR 408  Hardwood Management  (3 credit hours)  

Examines characteristics of and requirements for successfully manipulating stands of deciduous trees to meet specific economic, habitat and social objectives. Analyzes biological and site physical factors that affect growth and yield potential, opportunities for operational activities and expected results. Compares differences among deciduous species that affect responses to silvicultural stand manipulation.

Prerequisite: FOR 204 or Junior Standing

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 509  Forest Resource Policy  (1 credit hours)  

One-third semester mini-course. Principles of forest policies and processes. Political processes, institutional and interest group participation, forestry laws and programs, current issues, and policy analyses.

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 510  Introduction to GPS  (1 credit hours)  

One-third semester mini-course. Introduction to collection and use of mapping grade global positioning satellite systems data. Includes review of cartographic properties, mission planning, hands-on collection of GPS points, lines, and areas, differential correction, editing, and exporting GPS files to a GIS.

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 513  Silviculture for Intensively Managed Plantations  (3 credit hours)  

This course provides an up-to-date understanding of the ecological and physiological bases of forest stand productivity and a silvicultural systems framework to use this knowledge for making site specific prescriptions that are cost effective and environmentally sustainable.

Prerequisite: FOR 507

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 514  Woodland Stewardship  (3 credit hours)  

An introduction and overview of non-industrial private forestry in the Southeast United States with emphasis on active forest management. Topics include history of human impact on forests, evolution of forest, forestry practices, timber and non timber management objectives, financial aspects of forest land management, and management planning. One required all day field trip.

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 515/ECG 515  Environmental and Resource Policy  (3 credit hours)  

Application of price theory and benefit-cost analysis to public decisions related to resources and environment. Emphasis on evaluation of water supply and recreation investments, water quality management alternatives, public-sector pricing, common property resources and optimum management of forest and energy resources.

Prerequisite: EC(ARE) 301 or 401

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 519  Forest Economics  (3 credit hours)  

Economics applied to problems in forest management, including timber demand and supply models, optimal rotation length, benefit-cost analysis of forestry projects, impacts of forest taxation and consideration of non-market forest goods and services.

Prerequisite: Basic course in economics

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 520/NR 520/FOR 420/NR 420  Watershed and Wetlands Hydrology  (4 credit hours)  

Principles of hydrologic science; classification and assessment of watersheds and stream networks; hydrologic, erosion, and water quality processes in natural and managed watersheds; wetlands hydrology; hydrologic measurements and data analysis; applications of hydrology and water quality management for forest agriculture, and urban ecosystems; watershed restoration. Emphasis field study of watersheds and hydrologic measurements. Two weekend field trips are required. Credit will not be given for both FOR(NR)420 and FOR(NR)520.

Prerequisite: SSC 200 and (FOR 260 or PB 360 or AEC 360)

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 522/FOR 422  Consulting Forestry  (3 credit hours)  

Forest land acquisition and ownership: ownership, appraisal, legal considerations, financial management and planning. Producing forest resources: timber, wildlife, recreation, farm products, water, minerals, specialty products, and development. Marketing forest resources: timber, recreation, farm leases, minerals, specialty products, and developed property. Forest resources consulting: forms of organization, pricing of services, consultant client relationships (Law of Agency), professional ethics and continuing education.

Prerequisite: Senior standing in Forest Management

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 531  Wildland Fire Science  (3 credit hours)  

Physical, chemical, biological, and ecological processes associated with wildland fire, particular emphasis on fire behavior, fuels, weather, climate and the associated effects on ecology, management, fire suppression, prescribed fire, and smoke emissions and exposure. Fire's effect on national policy, social and natural history of North America. In-depth exercises in fire and smoke modeling using established predictive systems.

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 532  Wildland Firefighter  (3 credit hours)  

National Wildfire Coordination Group Firefighter Type II Certification, including study of the National Incident Command Systems (ICS-100), Human Dimensions in the Wildland Fire Service (L-180) Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (S-190), Firefighting Safety and Training (S-130). Weekly reading seminar, lectures and problem sessions. Last 4 weeks of semester will be prescribed fire planning and field implementation of methodologies learned in course.

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 534/FOR 434  Forest Operations and Analysis  (3 credit hours)  

Management science and operational techniques in forestry. Logging road layout and construction, and machine systems: harvesting machine optimization and selection. Harvesting, production and forest planning. Decision and inventory theory, and other techniques for solving problems typically encountered in forest operations management. Required overnight weekend field trip.

Junior standing or above

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 540  Advanced Dendrology  (3 credit hours)  

Identification and life histories of native and naturalized woody plants. Use of taxonomic manuals and literature. Identification of problematic groups. Concentration on North America, with discussion of other continents. Overnight field trips to natural forest communities.

Prerequisite: BO 403 or FOR 339

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 561  Forest Communities of the Southeastern Coastal Plain  (1 credit hours)  

Species composition, distribution, site requirements, and succession of principal forest communities of southeastern Coastal Plain. Identification of important member plant species. Overnight field trips to typical examples.

Prerequisite: FOR 212, FOR 501

Typically offered in Summer only

FOR 562  Forest Communities of the Southern Appalachians  (1 credit hours)  

Species composition, distribution, site requirements, and succession of principal forest communities of southern Appalachians. Identification of important member plant species. Overnight field trips to typical examples.

Prerequisite: FOR 212, FOR 501

Typically offered in Summer only

FOR 565  Plant Community Ecology  (4 credit hours)  

Consideration of structure and function of terrestrial vascular plant communities, with emphasis on both classical and recent research. Measurement and description of community properties, classification, ordination, vegetation pattern in relation to environment, ecological succession and a survey of vegetation of North America.

Prerequisite: Undergraduate Ecology Course

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 574  Forest Mensuration and Modeling  (3 credit hours)  

Study of mathematical functions required for quantifying the yield of timber and non-timber products. Procedures for planning, conducting, and analyzing forest inventories, use of mathematical models to estimate growth and yield of forest stands and non-timber products for management decisions.

Prerequisite: ST 511 or equivalent; College Calculus preferred

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 575  Advanced Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology  (3 credit hours)  

Views organisms and physical environment as integrated system. Outlines processes governing assimilation and cycling of energy, carbons, nutrients, and water. Evaluates ecosystem responses to intensive management, global climate change, air pollution, biofuels production, fragmentation, large-scale land use change. Illustrates application of ecosystem science approach to important regional and global questions through scaling of empirical, ecosystem-level data, ongoing research. Provides experience in hypothesis testing and experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, proposal development, and publication for research professionals. Graduate Standing.

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 583  Tropical Forestry  (3 credit hours)  

Principles of tropical ecology, dendrology and agroforestry. Primary emphasis on establishment and management of tropical plantations with lesser emphasis on natural stands. Operation and management of tropical nurseries.

Prerequisite: Senior standing

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 595  Special Topics  (1-6 credit hours)  

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, may explore topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems or research not related to thesis.Also used to develop and test new 500-level courses.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 601  Graduate Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Weekly seminar in which students registered for course present the results of research and special projects. Invitation to all graduate students and faculty in department to attend and join discussion.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FOR 603  Research Methods in Forestry and Environmental Resources  (1 credit hours)  

Philosophy and objectives of scientific research and steps in the research process. Basic and applied research, inductive and deductive reasoning and need for hypothesis development and testing as a basis for scientific research. Special emphasis on preparation of study plans, graduate theses, published articles and technical presentations.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FOR 610  Special Topics In Forestry  (1-6 credit hours)  

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, may explore topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems or research not related to thesis.Also used to develop and test new 500-level courses.Credits Arranged.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 630  Independent Study in Forestry  (1 credit hours)  

Independent study in Forestry under the supervision of a Forestry and Environmental Resources faculty member. Restricted to graduate students in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources with consent of the supervising faculty. May not be taken in the first semester of graduate study.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 685  Master's Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 688  Non-Thesis Masters Continuous Registration - Half Time Registration  (1 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain half-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 689  Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration - Full Time Registration  (3 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain full-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc. Students may register for this course a maximum of one semester.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FOR 693  Master's Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 696  Summer Thesis Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

FOR 713  Advanced Topics In Silviculture  (3 credit hours)  

Critical examination of selected silvicultural topics, with special emphasis on concepts and phenomena distinguishing forests from other biotic communities and silviculture from other fields of applied biology. Emphasis on intensive silviculture in United States and selected international locations. A required written research proposal.

Prerequisite: FOR 304

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 725/GN 725  Forest Genetics  (3 credit hours)  

Application of genetic principles to silviculture, management and wood utilization. Emphasis on variation in wild populations, the bases for selection of desirable qualities and fundamentals of controlled breeding.

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 726/CS 726/ANS 726  Advanced Topics In Quantitative Genetics and Breeding  (3 credit hours)  

Advanced topics in quantitative genetics pertinent to population improvement for quantitative and categorical traits with special applications to plant and animal breeding. DNA markers - phenotype associations. The theory and application of linear mixed models, BLUP and genomic selection using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. Pedigree and construction of genomic relationships matrices from DNA markers and application in breeding.

Prerequisite: ST 511, Corequisite: ST 512

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 727  Tree Improvement Research Techniques  (3 credit hours)  

Research methods involved in forest tree breeding and genetics programs. Emphasis on laboratory, greenhouse and field research techniques. Stress also on summary and presentation of research results.

Prerequisite: FOR 411 or GN 411

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 728  Quantitative Forest Genetics Methods  (3 credit hours)  

Applications of basic quantitative genetic methods in forest tree breeding and genetic research. Principles and procedures for partitioning experimental variance, estimating genetic parameters from different mating and test designs. Predicting breeding value and gain and developing breeding strategies.

Prerequisite: GN 703, ST 701

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 734  Advanced Forest Management Planning  (3 credit hours)  

History, principles, structures and use of modern forest management planning and decision-making techniques. Emphasis on optimization procedures and public forest management.

Prerequisite: FOR 405 or FOR 434 or OR 501, Corequisite: FOR 772

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 750  Ecological Restoration  (3 credit hours)  

Historical bases and philosophical examination of concepts of ecosystem restoration. Mechanics of restoring soils, hydrology, plant community composition and structure, and landscape levels ecosystem functions. Quantitative evaluations of restoration success.

Prerequisite: BO 360, SSC 200, Corequisite: BO 565

Typically offered in Spring only

FOR 753  Environmental Remote Sensing  (3 credit hours)  

Principles and applications of remote sensing technology to earth resources and environmental studies. Electromagnetic energy, data acquisition platforms, sensors and scanners, processing of digital remotely sensed data, error analysis and accuracyassessments, and integration of remotely sensed data with other data types used in natural resource management.

Prerequisite: FOR 353

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 795  Advanced Special Topics in Forestry  (1-6 credit hours)  

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, may explore topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems or research not related to thesis.Also used to develop and test new 700-level courses.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FOR 801  Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Weekly seminar in which students registered for course present the results of research and special projects. Invitation to all graduate students and faculty in department to attend and join discussion.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FOR 803  Research Methods in Forestry and Environmental Resources  (1 credit hours)  

Philosophy and objectives of scientific research and steps in the research process. Basic and applied research, inductive and deductive reasoning and need for hypothesis development and testing as a basis for scientific research. Special emphasis onpreparation of study plans, graduate theses, published articles and technical presentations.

Prerequisite: Grad. standing

Typically offered in Fall only

FOR 810  Special Topics In Forestry  (1-6 credit hours)  

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, may explore topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems or research not related to thesis.Also used to develop and test new 800-level courses.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 885  Doctoral Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FOR 893  Doctoral Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 895  Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Dissertation research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FOR 896  Summer Dissertation Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Summer only