Forest Technology (A.A.S.)

Forest Technology (A.A.S.)

Thompson School students measuring trees in College Woods

Live and learn both the contemporary and traditional methods of forestry in our Forest Technology Program, which is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF).

What is Forest Technology? 

Forest technicians help plan, direct, and operate forestry enterprises. Students in the forest technology program are exposed to the theory and practice of planting, thinning, and other silvicultural operations, including harvesting supervision. They learn how to design, lay out and construct roads and trails; map and survey property; manage woodlands to improve timber quality and wildlife habitat; inventory natural resources and develop a plan for their future management; identify and deal with forest health issues; and conserve soil, water and other natural resources. Graduates can become licensed in New Hampshire to practice forestry on private lands. 

Why Study Forest Technology at UNH? 

Students in UNH’s forest technology program, which is accredited by the Society of American Foresters, spend a lot of time in the largest classroom” on campus: UNH’s 3,000-acre woodlands. In fact, for every hour you spend indoors, you’ll spend two hours immersed in this living laboratory studying tree ecology and forest habitats and learning how to harvest, mill and sell forest products while balancing the principles of conservation and sustainability. After obtaining an associate degree in forest technology, qualified students may then transfer to the university’s accredited four-year forestry program and obtain a bachelor’s degree in two additional years with a full-time course of study. 

Potential Careers

  • Arborist
  • Equipment/product sales 
  • Forest inventory technician 
  • Forestry consultant 
  • Forestry technician (fire) 
  • GIS/GPS technician 
  • Log scaler 
  • Lumber grader 
  • Sawmill technician 
  • Timber and log buyer 
  • Urban tree care specialist

Contact

Wendy Rose

BUSINESS MANAGER II
Phone: (603) 862-3933
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 114, Durham, NH 03824
Thompson School of Applied Science
34 Sage Way
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-1025
  • Into the Woods
    Zachary Simino ’19 wants to preserve and protect New Hampshire’s forests, and the forest technology program is giving him the foundational knowledge and hands-on experience he needs for success.
    Into the Woods
    Zachary Simino ’19 wants to preserve and protect New Hampshire’s forests, and the forest technology program is giving him the foundational knowledge and hands-on experience he needs for success.
  • Forest Technology alum Billy Kunelius shares his story about choosing the Thompson School, getting to know his faculty, gaining hands on experience and landing a job with a company he interned with while here at Thompson School.  After working for four years after graduation from high school, I was...
    Forest Technology alum Billy Kunelius shares his story about choosing the Thompson School, getting to know his faculty, gaining hands on experience and landing a job with a company he interned with while here at Thompson School.  After working for four years after graduation from high school, I was...

Curriculum & Requirements

Forest technicians help plan, direct, and operate forestry enterprises. Students in the forest technician concentration experience a breadth and depth of instruction. They are exposed to the theory and practice of planting, thinning, and other silvicultural operations, including harvesting supervision. They learn how to design, lay out, and construct roads and trails; how to map and survey property; how to manage woodlands to improve timber quality and wildlife habitat; how to inventory natural resources and develop a plan for their future management; how to identify and deal with forest health issues; and how to conserve soil, water, and other natural resources. Graduates work in wood products-related industries, in public forestland management agencies, with forestry consulting firms, urban tree care companies, and with a range of conservation organizations. Graduates can become licensed in New Hampshire to practice forestry on private lands.

Career Opportunities

Forestry consultant, forest fire control and use technician, mapping technician, geographic information systems/global positioning systems (GIS/GPS) technician, timber and log buyer, log scaler, lumber grader, sawmill technician, arborist, urban tree care specialist, timber cruiser/forest inventory technician, or forestry equipment/products sales representative.

Forest Technology Program of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing (WS Discovery) 4
NR 425 Field Dendrology 4
FORT 527 Forest Ecology 4
MATH 420 Finite Mathematics (QR Discovery) 4
 Credits16
Spring
FORT 466 Forest Surveying and Mapping 4
FORT 470 Applied Silviculture 4
Social Science Discovery 4
Discovery Course 4
 Credits16
Second Year
Fall
NR 433 Wildlife Ecology (BS Discovery) 4
FORT 564 Arboriculture 3
FORT 572 Mensuration 4
FORT 577 Forest Harvesting Systems 4
FORT 581 Applied Geospatial Techniques 4
FORT 597 Work Experience 0
 Credits19
Spring
FORT 567 Leadership,Supervision&Safety 2
FORT 573 Management Operation & Analysis 3
FORT 574 Industrial Forest Management Tour 1
FORT 576 Forest Products 4
FORT 578 Forest Insects & Diseases 2
FORT 579 Forest Fire Control and Use 2
 Credits14
 Total Credits65

Candidates for a degree must take 20 credits of Discovery courses in addition to satisfying the requirements of the Forest Technology program. Forest Technology students are required to take:

ENGL 401First-Year Writing4
FORT 466Forest Surveying and Mapping4
FORT 470Applied Silviculture4
FORT 527Forest Ecology4
FORT 564Arboriculture3
FORT 567Leadership,Supervision&Safety2
FORT 572Mensuration4
FORT 573Management Operation & Analysis3
FORT 574Industrial Forest Management Tour1
FORT 576Forest Products4
FORT 577Forest Harvesting Systems4
FORT 578Forest Insects & Diseases2
FORT 579Forest Fire Control and Use2
FORT 581Applied Geospatial Techniques4
FORT 597Work Experience0
MATH 420Finite Mathematics4
NR 425Field Dendrology4
NR 433Wildlife Ecology4
Social Science Discovery4
Discovery Course4
Total Credits65

Explore Program Details

The graduation rate of students working toward a degree over the past ten years averages 78%.  Smaller class sizes allow a close watch on the students which helps with their success rates.  Most students who do

not make it to graduation leave because they discovered that forestry was not for them.  Many of these students transfer into other programs that are more suited to their interests.

The numbers of graduates from the Thompson School who choose to continue on for a baccalaureate degree (either here at UNH or elsewhere) frequently outnumber those entering the job market. This number ranges from 30% to 70%.  These students are very successful in this endeavor and usually have a 100% success rate, graduating with their second degree.

Graduation Requirements

The standards for graduation from the Forest Technology program require a minimum of 64 earned credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a scale based on 4.0 as the highest.

The table below shows employment trends for our graduates.

EMPLOYMENT TYPE

PERCENT OF GRADUATES

EMPLOYMENT TYPE

PERCENT OF GRADUATES

Arborist

18.1%

Saw Milling/Wood Products

7.6%

Forestry Consulting/Land Management

21.9 %

Government Forester 

10.5%

Wood Procurement

1.9%

Fire

1.0%
Timber Harvesting

13.3%

Unknown 25.7%

"You should see what we saw"

Serving the UNH Community as a facility for Research, Education and Sustainable Lumber Production since 1968. All lumber is sustainably harvested from university land by Thompson School of Applied Science students in the Forest Technology program as part of their hands-on curriculum of study.


LOCATION: 248 Mast Road, Durham, NH 03824
CONTACT: michael.simmons@unh.edu

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