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

Forestry is an exciting and rewarding career field, in which practitioners work to solve today’s pressing natural resource and environmental challenges. Graduates of the Forest Technology program can become career-ready in two years and learn fundamental forestry skills, techniques, and science. Students are introduced to forest ecology, silviculture, wildlife ecology, forest mapping techniques, wood science, and timber harvesting practices. They learn how to inventory natural resources; design, plan, and supervise forest harvesting operations; harvest timber and mill lumber; map and survey forestland; develop a forest management plan; and identify and mitigate forest health issues –all while applying principles of conservation and sustainability. Students interact with a wide variety of professionals as part of their coursework and often go on to work in wood products-related industries, public forestland management agencies, private forestry consulting firms, urban tree care companies, and a range of conservation organizations.
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 or move right into an exciting career.

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
NR 415 Natural Resources Field Methods 2
 Credits14
Spring
BIOL 528
or MATH 420
Applied Biostatistics I (or other)
or Finite Mathematics
4
FORT 470 Applied Silviculture 4
FORT 581 Applied Geospatial Techniques 4
Social Science or Humanities Discovery [RMP 511 Recommended] 4
KIN 501 First Aid: Responding to Emergencies 1
 Credits17
Second Year
Fall
NR 433 Wildlife Ecology (BS Discovery) 4
FORT 572 Mensuration 4
FORT 577 Forest Harvesting Systems 4
FORT 597 Work Experience 0
Discovery Elective: FPA, HP, ETS, WC, PS 4
 Credits16
Spring
FORT 564 Arboriculture 3
FORT 573 Management Operation & Analysis 4
FORT 574 Industrial Forest Management Tour 1
FORT 576 Forest Products and Wood Science 4
FORT 578 Ecology and Management of Forest Stressors 4
FORT 579 Forest Fire Control and Use 2
 Credits18
 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:

BIOL 528Applied Biostatistics I4
or MATH 420 Finite Mathematics
ENGL 401First-Year Writing4
FORT 470Applied Silviculture4
KIN 501First Aid: Responding to Emergencies1
FORT 527Forest Ecology4
FORT 564Arboriculture3
FORT 572Mensuration4
FORT 573Management Operation & Analysis4
FORT 574Industrial Forest Management Tour1
FORT 576Forest Products and Wood Science4
FORT 577Forest Harvesting Systems4
FORT 578Ecology and Management of Forest Stressors4
FORT 579Forest Fire Control and Use2
FORT 581Applied Geospatial Techniques4
FORT 597Work Experience0
NR 415Natural Resources Field Methods2
NR 425Field Dendrology4
NR 433Wildlife Ecology4
Social Science Discovery or Humanities Discovery4
Discovery Course4
Total Credits65

Explore Program Details

In addition to the Forest Technology-specific FAQs below, check out the general Thompson School FAQ.

As a Forest Technology student, how much time will I spend outside in the forest learning about forestry?

In most of the Forest Technology courses, students spend a large proportion of class time out in the woods learning specific techniques and skills. In general, for every hour of inside lecture, students are outside in the woods for at least two hours.

The Forest Technology program has a Timber Harvesting course, do I need to have previous chainsaw experience for this course?

No, many students do not have previous experience with a chainsaw or harvesting equipment. We provide a safe introduction to timber harvesting, but we are not a logger training and certification program.

I am also interested in the four-year (baccalaureate degree) forestry program, does my coursework in the Forest Technology program count towards a four-year forestry degree?

Yes, we have a 2+2 articulation agreement with the UNH Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree program. This means that after successful completion of the Forest Technology program, students can work towards and complete a four-year forestry degree in as little as two additional years.

As a Forest Technology student, will I be in large classes or small classes?

Students in the Forest Technology program take a mix of program-specific courses and university-wide Discovery courses. As such, students get the experience of being in both large classes with students from many different majors and in small classes that are specific to the Forest Technology program. For the Forest Technology courses (which make up most of the courses Forest Technology students will take) the student to faculty ratio is less than 10:1.

UNH FORT Students In Woods

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%

UNH Sawmill
"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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