Kentucky boasts many forested areas with famous reputations, such as Natural Bridge, Red River Gorge, Daniel Boone National Forest, and Robinson Forest. Robinson Forest is one of the largest research and educational forests in the eastern United States. It is managed by the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, and as a forestry student at the University of Kentucky all of its resources will be available to you as a unique outdoor laboratory.
The missions of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources are to identify and address the challenges and opportunities facing sustained management of our renewable natural resources, including forests, soils, water, and wildlife. These missions involve three interrelated functions: research, extension, and education. The research goal of the department is to obtain basic and applied information leading to wise and effective management of our natural resources. Forestry extension seeks to inform land owners and the general public about forest stewardship. Forestry education prepares students for careers as forestry and natural resource professionals. The objectives of the required courses in the forestry curriculum are to educate and train students in the communication, managerial, scientific, processing, and administrative skills and principles related to the stewardship and utilization of renewable natural resources. Accomplishment of these objectives will ensure a continuing supply of entrylevel professionals for Kentucky and the nation.
The undergraduate (B.S.) program leading to the professional degree in forestry is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). SAF is the specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation as the accrediting agency for forestry in the United States. Additionally, you may become certified by The Wildlife Society if you choose appropriate elective courses.
Forestry graduates are employed as professional foresters in private forest industries and organizations, consulting companies, and public agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, and state, county, or urban forestry programs. Graduates are also qualified to be research technicians in government, university, and private laboratories, or may continue their studies in specialized graduate programs.
The inclusion in the curriculum of management and processing principles makes UK forestry graduates attractive to the forest products industry; graduates are often employed as technical specialists, managers, and marketing and wood procurement personnel.
To earn the Bachelor of Science in Forestry, the student must complete a minimum of 121 semester hours. A 2.0 grade-point standing (on a 4.0 scale) is necessary and remedial courses may not be counted toward the total hours required for the degree.
Students will complete a field semester in the spring of their junior year. Throughout the spring field semester, students will visit numerous sites to see different ecosystems in the region. Students will periodically return to one site, or sample property, that will be used for in-depth analysis to show integration and application of field semester concepts.
The curriculum consists of UK Core requirements, preprofessional, professional, and specialty support components. Preprofessional, professional, and specialty support courses provide the skills and understanding to manage forest resources. Electives, chosen with the assistance of your advisor, strengthen your knowledge of basic principles in areas of special interest to you.