F&ES 669b / 2017-2018

Forest Ecosystem Management and Operations (Friday field trips)

Credits: 4

Spring 2018: Time and location TBA


This second year capstone course introduces students to the quantitative, socio-economic and legal aspects of managing forested landscapes for different landowners and social values.

Part 1: The first part of the course covers a variety of quantitative decision support tools that are used by land managers and investors to predict ecological and financial outcomes on managed forestlands. Topics include Growth and yield modeling, a tool used to anticipate future forest conditions and understand the associated changes in value.  Exercises will demonstrate how to integrate information into decision support tools for financial modeling of timber investments and carbon markets. The course progresses from the theoretical framework of G&Y models and the inventories they are based upon, to hands-on application using real models and sample datasets. Students then input the results from the modeling exercises (timber yield or other ecosystems services such as carbon or water) into financial models to see how harvests and other management decisions affect forestland values and revenues into the future.

Part 2: The second part of this course uses the quantitative knowledge gained in the first part of the course to describe the principles of sustained yield, forest regulation, allowable cut, and the scheduling of harvests and operations. Training is provided in landscape level analysis of resource allocation between and among different products and services to society and to develop management prescriptions and decisions for different landowner scenarios.  Students will identify management objectives for various properties and ownership types and integrate scientific knowledge and both timber and non-timber considerations with landowner objectives to derive management prescriptions and decisions.  Forest certification systems (FSC, SFI, ATF, PEFC) will be reviewed, including comparison of standards, implementation strategies, and the benefits/costs to various types of landowners (public, large for-profit private, large not-for-profit private, small private).
Part 3: The field trip and workshop component of the course covers the operational aspects of managing forestland. Field trips are local and are organized to view forestry operations and to develop and refine field skills.  Field trip topics essential to professional practice include harvesting (planning, layout, implementation, and post operation evaluation); assessments of (best) management practices, regulatory and wetlands considerations; and the legal and socio-economic aspects of sale organization, contracts, and marketing of products. The ethical and professional responsibilities of forest managers who are responsible for land-altering activities are also considered in a required satisfactory completion workshop.
The course assumes knowledge of forest biology, forest measurements, silviculture and economics 

Prerequisites include any silviculture courses.