Forest Ecology & Conservation is concerned with all aspects of the conservation and management of the forest vegetation covering 40 percent of the earth’s land surface. Forest ecosystems are vital in providing wildlife habitat, protecting watersheds, preserving wilderness and other forms of outdoor recreation opportunities, maintaining biodiversity of both plants and animals, sustainably producing wood, paper, and fiber products to meet societal needs, and even controlling global climate. The study of forestry at the university is based on an understanding of the ecological interactions of trees and other plants, animals, soils, water, and climate. The concentration emphasis is on conservation challenges unique to the urbanized northeast where high population densities of citizens depend on ecosystem services from forests, most of which are owned by a complex matrix of private families, individuals, non-profit conservation organizations, and state and local governments. The goal of forestry, especially in this complex social environment, is to sustainably maintain the provision of the full suite of benefits into the future. This concentration is nationally accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
See the results of our 2009-2014 forestry undergraduate alumni satisfaction and career survey here:
When students graduate from UMass Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Conservation (Forest Ecology and Conservation concentration), they will be able to:
- Acquire and analyze data describing the biophysical and social aspects of forests.
- Make management decisions about forests that integrate relevant ecological, physical, and social information.
- Appreciate the natural complexity of forest systems, and the interdisciplinary nature of their conservation.
- Understand the multiple values of forests across the spectrum of circumstances from urban to rural, developed to wild.
- Communicate to the public that forests are important resources.
- Behave professionally and ethically in the management of forests for the benefit of society.