Forest Science

Forest Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Claire Phillips checks on equipment used to collect carbon-level readings in a maple forest near Lac Du Flambeau, WIsconsin.(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Advisor: Sara Rodock (608-262-9926, Schedule appointments online to meet with Sara. Departmental Office: 226 Russell Labs (608-262-2671)

Field of Study: Students complete an interdisciplinary education based in the biological and social sciences, including skills essential for leadership and service in the conservation and management of forest ecosystems. Our curriculum emphasizes an integrated set of courses including forest ecology, inventory and monitoring practices, silviculture, resource economics and policy, decision methods for management, wildlife ecology, plus appropriate research and professional work experiences.

Possible CareersGraduates work as land and resource managers in the public sector (e.g., Department of Natural Resources) or private sector (e.g., forest industry or private consulting firms), including various not-for-profit organizations (e.g., The Nature Conservancy); specialists in restoration ecology, resource monitoring and geographic information systems, silviculture, fire control, urban forestry and related careers; approximately one-third of our graduates pursue advanced degrees.

Special Opportunities & Additional Information

  • First-Year Interest Group (FIG) available to entering freshmen (Forests, Sustainable Use and the Environment)
  • Students complete a variety of professional work and “capstone” experiences; a summer field camp in Northern Wisconsin provides forestry skills training.
  • Most students are employed part-time during the school year in laboratory or field research activities.
  • An active student organization (SAF/Forestry Club) coordinates various learning and social activities.
Selected Required Courses for the B.S. Degree:
  • Intro Biology: Botany 130 and Zoology 101-102; or Biology 151-152
  • Calculus: None
  • General Chemistry: Chem 103, 108, or 109
  • Organic Chemistry: None
  • Physics: None
  • Statistics: Stats 224, 301, or 371