Urban Forestry

Urban foresters manage and monitor the flora and fauna within developed areas, ensuring that forests remain healthy and serve their communities in the best ways possible. To learn more about the field of urban forestry, read on.

Inside Urban Forestry

Urban forestry involves the management and care of forests within urban areas to improve the overall quality of life for urban residents. Urban foresters understand the inherent value of trees and may act as advocates for forests in urban environments, demonstrating their aesthetic and economic value. Their work may entail trimming trees, planting new trees, managing storm water runoff and collecting data to better understand urban forest environments. Some may conduct research focused on human-environment interactions, such as how forests can improve air quality in large cities.

Education Information

Urban forestry degrees are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels; certificate programs related to forestry are also offered at some schools. However, urban forestry studies is most typically offered as a concentration within larger forest sciences or natural resources programs. Students can expect to take courses in ecology and biology, as well as taking a variety of forestry classes covering such topics as plant harvesting, forest measurement and forest economics. Fieldwork and internships are often integral components of these programs. The Education-Portal.com articles below provide information on some of the degree programs in forestry and related fields.

Distance Learning Options

Students interested in urban forestry can pursue their studies through fully online and hybrid degree programs. Such programs are offered in forestry or natural resources management, where students can concentrate in urban forestry. Individual courses in forestry are also available through distance education. Review the links below for more details about online learning programs.

Career Options

Urban foresters can work in any industry with a concern in urban landscapes, natural resources management or the environment. The work of urban foresters can range anywhere from maintaining landscapes within city limits to managing urban hydrology flows for an entire metropolitan area.

Professionals in this field often work for such agencies as the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Others work in the private sector for consulting firms, businesses, schools or universities.

Graduates with master's degrees and Ph.D.s are typically involved in research and academics, and they may focus their studies in forest economics, policy, physiology and related subjects. The list below includes just some of the jobs you could qualify for with a degree in this field. Click around Education-Portal.com to find additional job opportunities.

Credentialing Information

The Society of American Foresters (SAF), the accrediting authority for programs at the undergraduate and master's degree levels, offers experienced professionals several credentialing options. The national Certified Forester designation, for example, can demonstrate a certain level of achievement in the profession (www.safnet.org). Some states also require foresters to be licensed or registered, which typically involves completing a bachelor's degree and attaining several years of experience before sitting for an exam.

Employment Information

Government agencies employ well over half of all professional foresters in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for all foresters as of May 2012 was $55,950. In addition, the BLS noted that the number of jobs in the field was predicted to increase at a slower-than-average pace from 2012-2022, specifically 6 percent over the decade (www.bls.gov).

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
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    • Washington (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Washington include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
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      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
        • Fisheries Sciences and Management
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    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
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    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
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      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
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    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
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    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
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