Archive photo of UBC Forestry's past in black & white

Our History

Discover more about the Sopron Story

The history of the Faculty of Forestry at UBC is unique. Professors, staff, and fellow Forestry alumni are very proud of the achievements and contributions, they have made over the years.

1915

UBC officially established with three Faculties: Arts and Science, Applied Science, and Agriculture

1918

First forestry course implemented at UBC: a four-week course allowing returning war veterans to qualify as forest guards

1920

Department of Forestry authorized at UBC.

1923

UBC’s first B.A.Sc. degrees (Forest Engineering) awarded

1933

First M.A.Sc (Forest Engineering) awarded

1941

UBC Research Forest in Haney, BC obtained

1947

Four-year B.S.F. program authorized

1949

Master of Forestry and Ph.D programs authorized

1951

Faculty of Forestry established

1953

The Canadian Institute of Forestry’s (CIF) main objective is to welcome students to the forestry profession. One way they accomplish this is by offering the Silver Ring marked with a raised tree to each graduating student from an accredited Canadian forestry program. The very first Ring Ceremony was held in 1953 by the UBC Forestry graduating class. By 1967 it became a tradition for all Forestry graduates across Canada to receive a Silver Ring.

1957

This date signifies the welcoming of the Sopron students and staff to the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. The students of the Sopron School of Forestry in Hungary were forced to flee their homeland when the anti-Soviet Revolution failed. The Dean of the Sopron School of Forestry sent letters to 20 countries explaining the necessity for a new home to allow the current students to complete their degrees. The Faculty of Forestry at UBC offered a place for the Sopron students to finish their forestry studies.
Incorporating the Soprons into the Faculty was a major alteration as the Sopron School had 50% more students and three times the number of instructors than the current UBC Faculty at the time. This move was also difficult for the Sopron students who were forced to learn English and immerse themselves in Western culture as quickly as possible. Despite these difficulties, this mass immigration provided BC with a new perspective on forestry and a major contribution to the industry.

1962

Forest Engineers degree program suspended

1981

Departments of Forest Resources Management, Harvesting and Wood Science and Forest Science are established

1983

Majors in Harvesting and Forest Resources Management introduced to the B.S.F. program. Majors in Wood Science and Industry and Forest Science introduced to B.Sc.

1986

Faculty of Forestry acquires the Alex Fraser Research Forest in Williams Lake

1997

NRC program authorized and established

1998

Forest Sciences Centre completed to house the Faculty of Forestry

2000

UBC and UNBC enter an agreement to jointly manage the Aleza Lake Research Forest

2002

Co-op Program is established for all five of the Faculty’s degree programs

2012

Department of Forest Sciences name change to the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences

2012

New Master of Sustainable Forest Management (MSFM) program authorized and established

2013

MSFM program accredited by the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board

2014

New Master of International Forestry (MIF) program authorized

2015

MIF program established

2015

New Bachelor of Urban Forestry (BUF) program authorized and established

Much of this information has been derived from:
Smith, J. Harry G., UBC Forestry 1921-1990: An Informal History. Vancouver : Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, 1990. For further information or copies of this book please contact Dr. Susan Watts at sue.watts@ubc.ca or 604-822-6316.

1918class
The first Forestry Class of 1918
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Forestry Building, 1918
mkrf_1949
Malcolm Knapp Research Forest 1949
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Soprons arriving in BC – 1957
fsc_a
Forest Sciences Centre, completed 1998
mkrf_2002
Malcolm Knapp Research Forest 2002