Online Micro-Certificate: Forest Management Planning

What is the Forest Management Planning Micro-Certificate?

The Faculty of Forestry’s Forest Management Planning Micro-Certificate is a flexible 8-week online program that provides professionals with foundational knowledge of core forest management planning concepts, tools and skills to assess and compare forest management options and their impacts on a range of forest ecosystem services, as well as how to develop forest management plans.

Why choose the Forest Management Planning Micro-Certificate?

Forest management planning (FMP) concepts and tools are at the core of sustainable forest management, both globally and locally. In this integrative course, participants will consolidate and apply their existing forestry knowledge to integrate concepts from multiple sub-disciplines to make projections about the development of forest ecosystems and the values or services they provide, reflect on how to balance multiple (and often conflicting) objectives, evaluate different forest management options, prescribe solutions for achieving specific forest management goals at multiple scales, develop and critically analyze forest management plans. The focus of the course lies on forest management and planning in general, which are illustrated with specific case studies from British Columbia, Canada.

What will you learn?

The overall objective of this course is to provide course participants with foundational knowledge on existing approaches for the long-term planning of forest management activities. The course will furthermore provide participants with tools and skills required to analyze and interpret the consequences of various management approaches with respect to diverse management goals, as well as to critically analyze or develop forest management plans.

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and describe core topics and concepts in forest management planning.
  • Explain the history of forest management planning, and its European roots.
  • Identify and assess the complex relationships between the characteristics of a forest (structure, composition…) and the values it provides, and how management affects them.
  • Apply basic mathematical concepts for calculating sustained yields.
  • Define key objectives for managing a forest.
  • Identify indicators related to those objectives and determine realistic target values for them.
  • Analyze and interpret trade-offs between various management objectives.
  • Critically evaluate and discuss various alternative forest management approaches for a single forest.
  • Connect concepts from various sub-disciplines of forestry to critically analyze existing forest management plans, as well as develop new plans.

Forest Professionals of B.C. Competencies

  • Standard 2: Communications, Critical Reasoning and Leadership
    • 2.1 Communicate effectively with a wide variety of audiences regarding forest resource issues.
    • 2.2 Apply critical reasoning.
    • 2.3 Use leadership skills in collaborative decision making.
  • Standard 4: Trees and Stands
    • 4.2 Describe tree attributes and their relationship to forest values.
    • 4.3 Explain past, current and possible future stand conditions and the processes that lead to them.
  • Standard 5: Forested Landscapes
    • 5.1 Identify the components, characteristics and processes in forested ecosystems and how they interact.
  • Standard 6: Information Acquisition and Analysis
    • 6.3 Analyze and interpret forest resource data.
  • Standard 7: Planning and Administration
    • 7.2 Identify societal factors, governance and regulation in your work.
    • 7.3 Employ resource planning principles
  • Standard 8A: Forest Management (FORM)
    • 8A.1 Discuss the forest management process, and its requirements and levels.
    • 8A.2 Design stand and forest-level plans.
  • Standard 8D: Forest Operations (FOPR)
    • 8D.2 Discuss purpose and components of forest planning.

Who should apply?

This micro-certificate will be of interest to those who are working towards becoming professional foresters, as well as professionals in the private, public or non-profit sector whose job involves working with the planning of forested landscapes, natural resources and sustainable forest management.

Course participants should have a background in forestry, with at least 2 years of University education or equivalent experience. Course participants include forest professionals registered with Forest Professionals BC (FPBC), those interested in enrolling with the FPBC, as well as people interested in continuing their education in forest management and planning in BC at a professional level.

Employment Opportunities

  • Government (managers, planners, and policy analysts)
  • Forest industry—with a focus on continued professional development through RPF associations
  • Community forests’ technicians, planners, managers
  • Private sector—forestry consultants
  • Non-governmental organizations (Ducks Unlimited, environmental education groups, and communication agencies, etc.)