Courses and Timeline

Program Structure

The program requires the completion of 4 courses, each taking 2 weeks of study time. The program will take about 60 hours to complete.

The FMP program is offered in the Winter/Spring session each year (February – April). Students may register and complete all courses in one session or spread out the courses (in order of prerequisite requirements) over a 2-year time frame.

The program has four courses:

  • Forest Management Planning Fundamentals
  • Managing Forests for Multiple Values
  • Forest Management Plans
  • Group Project: Developing a Mini Forest Management Plan

Courses must be taken in sequential order, as they build on one another.

Each course will require students to watch pre-recorded lecture videos, complete readings (e.g., book chapters, reports, scientific articles, forest management plans), complete assignments, contribute to online written discussions with fellow students, and take a quiz. In addition, weekly live sessions will offer opportunities to discuss relevant forest management topics with the instructor, fellow students and invited guest speakers that are specialist of the discussed topic.

Timeline to Completion

Participants have the flexibility to set their own timeline to completion, within a maximum of two years.

Course Descriptions

Course 1: Forest Management Planning Fundamentals

This course provides an introduction to forest management planning and its core concepts, to lay solid foundations for the upcoming weeks.

Students will:

  • Define and discuss what forest management planning is.
  • Refresh their knowledge of the natural processes driving forest dynamics.
  • Draw connections between forest dynamics, forest management and the requirements of a management plan.
  • Understand and discuss the history of forest management planning, in Europe and BC.
  • Learn and discuss core forest management planning concepts.
  • Learn, apply and discuss “classic” methods of forest regulation and sustained yield estimation.

Course 2: Managing Forests for Multiple Values

This course will look into the different values or ecosystem services provided by forests, discuss how their relative importance may vary between stakeholders, and how it may affect forest management decisions. It will also look into some of the tools available to use assess and monitor the provision of a variety of forest goods and values over time.

Students will:

  • Critically discuss various viewpoints in relation to forest management.
  • Identify and discuss areas of conflict, as well as possible solutions.
  • Understand what criteria and indicators are, how they are used in forest management, and why we need them.
  • Explain the difference between a goal, an objective and related indicators and targets.

Course 3: Forest Management Plans

This course looks into forest management plans, and will bring students to not only understand the core elements of a forest management plan, but also critically analyze forest management plans. 

Students will:

  • Identify the minimum required elements of a forest management plan.
  • Critically analyze existing forest management plans.
  • Use a lateral thinking technique (the “6 thinking hats”) for problem solving and improving critical thinking.
  • Learn how to provide (and receive) meaningful feedback.

Group Project: Developing a Forest Management Plan

This project-based course will lead students to bring together all the knowledge acquired around forest management and planning in this program, and combine it with their existing knowledge and professional experience.

Students will work in small groups to:

  • Analyze and understand stakeholders’ expectations for a case study based on a virtual forest.
  • Define and compare management scenarios and their impact on the different ecosystem services provided by this forest.
  • Formulate management recommendations for this forest.
  • Develop a (shortened version of a) forest management plan for this forest.
  • Review and provide feedback on plans submitted by other groups, receive feedback on their own plan, and learn from this experience.