Courses and Timeline

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The MUFL is a 13-month course-based degree program consisting of 30 credits.

  • 7 core urban forestry courses taught by experts in the Faculty of Forestry:
    • UFOR 500 (3 cr), UFOR 511 (1.5), UFOR 512 (3), UFOR 521 (3), UFOR 522 (3), UFOR 523 (1.5), UFOR 531 (6)
  • 5 management & leadership and policy analysis courses taught by experts in the Faculty of Forestry, the Sauder School of Business and the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs:
    • FCOR 500 (1.5), FCOR 501 (1.5), FCOR 502 (1.5), FCOR 503 (1.5), FCOR 599 (3)

Alternate core credits may be allowed if approved by the Program Director.

Course Schedule

Summer Term (July-August): MUFL registration and tuition assessment is activated on July 1, which is the start of UBC’s Summer Term Two. Program activities begin in August with a one month, 3-credit online course. This is followed by two terms on-campus, consisting of 21 credits of courses on leadership, project management, entrepreneurship and policy analysis (taught by UBC Sauder School of Business and UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs), urban forestry courses, a capstone preparation course, and required laboratories (taught by the UBC Faculty of Forestry). The final 6-credit capstone course is completed the following Summer and can be done on- or off-campus, based on individual student interests and/or their employer’s needs.






UFOR 500 (3 cr)
Developing Green and Resilient Cities – The Urban Forestry Approach

FCOR 500 (1.5 cr)
Leadership and Sustainability

UFOR 531 (6 cr)
MUFL Capstone Course
Can be completed on- or off-campus.

FCOR 501 (1.5 cr)
Project Management

FCOR 502 (1.5 cr)

UFOR 511 (1.5 cr)
Geomatics Principles and Applications

FCOR 503 (1.5 cr)
Policy Analysis

UFOR 512 (3 cr)
Urban Forest Governance

UFOR 522 (3 cr)
Urban Forest Resources and Benefits Assessment

UFOR 521 (3 cr)
Advances in Arboriculture and Urban Ecology

UFOR 523 (1.5 cr)
Strategic Urban Forest Planning and Management

FCOR 599 (3 cr)
Project Proposal Development and Proof of Concept


Course Descriptions

Summer Term 2

Course Objectives

This online course focuses on the importance of urban green space and urban trees for cities. It discusses the different roles and benefits of green, while also presenting current ‘city greening’ programs across the globe. From the question of why and how we want to create greener, more resilient and healthy cities, the focus is then shifted to the role of urban forestry as an important delivery mechanism. The field of urban forestry is introduced, as is its state of art in different parts of the world. Finally, the course also highlights the role of urban foresters and other professionals in greening our cities, while also looking into the role of other players, local communities and individual citizens.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand the role and benefits of green space and trees in cities.
  • Discuss different approaches to city greening, with emphasis on urban forestry.
  • Describe key aspects and characteristics of urban forestry, and its state-of-art in different parts of the world.
  • Reflect on the role of different professions, communities and other players in the greening of cities – and most importantly on their own roles.

Winter Term 1

This course provides students with personal and professional skills to lead urban forestry programs and projects.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Establish connections between one’s own discipline and sustainable development dimensions such as triple bottom line approaches.
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge of social and ecological systems to predict or forecast, assess, analyze and integrate the effects of human activities.
  • Create a personal vision for the changes one intends through understanding one’s leadership purpose.
  • Engage in self-assessment, self-reflection, and analysis and have a strong awareness of one’s own values and how they inform one’s perspectives.
  • Develop leadership skills, including communication, collaboration, mediation and consensus building strategies, to advocate for positive changes, and demonstrate empathy for others and the ability to weigh multiple perspectives.

Students learn project management concepts, processes and tools for the environmental and forestry sectors.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define project management and compare common project frameworks and standards
  • Evaluate project management processes for projects within a specified company
  • Describe and apply stakeholder analysis and management
  • Explain the importance of scope definition to project planning
  • Demonstrate use of project planning processes by developing core project plans including schedules, budgets, risk matrices and communication plans
  • Demonstrate use of project managing processes especially change control
  • Examine factors that contribute to project success and failure
  • Assess impact of team leadership on success of projects

Course Overview

UFOR 511 is an introductory graduate level course, which covers the use and application of remote sensing, GIS, GPS and spatial data analysis. With respect to GIS it covers an overview of general principles of GIS, analytical use of spatial information, and practical experience in map production. With respect to remote sensing it covers basics of the electromagnetic spectrum, digital remote sensing systems, classification and accuracy assessment. General information on geospatial data principals and GPS technologies will also be covered. The Lab components involve "hands-on" use of an analytical software package to complete GIS and remote sensing exercises. Each student will also be required to apply and integrate various GIS and RS operations involving spatial analysis, requiring some time outside of class hours.

Learning Outcomes

The goal of the course is to provide students with the theory and the application geospatial data, specifically within a GIS and remote sensing framework. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of geospatial data, and how it is used
  • Understand concepts of position and scale
  • Understand concepts used in GIS
  • Develop conceptual designs for GIS databases
  • Conduct spatial and logical queries on geospatial data
  • Understand the electromagnetic spectrum and its relevance to remote sensing
  • Understand the concept of the different resolution of remote sensing
  • Undertake basic remote sensing operation such as classification and rectification
  • Describe and communicate analytical findings to a non-technical audience
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of GIS and RS software capabilities
  • Understand the conceptual and practical limitations and advantages of RS and GIS

Course Objectives
This course provides students with an introduction to governance theory and ways of applying a governance perspective to strategic decision-making in urban forestry. Building on environmental governance perspectives in particular, it presents an overview of frameworks and methods that can be applied to understand, and operate in urban forest governance in different contexts and at different scales. The course discusses the linkages between governance, policy and politics. Different governance models and arrangements applied to urban forestry are studied. Focus is also on the role of the urban forester in wider urban and urban-wildland interface governance. Specific attention is given to the role of community engagement in urban forest governance, and to ways for urban forestry professionals to enhance their collaboration with communities and other actors. Diversity and equity issues are addressed throughout the course.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Understand governance theories and models, especially from an environmental governance perspective.
  • Apply different governance theories and models to urban forestry, and use governance perspectives to obtain better understanding of the discourses, actors, rules of the game and resources involved in urban forestry decision-making.
  • Discuss and analyze examples of urban forest governance in different contexts and at different scales.
  • Reflect on the current and potential roles of urban foresters and other professionals in relevant governance contexts and processes.

Course Objectives

This course aims to provide an overview of the field and current state-of-art of arboriculture, with emphasis on current research and good practices. Students will learn about the role of arboriculture within the wider field of urban forestry. Moreover, an ecological and tree diversity perspective will be introduced to enhance the management and resilience of urban forests. The course covers key aspects such as urban sites and their biotic, abiotic and human characteristics; urban tree growth and physiology; tree breeding and growing, planting and establishment; urban tree vitality and hazard assessments; tree maintenance; tree preservation and retention; and tree removal. The course will also discuss professionalism in arboriculture, current certification and accreditation programs, and the collaboration between arborists and urban foresters with planners, engineers, developers, and other relevant professions.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Understand how trees grow in urban areas – and how growth is challenged by urban conditions.
  • Analyze arboricultural approaches and tools for application in different contexts.
  • Discuss the role of arboriculture in urban forest action planning and management.
  • Present the key aspects of professionalism in arboriculture, and the interactions of arborists with other professionals.

Winter Term 2

Course Overview

This course will expose Masters of Urban Forestry Leadership students to the fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a standalone course that provides useful concepts for all students, regardless of their eventual specialization.

Learning Objectives

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation. Through cases, a simulation, in-class activities, speakers, solo and team work, students will develop a structured approach to innovation and entrepreneurship, which they can leverage in later, more specialized courses. Students will learn how to:

  • manage decision-making with incomplete and ambiguous information
  • develop hypotheses regarding customer problems and design tests to inform decision-making and specify design criteria
  • approach early stage financing of pre-revenue ventures;
  • make decisions in case, simulation and live discussion, when new information is revealed;
  • connect and apply entrepreneurial thinking in corporate innovation roles, as well in start-ups;
  • link course learning to personal career planning.

Course Overview

This course teaches the fundamentals of policy analysis and project evaluation, with an emphasis on the practical decision making and behavioral considerations that underlie policy making, stakeholder engagement, and implementation processes. Both quantitative and qualitative assessment methods will be used and real-world cases in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa will be relied on to illustrate key points. There are no pre-requisites.

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn to apply different evaluation frameworks as decision aids to help construct, understand, and evaluate public policies. Course learning will emphasize the pros and cons of different policy analysis concepts and methods. Techniques drawn from decision analysis, economics, ecology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, and negotiation analysis will be applied to help structure the key elements and tough trade-offs that characterize policy development and analysis. Students are expected to be curious, form coherent and compelling arguments, and be constructively critical of their own and others’ knowledge.

Course Objectives

This course aims to provide an overview of the state of the art of urban forest resources and benefits assessment. It builds on the GIS and/or spatial analysis skills gained in UFOR 511 to examine data sources, theoretical approaches, and tools commonly employed in urban forest assessment. Students will be introduced to examples of tool applications and will learn how to develop rigorous approaches to urban forest assessment in a variety of contexts.

Students will be taught common approaches to accessing a range of urban forest data types, including remotely sensed data, such as aerial photographs and satellite imagery, a variety of types of survey delivery and analysis methods, and community-based approaches to data gathering and analysis. Specific analysis tools and approaches covered in this class include i-Tree, InVEST, common tree inventory tools, non-market valuation, and perceptual assessments of cultural ecosystem services.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand current approaches and tools used in urban forest resources and benefits assessment.
  • Critically assess the trade-offs associated with different approaches and tools as applied to different contexts and scales.
  • Discuss the role of urban forest inventories, monitoring, and assessment of their ecosystem services in urban forestry decision-making.
  • Use selected tools in case-based projects.

Course Objectives
This course gives students an opportunity to apply the urban forestry skills and concepts learned in the previous term to the theory and practice of strategic urban forest planning and management. Students will review the principles of the planning process and critically examine how these function within various models of strategic management. Students will then apply strategic planning and management principles and processes in the urban forest context.
Specifically, this course will introduce students to the principles and practice of adaptive management and tools for planning and management such as structured decision making and monitoring and evaluation. Students will also be encouraged to develop the skills needed to guide planning and management processes through in-class exercises and assignments.

Learning Outcomes

It is expected that at the completion of this subject and lab program students should have learnt the following:

  • Apply a strategic mindset to urban forest planning and management
  • Understand the principles and process of planning, and common models of strategic resource management
  • Apply different perspectives, approaches, and tools across a range of contexts commonly encountered in urban forestry

Winter Term 1 & Winter Term 2

Students learn how to develop, write and deliver an effective project proposal. They will form a project proposal around a topic of interest and will present both a written proposal and oral presentation for assessment.

Winter Term 2 & Summer Terms 1 & 2

Course Objectives
This course aims to tie together the concepts and skills learned in the previous two terms and give students the opportunity to apply them in a project-based learning experience. Students will work with their faculty mentors to review, revise as necessary, and implement their project proposals developed in FCOR 599 (Project Proposal Development and Proof of Concept).

This course may take a variety of forms, as long as the project proposal is approved by the Program Director and students’ faculty mentors. Students are encouraged to find an external partner early in the first term and to work with them to develop the project proposal and implement the project during the capstone period. Students may work individually or in groups and projects may take place on or off campus.

Students will develop project management and leadership skills during the implementation phase of the project and will strengthen their proficiency in written and oral communication. The final week of the project will take place at the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest or a similar venue, where students will meet to share their project outcomes, reflect on lessons learned during the program, and welcome the following year’s students into the program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

    • Apply the skills and knowledge developed in previous terms to an urban forest-related project
    • Manage a defined urban forest project within a set time frame
    • Collaborate effectively with others
    • Communicate project outcomes in both written and oral formats