Kentucky’s Land Grant Forestry and Natural Resources Department

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is one of fourteen academic departments in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. It was established in 1969 with primary responsibility for academics, extension, and research programs in forest and wildland natural resources. The faculty of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources are located on the Lexington Campus in the T.P. Cooper Building and at the Robinson Substation in Quicksand, KY. Additional facilities at Robinson Forest (in Breathitt, Knott and Perry Counties) and the Wood Utilization Center (Quicksand, KY) support academic programs of the department. The faculty within the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources represent a diverse array of disciplines and programs. 


Academics

The department's primary undergraduate instructional responsibility is its Forestry major. The undergraduate forestry major is the only forestry program in Kentucky accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The department also contributes to a college-wide major in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. Graduate instruction is offered through the Master of Science in Forest and Natural Resource Sciences program. Where appropriate, individual faculty participate in related graduate programs, such as Plant & Soil Sciences and Animal Sciences.


Extension

Extension programs in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources are designed to address both current and anticipated needs of extension clientele to promote greater understanding of forest resources, their sustainable management and utilization. Extension programs include agroforestry, biodiversity and ecosystem management, forest management and silviculture, forestry and environmental education for youth, logger education, natural resource recreation and tourism, surface mine reclamation, urban forestry, wildlife damage control, wildlife conservation, and wood products and wood processing technology.


Research

Faculty of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources conduct basic and applied research to support our understanding and use of forest ecosystems. Areas of emphasis and developing strength include silviculture and forest operations; wildlife ecology and conservation biology; forest health and ecological restoration; landscape and spatial ecology; natural resource policy and economics; urban ecology; and forest hydrology and watershed management.


What is a Land Grant University?

“Land Grant University” is a term applied to institutions of higher learning that were established by the Morrill Act (1862 and 1890) for the purposes of;

  1. educating the children of average citizens who typically did not have access to the Ivy League schools prevalent at the time
  2. conducting research that was applied and relevant to improving the lives and businesses of citizens throughout the country, and
  3. transferring the knowledge generated at these institutions directly to the people through an innovative network called the Cooperative Extension Service comprised of offices in every county of the state.  

The Morrill Act of 1862 established a Land Grant University in each state where The Leading Object would be instruction in agriculture and related fields. 

Land Grant Universities have evolved and expanded their functions to stay relevant to changing times, but we are proud of our heritage and maintain those core mission areas. 

In Kentucky, UK’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources educates students (Academics), conducts research to improve the lives of Kentuckians and resources important to them (Research), and extends that information to ensure it is available to all citizens (Extension).

Faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources work together and with our partners to continue the rich traditions established by the Morrill Acts ... and to advance the management of forested systems, and all natural resources, throughout the region.

We welcome you to join us in that effort!


Our Mission

Enhance the ecological, economic, and social benefits of forests and related natural resources to elevate the quality of life for Kentuckians and beyond


UK Forestry LeafOur Core Values

  • We treat people the way we want to be treated.
  • We conduct ourselves with honor, integrity, and take responsibility for our actions.
  • We emphasize professionalism and reward excellence and innovation.
  • We encourage critical thinking and lifelong learning.
  • We focus on serving the people and resources entrusted to our care.