Photo of Spring Field Semester 2019

The Forestry major is a professional degree program and is the only one in Kentucky accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Forestry students are trained to grow, manage, and protect healthy forest ecosystems. Our forestry classes are designed to give students hands-on field experiences using the latest technology when learning about land management principles and practices. 

What is Forestry?

Forestry is both a science and an art.

It is rooted in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry and mathematics and is performed with the applied sciences of ecology, silviculture, and management. While science guides the decisions of a forester, it does not make them for him or her. Foresters must apply their knowledge in a decision-making arena where good solutions are not always obvious, conflicting human interests must be considered, and conflicting opinions must be compromised. This need for experienced judgment, diplomacy and tact constitutes the art of forestry.

Forestry is a profession – not just a job or occupation.

It is a practice in the sense that medicine and law are practices. The education of forestry practitioners is accredited by a professional association (Society of American Foresters) and their professional conduct is guided and governed by a Code of Ethics. There is much more to being a forester than taking a few courses.

Forestry is guided by the principles of sustainability.

Sound forestry decisions consider the current and future health of the forest and strive to ensure that benefits will be available for future generations.

Forestry involves more resources than just trees.

Although trees are the predominant plant component of forests, foresters manage all of the resources found in forests. You will, therefore, find foresters concerned with trees, animals (both game and non-game), soils, water, insects, diseases (both tree and animal) and human beings.

Foresters manage for a broad spectrum of benefits that humans desire from their forests.

This includes the obvious things we take from forests – like wood and game species, but also includes less obvious things like water quality and quantity and benefits that have real value but are hard to measure – like wilderness, non-game and endangered species, recreation opportunities, clean air and biodiversity. The field of forestry can cover it all.

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Undergraduate Program

Find out more about the undergraduate forestry program and how you can start your career in the outdoors.

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Career Opportunities

Learn what you can do with a degree in forestry.

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Explore Forestry

Watch or listen to our From the Woods Today show to learn about all things forestry in Kentucky.

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Forestry Curriculum

Learn more about the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Forestry.

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Spring Field Semester

View week-by-week summaries of the Spring Field Semester that occurs during spring of the junior year.

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Wildlife Biology and Management Minor

View the requirements for the Wildlife Biology and Management Minor.

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Contact Us

For questions about the UK Forestry program or to schedule a visit, contact Laura Lhotka, Forestry Academic Coordinator.

Contact Laura

Key Resources

Learn more about key resources for prospective undergraduate students.

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View scholarship opportunities for undergraduate forestry students.

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