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The importance of our forests and those that are knowledgeable in this area should not be under estimated. Forests, like all other natural resources, need to be managed efficiently and sustainably. The challenge is to create systems that are socially accepted, yet have minimal impact on other resources. Public perception of forest management is often controversial and where there is growing concern over the perceived mismanagement of the forests there are also conflicting demands for forestlands. As well as the practical skills behind forestry as a science, there are also other elements of critical and analytical thinking that will be critical in a career in forestry.

Topics you may cover

  • Forest Biology: botany of plants and the biology of New Zealand specific indigenous forest species
  • Soil Fertility: examining soil properties; soil formation and soil in NZ landscapes; soil chemical and physical properties which are important to sustainable land use and environmental protection.
  • Plantation Silviculture: looking at species selection, and growing and tending to trees and forests
  • Forest Management: the decision making process around Forestry and what levels of research and types of information are required to make educated decisions. Involves soft skills as well including leadership, communication, motivation, teamwork and problem solving.

While Forestry can be studied as a Science, it also has an element of Engineering which requires students to solve engineering problems in the natural environment, with a focus on balancing financial, societal and environmental requirements. As a Forest Engineer you would construct and evaluate the operational systems that make the forest industry work including roading, equipment, harvest operations, transport logistics and supervising employees.