Ecosystem Management and Forestry

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Ecosystem Management and Forestry major has replaced the Forestry and Natural Resources major in the Rausser College of Natural Resources.

Bachelor of Science (BS) 

Ecosystem Management and Forestry (EMF)  focuses on the conservation and restoration of the earth's natural resources through hands-on study of the ecology, stewardship, and management of forest, woodland, and grassland ecosystems.

The program offers two specializations to choose from, and if the student chooses a specialization in Forestry, they can qualify to take the Registered Professional Forester's licensing exam in California.

  • The Forestry specialization provides students with the ecological, quantitative, and social foundation to be the managers and leaders in the management of forests and forest resources.  The Forestry specialization is accredited by the Society of American Foresters and provides four years of qualifying education or professional experience for licensing as a professional forester in California. The goals of the Forestry specialization are very closely associated with the educational requirements of the forestry profession and prepare our students for a variety of careers in forestry or closely related natural resource fields.
  • The Natural Resource Management specialization provides students with greater flexibility to explore subjects in ecology, physical environment, monitoring and measurement, and management and policy.  Students can choose to concentrate their studies in water management, ecology, climates change or design their own concentration based on interest.

Students in the program, regardless of concentration, have ample opportunity to acquire interdisciplinary skills in the ecology, stewardship, and management of ecosystems such as forests, woodlands, and grasslands. Within the program, students can choose to emphasize topics such as wildlife biology, water policy, fire science, ecosystem restoration, environmental justice, remote sensing and GIS, and rural sociology.

EMF graduates are well-prepared for graduate school and careers in environmental consulting, public agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, and private companies. Students also have the option of preparing for professional careers in forestry, wildlife, and range management.

Admission to the Major

Advice on admission for freshmen and transfer students can be found on the Rausser College Admissions Guide page or the Rausser College Prospective Student website. Freshman students may apply directly to the major, or they may select the Rausser College of Natural Resource's undeclared option and declare the major by the end of their fourth semester. Transfer students may apply directly to the major through the UC application.

Information for current Berkeley students who would like to declare the major after admission, including information on a change of major or change of college, please see chapter 6 of the Rausser College of Natural Resources Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Honors Program

Students with a GPA of 3.6 or higher may enroll in the Rausser College honors program (H196) once they have reached upper division standing. To fulfill the program requirements, students design, conduct, and report on an individual research project working with a faculty sponsor. For further information about registration for the honors symposium and the honors requirements, please see the Rausser College of Natural Resources website.

Minor Program

A minor in Forestry is available for students who are interested in learning about forestry and renewable resource management as an adjunct to their chosen fields. Students in many diverse majors such as business administration, integrative biology, and civil engineering may find this minor complementary to their professional career goals. For information regarding how to declare the minor, please contact the department.

Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management:

Conservation and Resource Studies (Major and Minor)

Environmental Sciences (Major only)

Molecular Environmental Biology (Major only)

Society and Environment (Major only)

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

Students in this major choose a specialization in Forestry or Natural Resource Management.  The specific requirements for each specialization is outlined below. In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required.
  3. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in upper division major requirements is required.
  4. At least 15 of the 36 required upper division units must be taken in the Rausser College of Natural Resources (except for students majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy; please see the EEP major adviser for further information).
  5. A maximum of 16 units of independent study (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, and 199) may count toward graduation, with a maximum of 4 units of independent study per semester.
  6. No more than 1/3 of the total units attempted at UC Berkeley may be taken Pass/Not Pass. This includes units in the Education Abroad Program and UC Intercampus Visitor or Exchange Programs.
  7. A maximum of 4 units of physical education courses will count toward graduation.

For information regarding residency requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Requirements for all Ecosystem Management and Forestry Majors

Lower division courses
Chemistry (pick one)
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Biology
General Biology Lecture and Laboratory [4]
Calculus (A-B series required)
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus
Calculus
and Calculus
Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics
and Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics
Statistics: select one from the following
Introduction to Probability and Statistics [4]
Introductory Probability and Statistics for Business [4]
Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis [3]
Foundations of Data Science
and Probability and Mathematical Statistics in Data Science
Economics
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy [4] *
Introduction to Economics
Physical Science
Introduction to Earth System Science [4]
The Planet Earth
Global Environmental Change
GIS
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems [3] (offered every other year)
An Introduction to Geospatial Technologies: Mapping, Space and Power
ESPM Core Requirements
ESPM Environmental Sciences Core: Select one from the following:
The Biosphere [3]
Environmental Biology [3]
Environmental Issues [4]
Introduction to Environmental Sciences [3]
Climate Change and the Future of California [4]
ESPM Social Sciences Core: Select on from the following:
Americans and the Global Forest [4]
Fire: Past, Present and Future Interactions with the People and Ecosystems of California [4]
Introduction to Culture and Natural Resource Management [4]
History of Native American Land, Colonialism, and Heritage Preservation [3]
Environmental Policy, Administration, and Law [4]
Upper Division Core Courses
Upper division requirements for both specializations
Landscape Ecology [3]
Ecology
Resource Management [4]
Forest Ecosystem Management and Planning [4]

Forestry Specialization Requirements

The Forestry specialization provides students with the ecological, quantitative, and social foundation to be the managers and leaders in the management of forests and forest resources.  The Forestry specialization is accredited by the Society of American Foresters and provides four years of qualifying education or professional experience for licensing as a professional forester in California. The goals of the Forestry specialization are very closely associated with the educational requirements of the forestry profession and prepare our students for a variety of  careers in forestry or closely related natural resource fields.

Forestry Field Program
Sierra Nevada Ecology [4]
Forest Measurements [1]
Silviculture and Utilization [3]
Forest Management and Assessment [3]
Forestry Required Courses
Climate and Energy Policy [4]
Environmental Policy, Administration, and Law
Trees: Taxonomy, Growth, and Structures [3]
Fire, Insects, and Diseases in Forest Ecosystems [3]
Forest Operations Management [3] (offered every other year)
Applied Forest Ecology [4]
Natural Resource Sampling [2] (&)
Laboratory in Natural Resource Sampling [2]
Ecological Analysis
Forestry Elective
Select two:
ESPM 116BGrassland and Woodland Ecology4
Science of Soils [3]
Development and Classification of Soils [3]
Biometeorology [3]
ESPM 130AForest Hydrology4
Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry [3]
Data Science in Global Change Ecology [4]
GIS and Environmental Science [3]
Remote Sensing of the Environment [4]
Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis [3]
ESPM 174AApplied Time Series Analysis for Ecology and Environmental Sciences3
Fire Ecology [3]
Grassland and Woodland Management and Conservation [4]
ESPM 190Seminar in Environmental Issues3
Field Methods for Physical Geography [5]
Earth System Remote Sensing [3]
GEOG C188Geographic Information Science4

Natural Resource Management Specialization Requirements

The Natural Resource Management specialization provides students with greater flexibility to explore subjects in ecology, physical environment, monitoring and measurement, and management and policy.  Students can choose to concentrate their studies in water management, ecology, climates change or design their own concentration based on interest.

Choose One: 

Choice A

  • Either the Forestry Field program (ESPM 105A-D) or Biology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands (ESPM C107)  AND
  • Three additional approved courses by and Ecosystem Management and Forestry Faculty

Choice B

Complete an approved six course resource concentration track or design your own six course concentration with EMF faculty approval with at least one elective from each of the following categories

Electives by Concentration for Natural Resource Management Specialization
Ecosystem Knowledge
Trees: Taxonomy, Growth, and Structures [3]
Environmental Change Genetics [3]
Ecosystem Ecology [4]
Microbial Ecology [3]
Insect Ecology [3]
Wildlife Ecology [3]
Freshwater Ecology [3]
Fish Ecology [3]
Grassland and Woodland Ecology [4]
Science of Soils [3]
Development and Classification of Soils [3]
Biometeorology [3]
Forest Hydrology [4]
Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry [3]
Air Pollution [3]
Ecosystems of California [4]
Ecosystem Measurement and Assessment
Natural Resource Sampling
and Laboratory in Natural Resource Sampling
Ecological Analysis [4]
Data Science in Global Change Ecology [4]
GIS and Environmental Science [3]
Remote Sensing of the Environment [4]
Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis [3]
Applied Time Series Analysis for Ecology and Environmental Sciences [3]
Field Methods for Physical Geography [5]
Geographic Information Science [4]
Ecosystems Value and Policy
The Politics and Practice of Sustainability Transitions [4]
Climate and Energy Policy [4]
Sociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems [4]
Environmental Philosophy and Ethics [4]
Health, Medicine, Society and Environment [4]
Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment [4]
Political Ecology [4]
International Environmental Politics [4]
CLIMATE JUSTICE [4]
Ecosystem Management
Principles of Conservation Biology [4]
American Wildlife: Management and Policy in the 21st Century [3]
Fire, Insects, and Diseases in Forest Ecosystems [3]
Global Change Biology [3]
Bioethics and Society [4]
Environmental Health and Development [4]
Fire Ecology [3]
Forest Operations Management [3]
Applied Forest Ecology [4]
Grassland and Woodland Management and Conservation [4]
Possible concentrations in Natural Resource Management: 
Water & Watershed
Climate and Energy Policy [4]
Wildlife Ecology [3]
Science of Soils [3]
GIS and Environmental Science [3]
Forest Operations Management [3]
Geomorphology [4]
Terrestrial Hydrology [4]
Wildlife Conservation and Management:
Climate and Energy Policy [4]
Principles of Conservation Biology [4]
American Wildlife: Management and Policy in the 21st Century [3]
Wildlife Ecology [3]
Fish Ecology [3]
Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis [3]
Management in Changing Climate:
Climate and Energy Policy [4]
Biometeorology [3]
Global Change Biology [3]
Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis [3]
Fire Ecology [3]
The Economics of Climate Change [4]
Human Dimension of Natural Resource Management:
Wildlife Ecology [3]
American Environmental and Cultural History [4]
GIS and Environmental Science [3]
Environmental Health and Development [4]
Political Ecology [4]
Population, Environment, and Development [3]

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process. 

  2. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.

  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.

  4. No more than one course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

Completing the Forestry and Natural Resources Minor Program

  • Students must complete at least five courses taken from the predetermined list below. No substitutions will be permitted.
  • No more than one lower division course for the minor
  • The courses taken must total at least 12 semester units. 

Requirements

Core courses:
At least one core courses required for the minor
Forest Management and Assessment [3]
Applied Forest Ecology [4]
Electives (four courses):
Fire: Past, Present and Future Interactions with the People and Ecosystems of California [4]
Introduction to Culture and Natural Resource Management [4]
Environmental Policy, Administration, and Law [4]
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems [3]
Natural Resource Sampling
and Laboratory in Natural Resource Sampling
Resource Management [4]
Climate and Energy Policy [4]
Trees: Taxonomy, Growth, and Structures [3]
Ecological Analysis [4]
Science of Soils [3]
Development and Classification of Soils [3]
Biometeorology [3]
Fire, Insects, and Diseases in Forest Ecosystems [3]
Fire Ecology [3]
UC Forestry Summer Field Program at Baker Forest 1
The three Forestry Camp courses (ESPM 105A, ESPM 105B, ESPM 105C) may be used toward the minor.
Sierra Nevada Ecology [4]
Forest Measurements [1]
Silviculture and Utilization [3]
1

For more information and to download application materials, please see the College of Natural Resource's website.

College Requirements

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking all majors in the College require two semesters of lower division work in composition. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

Foreign LanguageEEP Majors only

The Foreign Language requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. It may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Quantitative ReasoningEEP Majors only

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Undergraduate Breadth

Undergraduate breadth provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program and many students complete their breadth courses in their first two years. Breadth courses are built into the Rausser College major requirements and each major requires a different number of breath courses and categories. The EEP major is the only college major that requires the entire 7 course breadth. Refer to the major snapshots on each Rausser College major page for additional information. 

High School Exam Credit

Rausser College students may apply high school exam credit (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Exam) towards many College and Major Requirements. See AP Exam Equivalency Chart and Higher Level IB Exam Equivalency Chart in the Rausser College Student Handbook for more information.

Unit Requirements

Students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:

  • At least 36 units must be upper division courses, including a minimum of 15 units of upper division courses in the Rausser College. 
  • A maximum of 16 units of Special Studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed towards the 120 units; a maximum of four is allowed in a given semester.
  • A maximum of 4 units of Physical Education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
  • Students may receive unit credit for courses graded P (including P/NP units taken through EAP) up to a limit of one-third of the total units taken and passed on the Berkeley campus at the time of graduation.  Courses taken for P/NP in the Spring 2020 semester will not count toward this limit.

Semester Unit Minimum

All Rausser College students must enroll in at least 12 units each fall and spring semester.

Semester Unit Maximum

To request permission to take more than 20.5 units in a semester, please see the major adviser.

Semester Limit

Students admitted as freshmen must graduate within 8 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students admitted as transfer students must graduate within 4 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students who go on EAP and UCDC can petition for additional semesters. Other UC-affiliated programs, such as the Gump Station in Moorea, may also be considered.  Summer session, UC Extension and non-UC study abroad programs do not count towards this semester limit. Students approved for double majors or  simultaneous degrees in two colleges may be granted an additional semester. Rausser College does not limit the number of total units a student can accrue.

Senior Residence Requirement

Once you achieve and exceed 90 units (senior status), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence at the Rausser College of Natural Resources over at least 2 semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units taken while the student is a member of Rausser. At least one of the two terms must be a fall or spring semester. Senior residence terms do not need to be completed consecutively. All courses offered on campus for the fall, spring, and summer terms by Berkeley departments and programs and all Berkeley online ('W') courses count. Inter-campus Visitor, Education Abroad Program, UC Berkeley Washington Program, and UC Berkeley Extension units do not count toward this requirement.  Students may use Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence Requirement, provided that 6 units of coursework are completed.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in a fall, spring or summer UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program may meet a modified Senior Residence Requirement by completing 24 of their final 60 semester units in residence (excluding UCEAP). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after senior status is reached. International travel study programs sponsored by Summer Sessions and education abroad programs offered outside of the UC system do not qualify for modified senior residence.

Most students automatically satisfy the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless students go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through University Extension during their senior year. In these cases, students should make an appointment to see an adviser to determine how they can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Grade Requirements

  • A 2.0 UC GPA is required for graduation.
  • A 2.0 average in all upper division courses required of the major program is required for graduation.
  • A grade of at least C- is required in all courses for the major.  Major and minor coursework taken in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 may be completed with P/NP grading option.  See more details below.

Changes in Policies and Procedures during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, SUMMER 2021

After much consultation across the colleges of UC Berkeley, and via our college Executive Committee, the following decisions have been made about the selection of the P/NP grade option (CPN) by undergraduate students during the Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 semesters for the Rausser College of Natural Resources.

  • College Course Requirements: Reading and Composition, Quantitative Reasoning, and Foreign Language requirements normally satisfied with letter grades may be met with a passed (P) grade during the Fall 2020 semester.  This does not include the system-wide Entry Level Writing requirement. College Writing R1A must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a C or better to fulfill the Entry Level Writing requirement.

  • Requirements to Graduate: No changes in policy.

    • Rausser College students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to declare a Rausser College major.

    • Non-Rausser College students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative UC GPA to change to or add a Rausser College major.

    • Students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to graduate, both overall and in the upper-division courses required for the major.

  • Academic Probation: The terms for Academic Probation (AP) have been modified.

    • Rausser CNR students currently in good standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.  

    • Students currently in good standing who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing letter grades for more than 50% of units will be placed on academic probation and will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for the subsequent semester.

    • Students on AP must take all coursework for letter grades.  Students on AP may be removed from probationary status with sufficient letter graded course work to raise their cumulative GPA above 2.0. 

    • Students on Academic Probation who do not attain sufficient letter-graded coursework to be removed from AP (ie. enough grade points to raise cumulative GPA above 2.0 cumulative GPA) will remain on AP for the subsequent semesterand must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor.

    • Students on Academic Probation who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing letter grades for more than 50% of units will be Subject to Dismissal and will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for the subsequent semester.

  • Term Probation: Students in this category are placed on academic probation if their GPA falls below 1.5 in any fall or spring semester ("Term"). To get back into good standing, you must earn a UC Berkeley term GPA of 2.0 the following regular semester (fall/spring) and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. If you fail to meet these conditions, you will be subject to dismissal from the University.  For Fall 2020 & Spring 2021, the terms for Term Probation have been modified.

    • Rausser CNR students currently in good standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing and will not be placed on Term Probation.

  • Transferring Credit: If you are taking coursework through another institution in Fall 2020 & Spring 2021, P grades earned will be accepted for all degree requirements.  Note: This does not include the systemwide Entry Level Writing requirement. College Writing R1A must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a C or better to fulfill the Entry Level Writing requirement.

For additional information, please see Changes to Policies and Procedures for Fall 2020, Spring 2021, & Summer 2021.

Spring 2020

In light of the substantial disruptions to instruction caused by the novel coronavirus emergency, the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate made changes to grading options for the Spring 2020 semester.  Rausser College adjusted college requirements as follows:

  • College Course Requirements: All passing course work taken in Spring 2020 may be used for college requirements regardless of the grading option selected.

  • Requirements to Graduate: To graduate, Rausser College students usually must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to graduate, both overall and in the upper-division courses required for their major.  For Spring 2020, students with at least a 1.9 cumulative GPA overall and in the upper-division courses required for their major to graduate will be considered as having met the requirement.

  •  Academic Probation: Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rausser College of Natural Resources will not be penalizing any students’ academic progress for Spring 2020.  

    • Students in good academic standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.

    • Students, who are in good standing, who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing grades for more than 50% of units will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for Fall 2020 by September 11, 2020, but will not be placed on Academic Probation.

    • Students on Academic Probation may be removed from probationary status with sufficient letter graded course work to raise their cumulative GPA above 2.0. 

    • Students on Academic Probation who do not attain sufficient letter-graded coursework to be removed from AP (ie. enough grade points to raise cumulative GPA above 2.0 cumulative GPA) will remain on AP for Fall 2020 and must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor by September 11, 2020.

  • Term Probation: Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rausser College of Natural Resources will not be penalizing any students’ academic progress for Spring 2020. 

    • Students in good academic standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.

    • Students on Term Probation, but not AP, may be removed from probationary status with passing grades in at least 50% of units for Spring 2020.

    • Students on Term Probation at the start of Spring 2020 who earn NP, Incomplete, or failing grades for more than 50% of units must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor by September 11, 2020 and will remain on Term Probation.

  • Transferring Credit: If you are taking coursework through another institution in Spring 2020 (i.e. through Concurrent Enrollment or instead of being enrolled in Spring 2020 at UC Berkeley) and that institution has moved to a P/NP-default or P/NP-only grading model, P grades earned will be accepted for all degree requirements.

For additional information, please see Changes to Policies and Procedures for Spring 2020.

 

Student Learning Goals

Mission

The Ecosystem Management and Forestry (EMF) major at the University of California at Berkeley is designed to train tomorrow’s leaders in ecosystem science, policy, and management with an emphasis on the ecology, stewardship, and management of forest, woodland, and grassland ecosystems.  The program combines a foundation in the relevant natural and social sciences with explicit hands-on learning opportunities. Students completing this major will be prepared to engage policymakers and the public on the role and value of nature in our rapidly changing world.

The EMF major includes both a Forestry concentration that is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) and Natural Resource Management (NRM) concentration (SAF accreditation pending)

The Forestry concentration provides four years of qualifying education or professional experience for licensing as a professional forester in California. The goals of the Professional Forestry specialization are very closely associated with the educational requirements of the forestry profession and prepare our students for careers in forestry or closely related natural resource fields. When students graduate the EMF major with a Forestry concentration from UC Berkeley, they will have the basic knowledge and skills to assess and manage forest resources.  

The Natural Resource Management concentration trains students how to solve ecosystem problems that require interdisciplinary skills. Students can choose to emphasize such topics as wildlife biology, water policy, fire science, ecosystem restoration, environmental justice, remote sensing, and GIS, or rural sociology. Students who graduate the EMF major with an NRM concentration are well-positioned tack current environmental challenges (climate change, fire, sudden oak death, exurban development, drought, and novel ecosystems) while working industry, government or environmental organizations. 

Learning Goals for the Major

Forestry Concentration

Knowledge and skills are based on the four major subject areas required by the Society of American Foresters. These four subject areas and the basic competencies expected of students are as follows.

  1. Ecology and Biology

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Understanding of taxonomy and ability to identify forest species, their distribution, and associated habitat requirements.

      • Understanding of soil properties and processes, hydrology, water quality, and watershed functions.

      • Understanding of ecological concepts and principles including the structure and function of ecosystems, plant and animal communities, competition, diversity, population dynamics, succession, disturbance, and nutrient cycling.

      • Ability to make ecosystem, forest, and stand assessments.

      • Understanding of plant and animal physiology and the effects of climate, fire, pollutants, moisture, nutrients, genetics, insects and diseases on ecosystem health and productivity.

  2. Measurement of Forest and Natural Resources

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Ability to identify and measure land areas and conduct spatial analysis.

      • Ability to design and implement comprehensive inventories that meet specific objectives using appropriate sampling methods and units of measurement.

      • Ability to analyze inventory data and project ecosystem conditions.

  3. Management of Forest and Natural Resources

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Ability to develop and apply silvicultural and restoration prescriptions appropriate to management objectives including methods of establishing and influencing the composition, growth, and quality of forests and wildlands and understand the impacts of those prescriptions.

      • Ability to analyze the economic, environmental, and social consequences of resource management strategies and decisions.

      • Ability to develop management plans with specific multiple objectives and constraints.

      • Understanding of the valuation procedures, market forces, processing systems, transportation and harvesting activities that translate human demands for timber-based and other consumable natural resource products into the availability of those products.

      • Understanding of the valuation procedures, market, and non-market forces that avail humans the opportunities to enjoy non-consumptive products and services of forests and wildlands.

      • Understanding of the administration, ownership, and organization of forest and resource management enterprises.

  4. Resource Policy, Economics, and Administration

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Understanding of resource policy and the processes by which it is developed.

      • Understanding of how federal, state, and local laws and regulations govern the practice of forestry and resource management.

      • Understanding of professional ethics and recognition of the responsibility to adhere to ethical standards in decision-making on behalf of clients and the public.

      • Ability to understand the integration of technical, financial, human resources, and legal aspects of public and private enterprises.

Natural Resource Management Concentration

Knowledge and skills are based on the four major subject areas required by the Society of American Foresters. These four subject areas and the basic competencies expected of students are as follows:

  1. Fundamental Knowledge of Ecosystem Components and Ecosystem Functioning

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Knowledge of the elements of botany, zoology, entomology, plant pathology, plant physiology, and genetics essential to an understanding of higher‐order ecological processes.

      • An understanding of taxonomy and systematics and an ability to identify dominant and/or ecologically significant components of the flora and fauna of ecosystems at regional to continental scales.

      • Knowledge of the important life history characteristics of dominant and special‐concern species.

      • Knowledge of soil properties and processes, hydrology, water quality, and watershed functions.

      • An understanding of ecological concepts and principles including the structure and function of ecosystems, plant and animal communities, competition, diversity, population dynamics, succession, disturbance, and nutrient cycling;

      • An understanding of the effects of climate, fire, pollutants, moisture, nutrients, insects and diseases, and other environmental factors on ecosystem health and functioning at local and landscape scales.

  2. Measurement and Assessment of Ecosystem Components, Properties, and Functioning

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Ability to identify, measure, and map land areas and conduct spatial analyses.

      • Ability to design and implement accurate inventories and assessments of dominant or critical ecosystem components and services, ecosystem properties, and indicators of ecosystem health, including trees and other vegetation, vertebrate fauna, biodiversity, soil and water resources, timber, and recreational opportunities.

      • Ability to summarize and statistically analyze inventory and assessment data, evaluate the status of important ecosystem components, describe and interpret interactions and relationships, and project future ecosystem conditions.

  3. Identification and Evaluation of Management Objectives

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Understanding of the valuation procedures, including market and nonmarket forces, that apply to ecosystem goods and services such as timber, water, recreational opportunities, carbon and nutrient cycling, and plant and animal biodiversity.

      • Ability to explain the relationships between demand, costs of production, and availability of those goods and services.

      • Ability to describe procedures for measuring stakeholder values and managing conflicts in the evaluation and establishment of management objectives.

      • Ability to evaluate and understand the economic, ecological, and social trade‐offs of alternative land uses and ecosystem management decisions at local, regional, and global scales.

      • Knowledge and understanding of environmental policy as applied to ecosystems and the processes by which it is developed.

  4. Management Planning, Practice, and Implementation

    • Competencies must be documented as an:

      • Ability to develop and apply prescriptions for manipulating the composition, structure, and function of ecosystems to achieve management objectives, and to understand the impacts of those prescriptions at local and landscape scales.

      • Ability to identify and control or mitigate specific threats to ecosystems such as insects, diseases, fire, pollutant stressors, and invasive plants or animals.

      • Knowledge of the methods and procedures unique to the production of ecosystem goods and services such as timber, recreation, water, and wildlife populations.

      • Ability to describe the process of adaptive management and its application to the management of ecosystems.

      • Understanding of how federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply to management practice.

      • Ability to develop management plans with specific objectives and constraints that are responsive to ownership or stakeholder goals and demonstrate clear and feasible linkages between current condition and desired future condition.

      • Understanding of professional ethics, including the SAF Code, and recognition of the responsibility to adhere to ethical standards in the practice of natural resource management on behalf of clients and the public.

      • Ability to integrate the knowledge, understanding, and skills from prior coursework in the development of collaborative solutions to realistic management problems.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Ecosystem Management and Forestry Major Map PDF.

Advising

In the Rausser College of Natural Resources, we provide holistic, individual advising services to prospective and current students who are pursuing major and minors in our college. We assist with a range of topics including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience. If you are looking to explore your options, or you are ready to declare a major, double major, or minor, contact the undergraduate adviser for your intended major. Visit the Rausser College of Natural Resources website to explore all of our advising services.

Undergraduate Advisor

Sarah Rhoades
crs.emf.ugrad@berkeley.edu
260 Mulford Hall

Contact Information

Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

130 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-7430

Fax: 510-643-5438

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Michael Mascarenhas

145 Mulford Hall

mascarenhas@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advisor

Sarah Rhoades

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-7895

crs.emf.ugrad@berkeley.edu

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