Education in the Field of Forestry

Moderator: Hans Heinimann, Coordinator IUFRO Division 3, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Friday, 14 June 2013, 8:00-10:00 (Santa Rosa 2)

Find more information on the IUFRO Task Force of Education in Forest Science at:

In this session the speakers gave examples of specific education systems and related in Latin America, Europe and the USA.

One major expectation of forest education is a shift in the focus of the general research field from “forestry” to “forests” including the transformation of the future graduates’ image. There is also evidence that linear career progressions have decreased and thus, roles and skills of forest students are required to adapt to changes.

One of the major future challenges for developing student skills is that education needs to be outcome driven; in many systems however it is still content driven. The employability and thus, the adaptation of education systems to the demands of future employers have gained far more importance.

Moreover the need for teachers to cultivate curiosity, passion and creativity in their students has been identified. General demands put forward for consideration in the process of transforming forest studies include the approach of convergent thinking and a shift away from linear thinking.

The gender and minority involvement in forest and natural management studies also requires more research. Furthermore, the accreditation of study programs and thus the comparability of degrees have been addressed by the speakers. Complex issues that involve changing demographics, structure of universities, social trends, and state budgets are among the challenges which many education institutions face.

In conclusion, the main change of education that is required is that foresters are expected to have greater competencies in many different subject areas including the fields of natural resources and landscape management.

Presentations in this session:

Education in forest science in the XXI century – expectations and reality. (Piotr Paschalis- Jakubowicz, Warsaw University, Poland)

Escuelas medias de ensenanza forestal: ¿son necesarias? (Osvaldo Encinas, ULA, Venezuela)

The European system of higher education after the Bologna reform – Dreams and realities, Hans R. Heinimann (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Trends in accredited forestry education programs in the United States. (Kevin Ohara, University of California, Berkely, USA)

Evolution and changes in forestry curricula over the last decades as exemplified by Faculty of Forestry in Krakow, Poland. (Gil Waldemar, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland)

Trends in Undergraduate Enrollments in Forestry and Related Areas of Natural Resources in the U.S. with Respect to Gender and Race/Ethnicity. (Terry Sharik, Michigan Technological University, USA)