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Forestry, General


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What to Expect

Most forestry programs don't get into forestry-specific classes until about the third year. Students spend the first couple years mastering the basic sciences.

"It's really important to get those basic skills down," advises Sara Kohan, who took forestry at the University of Montana. She says the skills learned in these early classes will be applied later. She also suggests memorizing the basic trees and insects while hiking.

Lisa Verkely, who studied forestry, agrees that in the first year, a lot of the classes are basic -- chemistry, biology, English and computers. "They aren't specifically focused at forestry, but are important," she says.

She advises others to stick with it. "By your fourth year, you will be living and breathing forestry, so it just blends into your life!" she says.

Verkely enjoys the fact that the professors in her program know the students personally. Because the department is close, professors "are more than happy to clear things up, and provide help any way they can," she says.

Aaron Lambie says a typical day in his forestry program included science and math in the morning, with hands-on training in the afternoon. "We [did] tree volume estimation, twig identification, market value of timber, wildlife populations, etc.," he says.

Lambie was surprised by the amount of effort required to complete his work. He had three to four hours of homework each day. He says students have to be organized to keep on top of things.

Forestry- or nature-related volunteer work while in high school or college may be an easy way to break into the business, says Lambie.


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