Forest Resources Technology - Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Description

The Associate of Applied Science in Forest Resources Technology provides the education and practical skills needed to succeed as a technician in forestry and natural resource fields throughout the western U.S. Job opportunities exist in government agencies (both state and federal) and in private industry (contractors, consultants, and private companies). The U.S. Forest Service is the primary employer for graduates of this program.

Traditional forest technician positions are now often referred to as natural resource technicians. Technicians spend considerable time outdoors. Typical entry-level positions include forest management activities, such as evaluation of reforestation efforts, timber sale layout, tree measurements, forest damage assessment, and other required forest management activities. Additionally, entry-level natural resource technicians may perform noxious weed identification and eradication, plant and wildlife surveys, fire protection and suppression, and stream monitoring and restoration. 

The program has the advantage of being located near several national forests. Most program courses include outdoor lab opportunities, which provide hands-on experience and knowledge essential to being an effective natural resource technician. Additionally, students are able to take advantage of opportunities working with local agencies to develop and implement land management plans in the capstone course at the end of their second year.

The program is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Collect, quantify, and present information or data to promote informed decision making in natural resource management.
  2. Disseminate information effectively to diverse audiences either verbally or in writing via appropriate media.
  3. Enter data into multiple programs and analyze that data into useful outputs.
  4. Identify, describe, and apply ecosystem management techniques, including fire,  riparian, wildlife protection and implementation, and silvicultural prescriptions.
  5. Identify biological, abiotic, and cultural ecosystems to facilitate natural resource management.
  6. Demonstrate key attributes and ethical practices of a natural resource professional.
  7. Use mapping tools for navigation, planning, and to implement forest management.

Entrance Requirements

Academic Entrance Requirements

Recommended:

  • Completion of MTH 060 Beginning Algebra or higher or minimum placement Math Level 10
  • Completion of WR 065 Rhetoric and Critical Thinking II or higher or minimum placement Wr/Comm Level 7

Additional Program Costs (Beyond Standard Tuition/Fees and Textbooks)

Material Costs

  • Equipment (hardhat, boots, vest, compass, GPS, datum, plant press, hand lens, rain gear, field book, etc.): $665 to $915
  • Students are expected to provide their own appropriate field clothing and tools.

Enrollment Fees

  • Lab fees: approximately $250

Course Requirements

Course Title Credits
Core Courses
CIS 120Computer Concepts (or Computer Competency Test)0-4
FOR 100Forestry Program Orientation1
FOR 110Wildland Fire Science I2
FOR 111Forestry Perspectives4
FOR 126Field Studies Pacific NW Forests1
FOR 127Plants of the Pacific Northwest1
FOR 180Co-op Work Experience Forestry3
FOR 208Soils: Sustainable Ecosystems4
FOR 210Wildland Fire Science II2
FOR 211Supervision and Leadership3
FOR 215Forest Resource Capstone3
FOR 230AMap, Compass and GPS3
FOR 230BForest Surveying3
FOR 235Resource Measurements4
FOR 236Aerial Photo3
FOR 237Resource Sampling4
FOR 240AForest Ecology3
FOR 240BWildlife Ecology3
FOR 241AField Dendrology3
FOR 241BDendrology3
FOR 260Conservation of Natural Resources3
FOR 271Applied Forest Ecology3
FOR 272Forest Entomology/Pathology3
FOR 273Silviculture and Harvesting Systems5
Forestry Resource Elective 12
FW 218Survey of Northwest Mammals2
or FW 212 Survey of Northwest Birds
GEOG 265Geographic Information Systems4
Other Required Courses
HHP 252AFitness/First Aid3
Discipline Studies Courses8
MTH 102Applied Technical Mathematics (or choose one course from the foundational requirements math list)4
Choose one course from the following:3-4
Introduction to Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Small Group Communication
WR 121Academic Composition 34
Total Credits97-102

Advising Notes

This program can be completed within two years provided the student is adequately prepared to take MTH 102 Applied Technical Mathematics and WR 121 Academic Composition and coursework starts Fall term. Students entering in Winter or Spring term and/or who require developmental writing and/or math courses can complete the program within three years.

This degree is designed for students planning to enter their chosen career upon graduation. As such, only selected credits are considered transferable to public or private baccalaureate institutions. This will vary by institution. Institutions with which COCC has articulation agreements in forest resources technology are Oregon State University and Oregon State University-Cascades.

Students planning to transfer to Humboldt State University, Oregon State University, or the University of Idaho to acquire a Bachelor of Science degree should meet with a forestry program advisor to discuss current transfer requirements. Many of the required undergraduate courses for the Bachelor of Science degrees can be taken at COCC and transferred accordingly.

Students are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor in the forestry program to discuss a two- or three-year educational plan. Students who have obtained a degree or completed coursework from another institution may be able to transfer some coursework to apply toward the AAS in Forest Resources Technology. A meeting with faculty or their advisor is strongly recommended.

Performance Standards

  • Academic Requirements:
    • Students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA to earn a COCC certificate or degree.
    • All courses in the program must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

Sample Plan

Sample Plan Grid
First Year
FallCredits
FOR 100Forestry Program Orientation1
FOR 111Forestry Perspectives4
FOR 230AMap, Compass and GPS3
FOR 240AForest Ecology3
FOR 241AField Dendrology3
MTH 102Applied Technical Mathematics (choose one course from the foundational requirements math list)4
 Credits18
Winter
CIS 120Computer Concepts (Computer Competency Test)0-4
FOR 230BForest Surveying3
FOR 235Resource Measurements4
FOR 271Applied Forest Ecology3
 Credits10-14
Spring
FOR 110Wildland Fire Science I2
FOR 126Field Studies Pacific NW Forests1
FOR 127Plants of the Pacific Northwest1
FOR 236Aerial Photo3
FOR 241BDendrology3
FOR 272Forest Entomology/Pathology3
WR 121Academic Composition 34
 Credits17
Summer
FOR 180Co-op Work Experience Forestry3
 Credits3
Second Year
Fall
FOR 210Wildland Fire Science II2
FOR 240BWildlife Ecology3
FOR 273Silviculture and Harvesting Systems5
HHP 252AFitness/First Aid3
Choose one of the following:3-4
Introduction to Intercultural Communication 
Interpersonal Communication 
Small Group Communication 
 Credits16-17
Winter
FOR 211Supervision and Leadership3
FOR 237Resource Sampling4
Forest Resource Elective 12
GEOG 265Geographic Information Systems4
Discipline Studies Course4
 Credits17
Spring
FOR 208Soils: Sustainable Ecosystems4
FOR 215Forest Resource Capstone3
FOR 260Conservation of Natural Resources3
FW 218
Survey of Northwest Mammals
Survey of Northwest Birds
2
Discipline Studies Course4
 Credits16
 Total Credits97-102

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