Forest Conservation and Forest Biomaterials Science

Faculty List

Jay Malcolm, MSc, PhD
Sandy Smith, MSc, PhD
Sean Thomas, BA, PhD

Associate Professors
John Caspersen, BA, PhD
Patrick James, BSc, PhD

Assistant Professors
Sally Krigstin, MScF, PhD
Ben Kuttner MScF, PhD, RPF
Danijela Puric-Mladenovic, MScF, PhD

Professors Emeriti
P.L. Aird, BScAgr, MS, PhD 
R.B. Bryan, BA, PhD 
P.A. Cooper, BScF, MSc, PhD 
M. Hubbes, DipIngAgr, DrAgr 
A. Kenney, BScF, MSc, PhD
D.L. Martell, MASc, PhD


Forests have traditionally been managed primarily as sources of timber and revenue. However, there is increasing recognition of their immense cultural, social and environmental role, focused particularly by recent United Nations conferences in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg. Increasingly the focus of forest management has shifted to include biodiversity maintenance, ecological sustainability, and the protection of wildlife and their habitats. Canadians, as custodians of 10% of the remaining global forest cover, and 25% of the undisturbed frontier forest, have both the option and the responsibility to provide global leadership in forest conservation and sustainable forest management. Forest conservation programs prepare students for this critically important role by combining traditional ecological (biology, zoology) and physical (soil science, hydrology) sciences with social sciences. Forest conservationists increasingly focus on complex, emerging social and community issues, such as aboriginal rights and land tenure, protection of wilderness parklands, preservation of urban green space, and the use of forests for carbon sequestration.

Responsible stewardship of our forests and the changing focus from industrial timber production to forest conservation has greatly expanded the range of expertise necessary. Graduates can pursue a wide range of new career opportunities developing in private, government and non-government environmental organizations where forest conservationists increasingly work as members of multidisciplinary teams of environmental and resource managers. Graduates from forest conservation programs can also pursue graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines, including forest conservation, forestry, environmental sciences and international development.

Students may take a specialist 4-year degree leading to an H.B.A. in Forest Conservation or an H.B.Sc. in Forest Conservation Science. The arts program focuses on communal forest management, development of forest policies, forest economics and forest product trade, with electives in social sciences, while the science program concentrates on forest biology and ecology with electives in life and physical sciences.

The specialist programs provide a grounding in forest conservation with emphasis on breadth as well as research depth, and can particularly meet the needs of individuals who are considering graduate level education in forestry (M.F.C., M.Sc.F. or Ph.D.).

The major programs in Forest Conservation are intended to build on a student's interest in forestry and related issues. Students should consider combining these programs with a major in another related discipline such as environment, geography, biology, chemistry, urban studies or architecture.

A minor in Forest Conservation Science (Science program) and a minor in Forest Conservation (Arts program) are also available. Students should consider combining these programs with a minor in other related disciplines.

NOTE: Enrolment in the Forest Biomaterials Science Major and Minor has been administratively suspended as of 1 October 2020 and no new students are being admitted. Students presently enrolled in the Major or Minor will be able to complete the respective program requirements as described below.

The Forestry Undergraduate Administrator may be contacted at: