BC institutions revise forestry curriculum

July 18, 2012

It has not been easy to convince young people to get involved in the forestry industry in BC. Enrolment numbers in UBC's forestry faculty dropped to a record low of 120 students in the 2002-03 academic year, down from an annual average of 450 students in the 1990s. The faculty has trimmed some of the technical content of its programming, replacing it with greater emphasis on social values. Students have responded positively to the curriculum revisions, with enrolment once again on a slow, but steady upward trend. At BCIT, academic leaders renamed the 2-year forest technology diploma program (now called sustainable resource management technology) to better reflect both the interest of students and the skills requirement of employers. The program is a blend of technology, core sciences, and broader social and cultural values associated with the forest. Among the offerings is a new focus on urban forestry, which is so popular, colleges across BC are now looking at doing something similar. Vancouver Sun