Oct 04, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Forest Resources

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs, Certificates, Specializations, Emphases

The School of Forest Resources (SFR), in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, offers graduate study leading to a non-thesis Master of Forestry, a Master of Science in Forest Resources and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources. Several faculty in the School participate in interdepartmental degrees offered through the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program. As of May 2018, the Master of Science and Ph.D. programs offered by the School may be in one of the following concentrations: Forest Ecosystem Science, Forest Policy and Economics, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Bioproducts Engineering and Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Students may choose from a wide range of specialties, including forest biological sciences (forest ecology, silviculture, forest genetics, soils, entomology, physiology, and pathology), forest biometrics (inventory, modeling, remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis), forest economics and policy, forest business administration,  forest management and planning, forest operations science, wood science and technology (bioenergy, wood composites, wood engineering, renewable nanomaterials), and forest-based parks, recreation, and tourism.

The forestry program at The University of Maine is one of the oldest in the United States with undergraduate degrees accredited since the early years of professional forestry in the United States. All graduate forestry degrees are offered under full University accreditation and, in addition, the Master of Forestry degree is accredited by the Society of American Foresters, meeting the educational requirements for professional licensure.

The School of Forest Resources is housed in Nutting Hall, with well-equipped laboratories for both basic and applied graduate research, greenhouse facilities on campus, and several field research stations throughout the state.

Maine, the most heavily forested state in the United States, sets the context for SFR research, though projects reach beyond state and national boundaries.  Much of the research in the SFR is field oriented, and there are a variety of ecosystems and socioeconomic conditions available for investigation. The College is responsible for the management of the Dwight B. Demeritt Forest, a 1,700-acre tract adjoining the campus, the 4,000-acre Penobscot Experimental Forest, and nearly 4,000 acres of other forest properties in Maine. In addition, Maine contains millions of acres of forest land that are under diverse management by large ownerships, forest industries, small ownership parcels, state and federal forests, and Acadia National Park. Through the cooperation of these diverse landowners, opportunities exist for silvicultural, on-site wood processing, and ecological studies. Maine’s systems of land use regulation and forest taxation and the state’s long-standing reputation as a “vacationland” for forest recreation provide other categories of potential research interest.

The Barbara Wheatland Geospatial Analysis Laboratory provides a center of excellence for geospatial analysis in graduate student and faculty research, along with undergraduate education and professional development. The lab houses computer workstations equipped with image processing and GIS software, and research leverages a data acquisition and image analysis program using manned and unmanned aircraft. The program supports numerous basic and applied research projects with the primary focus on exploring innovative ways to leverage remote sensing and geospatial technology for forest and natural resource management, environmental monitoring and conservation, forest ecosystem science and climate change.

Forestry graduate study opportunities are strengthened by association with strong research programs within the SFR College of Natural Sciences Forestry and Agriculture, elsewhere on the Orono campus, and in the region. The Center for Research on Sustainable Forests was established in 2006. The Center brings together University of Maine researchers working in the interdisciplinary areas of forest resources. The Center is a resource for the public regarding Maine forest research and the sustainability of Maine’s forests. The Cooperative Forestry Research Unit is funded by Maine landowners to conduct research on the intensive management of northeastern forest types. Graduate students studying in wood science & technology have access to world class equipment and researchers through strong ties to two research units on campus.  The Advanced Structures and Composites Center (https://composites.umaine.edu/) houses a 100,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility for materials and wood engineering research. The Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (www.forestbioproducts.umaine.edu) mission is to advance understanding of the scientific underpinnings, system behavior and policy implications for the production of forest-based bioproducts. An Acadian Forest Ecosystem Research Program carries on long-term research on the nearby Penobscot Experimental Forest. The USDA Forest Service research program in Orono (through the Northern Research Station) employs scientists who hold appointments among the College’s graduate faculty. A scientist from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is also stationed at the University of Maine facilitating scientific and research interactions with FPL scientists. Cooperative relationships also are common between the School of Forest Resources and several other University of Maine departments.



Students are admitted to the graduate programs in the School of Forest Resources on the basis of academic records, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, experience, and recommendations. All applicants requesting financial aid will be considered for the several teaching and research assistantships available each year; no additional application forms are required. Several private or government funded research assistantships secured by individual faculty are also available on a competitive basis. Applications for admission in the fall semester should be submitted by January 15, especially if the applicant is seeking financial aid. Undergraduate students in the School of Forest Resources may opt for continuing their studies to earn the non-thesis Master of Forestry (MF) degree, providing certain academic requirements are met (see the SFR website). This SFR ‘4+1’ MF option permits undergraduate students to take up to nine credits of graduate-level course work during their senior year, which would apply to both BS and MF degrees. Qualified undergraduates would apply to the SFR 4+1 program during their junior year.

Degree Requirements

In addition to meeting all of the requirements of the Graduate School, graduate students in the School of Forest Resources must select an advisory committee, develop a program of study, and prepare a thesis or project proposal as early in their programs as possible. Other course requirements are established by the student and their advisory committee. Master of Science students must pass a thesis defense upon completing their thesis without a dissenting vote of the advisory committee. Ph.D. students must take a mandatory comprehensive examination, consisting of both written and oral sections, usually administered after most of the student’s course work has been completed. Both this comprehensive examination, the passage of which is a prerequisite to further study, and the final examination at the end of a Ph.D. program may be passed with no more than one dissenting vote of the examining committee. 

Further Information

For details about specific aspects of the School of Forest Resources graduate programs, visit our web sites (https://forest.umaine.edu) or contact the Graduate Coordinator, currently Dr. Shawn Fraver; e-mail shawn.fraver@maine.edu.   

For the full list of Graduate Faculty please visit https://forest.umaine.edu/people/department/graduate-faculty/


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs, Certificates, Specializations, Emphases