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Department of Forestry

About the Department of Forestry:

The Department of Forestry houses the Forestry and Conservation Management programs. Areas of study focus on the management of forest and rangeland ecosystems, the natural resources and biodiversity they contain, and the ecosystem services they provide.

Programs emphasize the sustainable adaptive management of forests and rangeland through the application of ecological principles and knowledge, in conjunction with an understanding of economics, human dimensions, and law and policy.

The Department of Forestry offers instructional programs leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Forestry, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Conservation Management, and minors in Wildland Fire and Wildlife Management.

The NMHU Forestry program is accredited by the Society of American Foresters and is the only accredited Forestry program in the State of New Mexico.

Society of American Foresters Accreditation:

The B.S. Forestry program at New Mexico Highlands University is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

More information on the Society of American Foresters accreditation may be found at this external link.

Conservation Management

Conservation Management provides students with skills to integrate the diverse array of social, political, legal, institutional, cultural, economic, ecological, and biophysical considerations inherent in attaining environmental and resource management goals. This degree prepares students for a variety of careers in research, industry, education, government, or public service.

Students must complete a total of 43 to 46 hours in anthropology, biology, chemistry, forestry, and geology. The University requires at least 45 credit hours in upper (300-400 level) courses. The B.A. in Conservation Management requires a minor.

Programs 

B.S. Forestry

Forestry is the application of scientific principles to the sustainable management of forest resources, including a wide range of ecosystem services (e.g., non-timber forest products, wildlife, medicinal herbs, and craft materials), fresh water, and biodiversity. The primary goal of the forestry program is to train technically competent forest and natural resources managers who understand the ecological notions that underpin human use of forest resources.

Graduates of the Forestry Program meet all federal requirements for employment as a professional forester. Students receive training in the various techniques used to determine resource quantities and qualities, economic values, and social constraints in the management of natural resources. Students who major in forestry are not required to take a minor. A summer field course is required of all students prior to their graduation. Students who wish to pursue graduate degrees should talk to an adviser about recommended coursework.

The B.S. in Forestry offers two concentrations of study – Forestry Management and Wildland Fire. The Forestry Management concentration focuses on the management of timber as well as a wide range of ecosystem services produced by private and public lands. The Wildland Fire program, one of the few in the country, offers state-of-the-art instruction in the use and management of fire on the broad landscapes of the west.

In this era of rapid environmental change, these forestry fields are in increasing demand. After graduation, New Mexico Highlands University forestry students are prepared to meet that demand and embark on exciting and rewarding careers. The NMHU Forestry Program is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

B.A. Conservation Management

Conservation Management provides students with skills to integrate the diverse array of social, political, legal, institutional, cultural, economic, ecological, and biophysical considerations inherent in attaining environmental and resource management goals. This degree prepares students for a variety of careers in research, industry, education, government, or public service.

Students must complete a total of 43 to 46 hours in anthropology, biology, chemistry, forestry, and geology. The University requires at least 45 credit hours in upper (300-400 level) courses. The B.A. in Conservation Management requires a minor.

M.S. Natural Sciences with a Concentration in Environmental Science and Management

The Department of Forestry offers an MS Natural Science degree with a concentration in Environmental Science & Management. This program is designed around a core set of foundational courses after which students develop individualized programs of study (course work plus independent research) that incorporate each student’s distinctive background, educational goals, and career objectives. Students gain experience in the design, execution, and reporting of scientific research by completing a master’s thesis (thesis option) or an independent study/research project (non-thesis option).

The M.S. in Natural Science provides a unique opportunity for students to broaden their educational experience to include courses from fields they are less likely to encounter at traditional graduate programs as they prepare for employment in industry, government, or education or entry into doctoral programs.

Graduate admission requirements

Graduate Coordinator:
Dr. Julie Tsatsaros

Email: jtsatsaros@nmhu.edu
Phone: 505-454-3033

Requirements:

  1. Statement of educational goals
  2. Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty
  3. Transcripts from all previously attended regionally accredited institutions (3.0 GPA or higher). Will consider those who do not meet the GPA requirement.

Deadlines:
Rolling admissions
Admit for fall and spring terms

B.S. Forestry Graduate Placement Rates

Academic Year Placement* (%)

2019-2020 **

2018-2019 **

2017-2018: 100
USDA Forest Service, New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute

2016-2017: 100
USDA Forest Service

2015-2016: 67
USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute

2014-2015: 80
USDA Forest Service

2013-2014: 86
USDA Forest Service, USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, Graduate School

2012-2013: 100
USDA Forest Service, Graduate School

2011-2012: 86
USDA Forest Service, Graduate School

2010-2011: 67
USDA Forest Service, New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute

2009-2010: 100
USDA Forest Service, NM EMNRD Forestry Division, USDI Bureau of Land Management

2008-2009: 100
USDA Forest Service, Graduate School

2007-2008: 83
USDA Forest Service, NM EMNRD Forestry Division, NM State Parks, USDI National Park Service

2006-2007: 100
USDA Forest Service

* Placement in jobs in their field of study or graduate school based on recent graduate survey responses

** Data under collection

NEWS! Forestry department gets major grant from National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation has announced an award of $5 million to establish a Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology for Forest Restoration at New Mexico Highlands University. This award, received jointly by NMHU Forestry, the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute, and NMSU’s John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center, heralds the beginning of an exciting new era for forestry in the Southwest. We look forward to engaging current and new students in the activities of this new Center of Research Excellence. More news will be forthcoming in early spring 2020 about our new NSF Center.

New Mexico Highlands University offers the only bachelor’s degree in forestry in New Mexico. Students majoring in forestry at the undergraduate level may choose a concentration in forest management or wildland fire. The program also offers a master of science degree in natural resource management. The program is continually changing to give students a real-world understanding of ecological functions and emerging modern technologies like global positioning systems, geographic information systems, and computerized data collection.

 

Important Dates

  • 03

    Aug

    Online orientation ONGOING

  • 18

    Aug

    Online convocation: Welcome New Highlands Family!

  • 31

    Aug

    Through 8/31: Virtual Cowboy Art Exhibition in Ray Drew Gallery

Forestry Department

Faculty

Forestry Department

  • Joshua L. Sloan, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor and Chair
    Department of Forestry
    Forest Mensuration, Silviculture, and Forest Management

    jlsloan@nmhu.edu

  • Alan Barton, Ph.D., J.D.

    Law and Policy, Human Dimensions; New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute

    awbarton@nmhu.edu

  • James R. Biggs, Ph.D.

    Wildlife Ecology and Management, Wildland Fire; Department of Forestry

    jrbiggs@nmhu.edu

  • Blanca Cespedes, Ph.D.

    Wildland Fire and Fire Ecology; Department of Forestry, Forestry Program Coordinator

    bcespedes@nmhu.edu

  • John Formby, Ph.D.

    Wildland Pest Management, Entomology; New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department's Forestry Division

    johnformby@nmhu.edu

  • Maureen Romine, Ph.D.

    Dendrology; Department of Biology

    romine_m@nmhu.edu

  • Julie Tsatsaros, Ph.D.

    Water Science; Department of Forestry

    jtsatsaros@nmhu.edu

  • Joseph P. Zebrowski, M.S.

    Geographic Information Systems; Department of Forestry

    jpzebrowski@nmhu.edu

Graduate Career Fields

  • Conservation Scientist and Forester
  • Environmental Scientist and Specialist
  • Natural Science Manager
  • Water Conservation Manager

Mission of the Forestry Program

The mission of the Department of Forestry is to engage in teaching, research, and service in forestry to promote the sustainable management of forest resources. The Forestry teaching program seeks to enhance the competency and excellence of the forestry profession. The undergraduate Forestry degree program is designed to educate well-rounded, technologically proficient, and ecologically aware forest managers, providing them with a background sufficient to enable them to support the continued health, integrity, and use of forests for the benefit of society. Being part of a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), the Forestry program seeks to address the needs of underrepresented students in the forestry profession.