Today, roughly 75% of the US population lives and works in urban/suburban communities. As this change in demographics continues to accelerate, it places increased pressure on the ecological resources of these spaces. Georgia is undergoing these same demographic changes, but at a greater rate than the rest of the nation. In response to this demographic shift, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the creation of the new Undergraduate Certificate Program in Community Forestry. This certificate program was developed because no single existing degree program covered the complexity and breadth of urban and community forestry and tree health care.
Description of the Program
The program focuses on management of individual trees, groups of trees and forest stands growing in the urban and suburban areas, including those that grow among urban hardscapes and infrastructure. This is a multi-disciplinary certificate program administered by the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the College of Environment and Design, and the Department of Horticulture at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. While focused on students registered at the three administering units, the program is open to all UGA students.
The Community Forestry Certificate Program provides a common curriculum to meet the needs of community forest managers. Courses included within the Community Forestry Certificate Program provide critical experiences and learning opportunities for students in a diverse group of subjects, all of which are essential for successful career placement, development, and advancement.
The Community Forestry Certificate is earned and awarded upon satisfactory completion of 17-20 credit hours of required courses (most within the student’s major), and a minimum of 12 credit hours of approved elective courses used to better define a specialty within Community Forestry. A total of 29-32 semester credit hours are required for the Community Forestry Certificate. Students outside the three sponsoring academic units are eligible to earn the Certificate, but pursuing the certificate may extend their time at the University.
Required courses cover the following subject areas:
- Applied Ecology
- Landscape Horticulture
- Technical Arboriculture
- Tree Identification & Site Requirements
- Tree Pest Identification & Treatment
- Urban and Community Forest Management
- Urban Landscape Planning
Elective courses (no more than 7 credits in any one area) fall into five specialty areas of urban and community forestry and tree health care knowledge and practice. Elective courses include:
- Urban Trees and Sites
- Ecological Basis for Sustainable Systems
- Urban Landscape Planning & Design
- Human Dimensions
- Business Practice