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Forestry – Restoration and Conservation Science Concentration

What is Forestry – Restoration and Conservation Science Concentration

The profession of forestry is the science, the art, and the practice of managing the natural resources that occur on and in association with forest lands and the Restoration and Conservation Science Concentration is focused on management needed to maintain and restore the health of our natural landscape. The program draws from many disciplines, and emphasizes forestry, ecology, soil and waters, and wildlife. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates who can evaluate terrestrial ecosystems and plan for the conservation of healthy ecosystems, the improvement of degraded ones, and the reclamation or restoration of severely disturbed land. In addition to the general education courses, the curriculum includes core courses in restoration, conservation, and the traditional forestry discipline. Students may choose from a broad range of technical courses, or may choose to focus their program on a particular aspect of restoring or conserving ecosystems such as wildlife habitat, watersheds, ecosystem construction, or ecology and biodiversity.

Career Opportunities in Restoration and Conservation Science

Students prepare for professional positions in the planning, development, and implementation of projects to maintain, improve or restore ecosystem function and health on private and public lands. Majors in Forestry: Restoration and Conservation Science are employed by environmental consulting companies, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, state parks, and non-profit organizations and foundations. Others go on to graduate degrees, such as the Master of Science (MS) in Forestry and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Natural Resources degrees offered through the graduate program in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Students receiving a MS in Forestry are hired by similar agencies as those with a BS; however, the opportunities for advancement and salary levels tend to be greater than for those with only a BS degree. Students receiving a Ph.D. in Natural Resources are generally interested in teaching and/or research at universities or other institutions or in serving in a variety of positions with conservation organizations and agencies.

Salary Trends in Restoration and Conservation Science

Salaries range from $22,000 to $42,000 in entry-level positions, rising with experience to an average salary of approximately $61,000 for workers with a BS degree. Some employers, such as state parks, provide housing and utilities in addition to a salary. Salaries vary depending on location, candidate’s abilities, and previous work experience.

High School Preparation

Students interested in restoration and conservation should focus on high school courses emphasizing science and math. Courses in biology, chemistry, and agriculture are particularly useful. Criteria for admission include successful completion of the full high school program, grade point average, and acceptable performance on the ACT or SAT tests. Students completing advanced placement high school courses may be able to test out of certain university courses following their enrollment at The University of Tennessee.

How to Major in Forestry – Restoration and Conservation Science Concentration

Students interested in majoring in Forestry: Restoration and Conservation Science should contact the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Each major is assigned a faculty member in Restoration and Conservation Science who advises the student with program planning and career counseling.

Requirements for Forestry – Restoration and Conservation Science Concentration

All students at UT are required to complete 14 courses as part of the general education requirement. These courses have been integrated into the forestry curriculum and are completed as part of the four-year curriculum. To meet these requirements, courses must be completed in English composition, mathematical sciences, humanities and the arts, historical studies, social sciences, natural sciences, and integrative studies.

All students in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries must also apply for permission to progress to junior- and senior-level classes in the Department. Students must obtain an overall 2.2 GPA in 13 core courses including English, mathematics, chemistry, botany, economics, public speaking, statistics, soil science, and ecology. In addition, each student must provide a statement of career goals, names of three references, a summary of work experience, and a transcript.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

A 4-6 week professional internship experience (3 credits) is required during the final 45 hours of credit in the program. The internship is a highly structured field experience guided by specific learning objectives pre-approved by the instructor and the field supervisor. In addition, most students acquire work experience during the summers preceding their junior and senior years, either through an internship or employment with private companies, non-profits, state or federal agencies. A faculty advisor will assist students in identifying work experience opportunities, and interviews for these positions are coordinated through the department.

Ready for the World

Students are encouraged to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs sponsored by CASNR. Other UT faculty-led and semester abroad programs are offered through the Center for International Education. CASNR does offer some scholarships for CASNR students participating in study abroad programs. Students, faculty and staff participate in the annual Unity through Diversity Dinner held each fall. Some students select a minor in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, go to

For More Information

Dr. Keith Belli
, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries 
427 Plant Biotech Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-4563
 (865) 974-7126


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.

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