Forestry Technician (Optional Co-op) Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Accepting Applications for January 2019

See curriculum for: September 2019
Credential: Ontario College Diploma ( 4 semesters )
Classes begin:
January 07, 2019
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$2,206.87 per semester*
$8,004.19 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 1

Units/ Hours: 45

This course will enable students to apply specific mathematical concepts and acquire foundation skills important in the Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences. It is designed to complement and reinforce learning within other first semester courses and program areas.

COMM 201
Units/ Hours: 45

Communications I is an introductory course that provides a foundation in college-level communications by teaching students to read critically, write appropriately for a variety of audiences, conduct and cite research, and revise for clarity and correctness. In seminars and labs, students will engage in both independent and collaborative activities, including the development of a digital portfolio designed to help them become more effective communicators in academic and professional environments.

Units/ Hours: 60

Learn how nature works by studying the key components of the ecosystems in the Kawartha Lakes Region. Through field and lab exploration of wild life, landforms, forests, lakes, rivers and wetlands, students will see the connections between themselves, the environment and ecosystems that surround them.

Units/ Hours: 60

This course will focus on three areas of study: identification, field and lab skills. Students will identify and classify the living and non-living components of the specific ecosystems described in the Ecology and Environment (ENVR 20) course. Field skills to be developed include the ability to navigate through the natural environment and use a variety of ecosystem inventory techniques. Special emphasis will be placed on safe work habits in lab and field.

GEOM 122
Units/ Hours: 90

In this course, students will learn to collect, record, interpret and manage spatial and non-spatial data from a variety of disciplines within the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences. The use of information technology will be used to manipulate and integrate data in a Geographic Information System, and recognized cartographic standards will be applied to create maps for use in their field of study.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course will enable students to develop a personal position and direct their career path within the context of the environmental and natural resource industry. An integrated, community based learning approach will be used to identify and apply a personal understanding of leadership, sustainability and community in the context of natural resource sciences.

Semester 2

APST 154
Units/ Hours: 21

This 7 week course is designed to equip students with the skills needed for their work search and to develop and enhance career planning skills. Students will learn how to write competitive job search documents, interview with confidence, and will develop and use their career portfolio as a tool to identify and incorporate career goals into the job search process.

COMM 202
Units/ Hours: 45

Communications II, building on the foundation of Communications I, is a blended course that teaches students to write and communicate for a variety of professional situations. In seminars, labs and online modules, students will develop a professional portfolio that demonstrates their abilities to meet the challenges of a changing workplace.

Units/ Hours: 45

The ecological role of fire in Canada's boreal forest is one of renewal. Many species rely on wildfires for creating conditions to favour their regeneration: this creates a rich, ecologically diverse landscape that supports many species, both tree and animal, on which economies are based. One theme of this course will be to strengthen knowledge and application of initial attack fire suppression tactics and strategies. The role of fire as a silvicultural tool (e.g. prescribed burning) will be the second major theme of this course.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course deals with specific measurements and assessment methods for forests. The course involves laboratory sessions and field trips. Measurement of tree height, tree diameter, basal area, land area and tree volume is studied. Fixed area sampling, point sampling and tree marking are field trip topics.

Units/ Hours: 21

The Common Lecture/Lab portion of the Soil Studies course provides an introduction to the physical and chemical properties of soils. Students develop skills in the identification and classification of soil, physical and index properties, textures, soil moisture, soil porosity, and other aspects of soil science using a variety of field and laboratory methods.

Units/ Hours: 21

Soil Studies II course for the Ecosystem Management and Forestry Technician Programs continues with physical and chemical properties of soils and introduces the biological component required for the understanding of forest soils. The student will determine soil textures, pH; moisture regimes and drainage, identification of mineral and organic soil profiles: application of the Forest Ecosystem Classification methodology, and perform a soil/site description in the field. Throughout the course analytical skills will be developed that are typical of site evaluation and environmental studies.

Units/ Hours: 60

This course deals with the identification of approximately 100 species of trees and shrubs of importance to those managing the forests resources of Ontario. Throughout the semester identification features for common trees and shrubs in both summer and winter condition are introduced and applied. A number of field trips are utilized to assist students with their identification skills. In the weekly lecture series topics such as tree growth, reproduction, photosynthesis, respiration, forest ecology and uses of trees will be introduced. At the completion of the course students will have a sound working knowledge of dendrology. The skills introduced in this semester may then be used in following semesters when working with Forest Ecosystem Classification, Restoration Ecology, Conservation Planning and other habitat management situations.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course is an introduction to a range of skills in wildlife observation. A variety of wildlife species may be present in an environment despite not being seen. Important skills include visual and auditory identification of wildlife signs. The primary emphasis in this course will be on identification of wildlife signs such as tracks, trail patterns, scat, skulls, impacts on the environment, bird song and amphibian calls. Documentation of wildlife observation will be practiced regularly. Field guides, photography, binoculars and spotting scopes will be used to document wildlife sightings and their signs.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course is an introduction to the study of Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) peoples in Canada. Students will explore the complex historical and contemporary relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The course will also guide students to begin to understand the diversity and depth of Indigenous societies, worldviews, and knowledge through a multi-disciplinary lens.

Semester 3

Units/ Hours: 21

This course will allow the student to gain experience in developing a large community based project. Projects, such as woodlot conferences, are organized, marketed and presented to target audiences of different ages or levels of skill. Students will be challenged to assign responsibilities, create and maintain satisfactory working relationships with the client, accept feedback, meet project deadlines, manage the production of deliverables and formally present their findings.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides an introduction to remote sensing and the interpretation of physical, biological and cultural features from remote sensed digital images. The student will have the opportunity to work with traditional remote sensing methods, current techniques and developing technology. By the end of semester the student will acquire a range of skills to analyze and interpret a wide variety of remote sensed data.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course deals with the natural factors affecting the establishment and growth of trees individually and in communities, and how these factors affect the future development of plant communities according to the principle of succession. The development of plantations and woodlots will be examined from a successional point of view. Students will examine, in detail, the use of site classification systems and soil surveys as tools in silviculture decision making.

Units/ Hours: 45

Students of the Forestry, Arboriculture and Urban Forestry Certificate/Technician programs possess an excellent foundation in the 'normal growth' of trees. This course introduces students to the study of insects and diseases of forest and urban trees. Identification, classification, and control measures of commercially important insects, pathogens and diseases are examined. The emphasis is on the pests of forest and urban trees and a collection of such specimens.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course examines the principles of managing forests for biological diversity, the forest management policies used currently across Canada, and the techniques of forest resource analysis. Students are expected to have a basic competence in the use of computer spreadsheets and DOS. Spatial forest analysis will be introduced via a geographical information system (GIS).

Units/ Hours: 45

This course stresses the practical skills required for effective forest navigation in Canada. The student will learn how to effectively use a GPS and its communication / map software for forestry related work. Traditional survey equipment (levels and total stations) will be incorporated into the practical hands on labs. The student will develop a solid understanding of survey concepts required as a forest technician. The instructor will specify what type of GPS the student must purchase for the course.

Units/ Hours: 40

The Forestry Fall Camp is a five day on-site field activity located in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence/ Boreal forest region north of Algonquin Park, Ontario at the Canadian Ecology Centre ( This course involves a variety of current forestry activities, including silvicultural audits, forest ecosystem assessments, forest renewal audits and cruising techniques. During the camp each student will develop skills in the use of chainsaws, brushsaws, global positioning systems (GPS) and forest measurement tools. Students will develop skills in working in a team environment using the latest industrial safety standards.

FSTY 102
Units/ Hours: 45

Semester 4

Units/ Hours: 45

Students will create an annual harvesting plan which illustrates commitment to protecting all forest values while at the same time optimizing the economic environment of a cost effective harvesting operation. Areas of discussion include seasonal harvesting progression: road location and costing: harvesting systems and equipment applicability and costs: wood transportation systems and costing: forest management agreements: areas of concern and management guidelines for aquatic, terrestrial, social, cultural and economic environments

Units/ Hours: 60

This course examines the mensurational skills required to develop and implement silvicultural prescriptions. A review of tree measurement and an introduction to new equipment is accomplished by indoor and field labs. Design of inventory systems is covered in lecture and performed in field labs. Measurement and evaluation of all- aged hardwood and even-aged pine stands are carried out in field labs. These labs are designed to demonstrate the skills required for management of those stands according to provincial tree marking guidelines.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides insight into the traditional end uses of wood products and by-products. Topics such as dimensional lumber saw milling, veneer production, and pulp and paper technology for roundwood, chips, and recycled paper will be covered. Throughout the course, the techniques of wood scaling and measurement will be presented. This course provides students with a sound understanding of the variety of wood end uses. Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the use of bandsaw mills.

Units/ Hours: 45

In this course, students will examine the factors affecting artificial stand establishment and the practices used to establish new stands. Basic information on seed production and collection will be covered. Students will discuss site preparation techniques and equipment. The silvicultural techniques used to improve the final product in established stands, both artificial and natural, will be explained and observed in lectures and field situations. Students will examine silvicultural treatments from a contracting point of view to expose them to tendering procedures.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course introduces the students to tree anatomy, tree physiology, urban soil conditions, tree installation and the impact of construction on tree health. Field trips deal with tree selection, tree pruning, tree reaction to wounding and an introduction to hazard tree assessment.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course deals with woody plant propagation within greenhouse and bare-root nurseries for both natural and urban landscapes as well as for forest management. This course also addresses preservation and care of horticultural plants for human well-being in urban settings. Topics include tree seed processing, stratification, germination, seedling culture, cutting propagation, nursery soils, fertilizers, irrigation, and quality control. Special emphasis will be placed on plant selection, plant growth and responses, horticultural practices, preventative maintenance, nursery stock handling, plant-to-soil relationships, and overall seedling physiology.

Units/ Hours: 45

All graduates of diploma programs require general education credits. These courses allow you to explore issues of societal concern by looking at the history, theory and contemporary applications of those issues.

Your program has designated some required general education courses. In addition, you have the opportunity to choose from a list of electives each semester.

Many of these courses and some other general education courses are also available through evening classes, by distance education, or on-line. See our Part-Time Studies Calendar for these opportunities.

You may already possess general education equivalencies from other colleges or universities. Please see the General Education Co-ordinators at the Peterborough and Lindsay locations for possible exemptions.