Mar 30, 2023  
2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog 
2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Forest Ecosystem Science

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges and Programs

As pressures intensify among competing interests for use of the world’s resources, society is becoming increasingly aware of how valuable forest ecosystems are for protecting the economic and biological health of our planet. Unraveling the biological complexity of forest ecosystems relies on a strong foundation of knowledge in the natural sciences. To that end, the undergraduate program in Forest Ecosystem Science (FES) is designed to provide students with the breadth and depth of understanding required to become active participants in promoting the sustainability of our forests in the future.

The FES program is a partner to the long established Forestry program at the University of Maine. While the Forestry program focuses on the management of forests, the FES program emphasizes the biology of forest ecosystems from the molecular to the biosphere level. Examples of career opportunities which may be open to graduates of the FES program include monitoring and assessment of forest ecosystems, consulting on environmental issues, working with forest scientists doing research in private or public forests, and pursuing graduate studies in such areas as ecology, silviculture, forest health, tree improvement, or tree physiology.

Maine is the most forested state in the country and provides an ideal setting for studies in Forest Ecosystem Science. Teaching and research take advantage of the 1,700 acre Dwight B. Demeritt Forest located adjacent to campus and the 4,000-acre Penobscot Experimental Forest located in nearby Bradley. The latter is home to the Forest Ecosystem Research Project, an effort to develop innovative approaches for managing forests in ways that more closely mimic the natural system. On campus are greenhouse, laboratory, and computer facilities that enhance the opportunities to investigate and learn about trees and forests. As a result, the University of Maine is a recognized center for research on trees and forest ecosystems. This provides students in FES many opportunities for working with faculty on research projects and for developing their own research as part of their senior project.

The following undergraduate degree program is offered through the Department of Forest Ecosystem Science. Interested students may contact the department chair for more information.

Bachelor of Science in Forest Ecosystem Science

The bachelor of science degree in forest ecosystem science prepares the student for a scientific career in understanding and working with forests, and it is an excellent preparation for graduate studies. Core courses in forest resources cover topics such as forest biology, forest ecology, and silviculture. Supporting courses in basic sciences and mathematics are required in areas such as botany, chemistry, and statistics. Students in the FES program select additional elective courses to develop depth in areas such as applied forest ecology, forest health, forest soils, plant genetics, anatomy and physiology. Elective courses are also used to meet General Education Requirements for other subjects in the humanities and social sciences.


  1. Satisfy general education requirements.
  2. Forest Ecosystem Science (FES): 100, 407, 408, 409, 416, 498, 499, and INT 256
  3. Forestry (FTY): 101, 105, 107, 415
  4. Biology (BIO): 310, 452, 453
  5. Organic Chemistry: BMB 221
  6. Chemistry (CHY): 121, 122, 123, 124
  7. Physics (PHY): 111
  8. Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (PSE): 140/141 or 250
  9. Mathematics: MAT 151 or WLE 220, MAT 232 or FTY 104
  10. Economics: INT 110
  11. English (ENG): 101
  12. Elective courses needed to attain 120 credits.

Suggested Elective Courses for B.S. in Forest Ecosystem Science

PLEASE NOTE: The following courses are not required. The list represents courses that are recommended as possible elective courses. The list exists only to aid the student and advisor in decisions concerning possible elective courses, and is not exhaustive. General Elective courses are to be chosen from the elective credits.

Suggested curriculum for B.S. in Forest Ecosystem Science

First year - First Semester

First Year - Second Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

  • Credits: 3
  • See Footnote 8

  • Electives. Credits: 12

  • 1 BIO 464 - Taxonomy of Vascular Plants may be substituted, with advisor consent

    2 If a placement test indicates that MAT 122- Pre-calculus is not needed, then another elective can be scheduled

    3 FTY 104 - Statistical Inference for Forest Management may be substituted, with advisor consent

    4 GES 101 - Introduction to Geology may be substituted, with advisor consent

    5 PSE 250 - Forest Soil Science may be substituted, with advisor consent

    6 MAT 151, MAT 126, or MAT 437 may be substituted with advisor consent

    7CHY 251 - Organic Chemistry I may be substituted with advisor consent

    8 BIO 445 - Plant Genetics may be substituted, with advisor consent

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges and Programs