The Urban Forestry, Environment, and Natural Resources Department offers a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph.D. degrees in Urban Forestry. In addition to the B.S. Degree in Urban Forestry, the B.S. Program also offers three concentrations: Environmental Studies, Geospatial Technologies, and Natural Resources Sustainability. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates who can evaluate, plan, and resolve problems of urban forest ecosystem and contribute to the environmental well-being of urban societies. The central theme of our instruction is that urban forests are essential to society, and their scientific management is necessary to ensure a sustainable flow of commodity and non-commodity benefits from urban forest ecosystems.
The B.S. in Urban Forestry Degree Program is a fully accredited degree program by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In December 2020, the Department reached a significant milestone in the history of SU as it became the nation’s first Urban Forestry Bachelor Degree Program accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). The SAF Accreditation is a form of quality assurance that declares to the professional community and to the world at large that SU’s Urban Forestry Bachelor Degree Program meets the quality standards set by the profession.
Many career opportunities are available to urban forestry graduates for entry-level jobs with federal and state governmental agencies, municipalities, private industries, academia, non - profit organizations, utility companies, private and governmental agencies, research and teaching institutions, tree care and landscape companies, and consulting services. Graduates may also pursue graduate studies in urban forestry and related sciences. The program provides a solid background for pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. in Urban Forestry and other Natural Resources (refer to the SU Graduate Catalog). The Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Forestry provides a solid background for pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. in Urban Forestry (refer to the SU Graduate Catalog), environmental studies, and other Natural Resources. The Department has the most comprehensive urban forestry higher education program in the nation and a leader in building the diverse talented next generation of urban forestry and natural resources professionals in the country.
The Department offers strong integrated education, research and outreach components by providing services to the state, region and the nation. The Department was awarded as Department of Excellence through Faculty Excellence (DEFE) by the Louisiana Board of Regents since 2003 in 1997. The Department is awarded as the Most Productive Department in 2015 by Southern University System. The faculty members have strong academic profile with expertise in many critical areas of urban forestry and natural resources. Many assistantships and scholarship opportunities exist for the students.
The Department has strong partnerships with the local, state and national entities. It is a member of the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP). The Department is in partnership with the federal agencies, including the USDA. A special mutual partnership exists with the USDA-NIFA and the US Forest Service. The Department is also in partnership and collaboration with many scientific and professional societies, including the Society of American Foresters (SAF), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). In addition, the program offers strong international and global competency initiative in partnership with the federal agencies and international universities.
The graduates are contributing to the workforce by being employed as Urban Foresters (City, State, Federal, and Arboricultural Industries), Natural Resources Managers, Expert Consultants, Municipal Arborists, GIS and Mapping Specialists, National Park System (NPS) and US Forest Service Employees, Extension Agents, Natural Resource Conservation Agents, Foresters, Industrial Arboriculture Managers, Landscape and Ground Managers, Conservation and Environmental Managers, Green Building and Urban Greening specialists, Graduate Assistants, USDA Employees, Scientists, Environmental Experts, and Higher Education Faculty & Staff.
Mission, Vision, Core Values, Goals, Objectives, and
Program Learning Outcomes
The mission of the Department is to provide high quality education, research, and public service in urban forestry, environment, and natural resources to diverse students both at undergraduate and graduate levels, and to the general public. The vision is to provide new knowledge, access, and opportunity to students and general public relative to urban forestry, environment, and natural resources through education, research, and service. The core values are: 1. Student First - Students are the central focus of the Department. Student recruitment, advisement, career guidance, retention, completion, placement, and overall professional development are the top priorities; 2. Academic Excellence - Provide high quality education, research and services to students and to general public; 3. Research and Scholarship - Makes every effort in research that generates new knowledge utilized in teaching and services; 4. Partnership and Collaboration - Emphases on partnerships with governmental agencies both at federal and state levels, universities, private industries, and not for profit organizations; and 5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Promotes diversity, equality, and inclusion, and provides education, research, services, and professional development opportunities for diverse student body, faculty, and clienteles.
The Department’s goals are: 1. Reinforce the commitment to education by producing high quality graduates for the workforce; 2. Strengthen the commitment to cutting edge needs-based research programs in urban forestry, environment, and natural resources; 3. Support the commitment to a dynamic and comprehensive service and outreach program that successfully meets the needs of the citizenry; 4. Elevate the department to flagship status throughout the State of Louisiana, the region, the nation, and beyond; and 5. Enhance financial support, staffing, and facilities that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the departmental operations. The objectives are to strengthen student’s ability to synthesize and apply relevant knowledge and skills in urban forestry, environment, and natural resources; academically prepare students for study at the graduate level; boost students’ career interest and workforce preparedness; conduct cutting edge research addressing regional and national priorities in urban forestry, environment, and natural resources; utilize the research projects and results in teaching and outreach; train students in research and enhance their research skills; recruit, train, and prepare high school juniors and seniors for college study in field of urban forestry, environment, and natural resources; extend training to clienteles for preserving the natural resources and protecting the environment; sustain existing and initiate new collaborative efforts with governmental, public, private, and non-profit entities; and promote urban forestry, environment, and natural resources at state, regional, national, and international levels.
The general learning outcomes of the B.S. Degree Program require students to 1. Demonstrate the foundation knowledge and skills of communication in urban forestry program area consistent with SAF accreditation standards, and 2. Demonstrate technical and critical thinking skills in urban forestry and natural resource conservation. The Program’s specific learning outcomes require students to 1. Be effective stewards of urban forest ecosystem for all resources, including trees, water, soil, air, urban wildlife, as well as ecological services, parks, and recreation; 2. Write and speak effectively about the complexities and tradeoffs associated with urban forest and arboricultural management; 3. Utilize basic approaches and applications of mathematics, linear programming, and statistics for analysis and problem solving; 4. Integrate knowledge of basic tree biology, physiology, natural sciences, urban forest ecology, plant health care, urban wild-land interface, and the human dimensions & social aspects of urban forestry into the analysis of urban forest management problems; 5. Apply knowledge of and techniques from urban forest measurement, remote sensing, GIS/GPS, arboriculture, urban forest assessment, urban forest economics, urban forest operations, urban forest products and wastes, and urban forest policy to develop and evaluate urban forest management plan and recommendations; and 6. Choose and employ appropriate models and effective techniques to produce and analyze urban forest management plans from woodlots to urban landscapes that consider multiple competing objectives.