The University of Idaho announced three new shortened degree programs Wednesday that the school says will address growing workforce needs. The College of Natural Resources programs prepare students for jobs in fire mitigation, forestry operations and nursery management after two years of education, rather than four.

“These new associate of science degrees are critical to meeting our land-grant mission,” said Charles Goebel, department head of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences at U of I. “Students in these programs utilize our unique resources and expertise to help meet the workforce demands of the growing forestry and wildland fire industries.” 

In the A.S. in Forest Operations and Technology degree, students work among one of the nation’s top Forestry programs for quality and value, using commercial harvesting equipment and technology to help manage U of I’s more than 10,000-acre Experimental Forest near Moscow. 

Students in the A.S. in Forest Nursery Management and Technology engage in an experiential commercial forest nursery program with an emphasis on practices, technology and operations unique to the North American forest nursery industry. Forest Nursery students focus on propagation and production of trees, shrubs and native plants at environmentally controlled greenhouses located at U of I’s Pitkin Forest Nursery in Moscow. 

Based on the college’s nationally ranked B.S. in Fire Ecology and Management, the A.S. in Wildland Fuel and Fire Technology is a flexible online program, ideal for future, permanent and seasonal employees employed as wildland firefighters and fire suppression technicians. Students collaborate with faculty experts and an extensive network of stakeholders at federal and state levels. 

Additional opportunities for A.S. students include networking opportunities with partnering industries and completing the nationally acclaimed Idaho’s Logger Education and Advance Professionalism (LEAP) program and the Office of Personnel Management Federal Series certification. Students seeking associate degrees through these programs may continue into a Bachelor of Science.

The offerings, approved by the State Board of Education in April, are the first associate degrees at University of Idaho. 

For more information, contact the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences at frfs@uidaho.edu

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