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Author Topic: New here put pursuing a career in forestry in the fall. Northern Arizona Univ?  (Read 1380 times)

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Offline Akdoiron

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Hey everyone just stumbled across this forum and looks like it has a lot of info I have been looking for.

I am going to be attending Northern Arizona University for forestry in the fall of 2014 straight out of highschool, with a backup choice of University of Idaho or University of Montana.

I am from central california and have been hunting, fishing and camping/backpacking since I could walk and forestry and fish and wildlife/wildland fire has always been my main focus as a career choice so I decided to go for it, forestry being my designated major and main interest while looking to get a minor/ certificate in one of the above.

I choose NAU based on the price of admission, program it offered me, and hands on opportunities they offered.

Does anyone have any experience with this school going through the program?

I also have been to University of ID and Oregon state to talk with the people and while Univ of ID was my number one choice and I was admitted, I could not afford to attend out of state. And oregon state was too costly as well and didnt offer the choices I wanted.

I wish to work in the PNW so this was kind of a bummer, but I hope to get my degree and get up there anyway.

Any help, tips and how to's would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Adam

Offline beenthere

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Welcome to the Forestry Forum.
I've heard good things from those in the NAU program, and you should be able to apply yourself and reap all the knowledge available to you. You will be in a good position to seek the job position and location you are after.
Join the local Forestry associations available to you, and the Society of American Foresters too. Hopefully there are some local chapter or Section meetings that you can attend and rub elbows with other Foresters and professionals for good contacts. The Forestry Club is a "for sure" to do.
Success will be up to you and your decisions.

Keep us posted if you will.
What are the Freshman courses lined up for you, and what courses do you think you will take following your first year?
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline RynSmith

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I got my masters degree at NAU, so not quite the same thing, but it is certainly a reputable program.  Do they still have the Semester A-B-C setup?  I think that was a very valuable way to go about teaching... 

From my personal experience, I wouldn't worry about location.  Just concentrate on getting a solid knowledge base and you'll be able to adapt that to different forests/ecosystems.


Offline Akdoiron

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I got my masters degree at NAU, so not quite the same thing, but it is certainly a reputable program.  Do they still have the Semester A-B-C setup?  I think that was a very valuable way to go about teaching... 

From my personal experience, I wouldn't worry about location.  Just concentrate on getting a solid knowledge base and you'll be able to adapt that to different forests/ecosystems.

If by ABC semester thing you mean that 2 years is "pre" forestry and you basically just take FOR101 and some other basic things to get your requirements out the way and then years 3 & 4 have semesters a,b,c,d that focus only on forestry and your certificate than yah they have that.

As far as my classes to the poster two above me, I am not sure as I am waiting to be able to set up my enrollment profile for school. But basically if you follow their career path which seems pretty straightforward and what I want. They seemed to have a very hands on/ experience oriented program which I liked about the school. I already work volunteer trail work for Los Padres N.F and have done some projects with them to get expereince, I wanted to do this thing in alaska over the summer a good friend and inspiration for me did.

I believe it was North Star Fire Crew.

I also liked Univ of ID's semester in the wild, and their wildland fire program seemed pretty awesome, with the lab and summer/ spring work experience.

But the Universitys' seemed more studious where the state schools when I talked to them were more about hands on stuff, that was my experience at least.

Offline Rocky_Ranger

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NAU is a good school; I've worked with foresters all across the country and NAU does have a very "hands on" program.  We use NAU students (through ERI) on a yearly basis.  Having the emphasis on ecological restoration out your proverbial back door will be a benefit.  Hammer down and study hard - it isn't really very easy but the rewards will last a lifetime...
RETIRED!

Offline BuckeyeAaron

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I attended the University of Montana for undergrad and graduate school.  I visited University of Idaho too back when I was searching for schools.  I know OSU is very good too if you are interested in forest operations/engineering.  If you decide UM is a possibility let me know.  I'd be happy to offer some insight. I don't think you can really go wrong with any of those schools though.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

Psalms 139, 9-10.

Offline ashes

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Considering you have residence in CA, have you looked at Humboldt State? U.C. Davis also has a forestry program, but that might be more research driven, not totally sure. I am graduating from Humboldt State this semester and I would say it is fairly hands on with the labs. You mentioned a fire interest and I know that they also have an indoor fire lab that they burn stuff in. I have burned a couple things in there to measure flame heights for different bulk densities, but am not a fire major.

I'm not sure how it could be less expensive to leave CA for school, unless you have other reasons to leave.
Good luck on your quest

Offline DannyK

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Good info in here. I'm looking for a school too. Out of my curiosity, how do you know that one school is more hands-on than others? I can see on school's website that they claim to offer hands-on experience but how can you know that they really are what they advertise?
If you don't mind, can you tell me what program you're looking at and why you like it?
Now I'm looking at U of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. I like their programs and the tuition is inexpensive but I have no idea if this school is reputable. I'm still researching.

Offline Akdoiron

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Considering you have residence in CA, have you looked at Humboldt State? U.C. Davis also has a forestry program, but that might be more research driven, not totally sure. I am graduating from Humboldt State this semester and I would say it is fairly hands on with the labs. You mentioned a fire interest and I know that they also have an indoor fire lab that they burn stuff in. I have burned a couple things in there to measure flame heights for different bulk densities, but am not a fire major.

I'm not sure how it could be less expensive to leave CA for school, unless you have other reasons to leave.
Good luck on your quest

i looked at humboldt, but it was the same price (within 1k) total cost of tuition there vs. NAU with a scholarship i recieved, and i had other reasons for wanting to leave california as well, but the negligable difference in cost made it an easy choice.

Offline Akdoiron

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Good info in here. I'm looking for a school too. Out of my curiosity, how do you know that one school is more hands-on than others? I can see on school's website that they claim to offer hands-on experience but how can you know that they really are what they advertise?
If you don't mind, can you tell me what program you're looking at and why you like it?
Now I'm looking at U of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. I like their programs and the tuition is inexpensive but I have no idea if this school is reputable. I'm still researching.

I took a road trip with my brother over the summer to talk to the schools forestrty program people. I went to oregon state, univ of ID and NAU, out of those i liked idahos the most, oregons the least as they had recently changed there curriculumn and dropped anything relating to fire or wildlife mgmt, where as NAU and idaho had those options within the program itself. I chose NAU because it was cheaper than idaho and the program in my view had what i needed with the resources i wanted.

i can tell you looking online doesnt help too much, i thought oregon would be my number 1 and idaho my least favorite in terms of program.

Offline DannyK

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i can tell you looking online doesnt help too much, i thought oregon would be my number 1 and idaho my least favorite in terms of program.
thanks for your answer, Adam.
It's too bad that I can't visit the schools because I'm not in the country.
Anyway, good luck with everything.

Offline Magicman

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I wish you the best with your career decisions adaras, and Welcome to the Forestry Forum.   :)
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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline WDH

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Apply for Internships in the summer to get experience.  Apply to the big Forest Products companies in the PNW. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline SliverPicker

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Approach your education like you would a new business. Do a complete and accurate business plan. Going to college is a financial undertaking.  Treat it as such and you will be far ahead when you graduate.  Do the financial costs make sense in relation to the financial rewards?
Yooper by trade.

Online BaldBob

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Approach your education like you would a new business. Do a complete and accurate business plan. Going to college is a financial undertaking.  Treat it as such and you will be far ahead when you graduate.  Do the financial costs make sense in relation to the financial rewards?
Sorry, SliverPicker, but if financial costs relative to financial return were the sole criteria, no one would choose a career in forestry. There are many fields I could have gone into that would have been far more financially rewarding than forestry, but I doubt that any of them would have provided me with the overall rewards that field offered me. The financial return was adequate enough that I am enjoying a very comfortable retirement, but more importantly, I truly enjoyed my work.

Offline SliverPicker

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The problem is that you used to be able to flip burgers and work your way through school, not any more.  The cost of a 4-year education has FAR outstripped inflation while the wages paid after school haven't even kept up with inflation.  When you graduated and today are two massively different situations.  No offense meant.

I never found a job that even paid a living wage, under $11/ hour seasonal jobs where the norm in 1996, when I graduated from Humboldt State.  I had $210 per month in student loan payments alone when I graduated and I had very low debt compared to many.  I lived in the woods in my pickup during the summers so I could save every penny possible.  $210 per month just in loan payments never mind rent, food, gas, insurance blah blah blah.  On $11 per hour?  Wasn't possible.  I wish I had done a business plan before enrolling.

Job satisfaction is a big deal, but not if you are living under a bridge because your student loan payments are too high.

As an aside;  Humboldt State's Forestry program is now an official 5 year program if I'm not mistaken.
Yooper by trade.

Offline ashes

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As an aside;  Humboldt State's Forestry program is now an official 5 year program if I'm not mistaken.

I don't think it needs to be. It will take me five to finish, but mostly because i spent two at community college and took a ton of classes that didn't transfer for one reason or another. If you started at HSU as a freshman, you should be able to finish up in four years.

Sorry to continue the thread jack...


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