The Forest Management Technology Associate of Applied Science degree program trains individuals planning to enter forestry and forestry-related technical positions. This program is designed with the fundamental philosophy of delivering classroom instruction coupled with hands-on experience. Students use industry-standard equipment and again practical experience through summer internships regionally and across the country with organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, Virginia Department of Forestry and private forestry employers.
The Forest Management Technology Program is a student learning centered program dedicated to delivering excellence in instruction through experiential learning for aspiring technicians in forestry and forestry related natural resources professions. The AAS degree in Forest Management Technology is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Upon completion of this terminal degree, students are eligible to work as a forest technician for government agencies, non-profit organizations, forest industries, and other employment sectors related to the forestry profession. Graduates may also choose to transfer on to a four-year institution to continue their education.
Program Goals and Objectives
MGCC defines the forest technician as a skilled worker in jobs requiring the knowledge of forestry and forest management, and the use of practical forestry skills. The technician works closely with a professional forester, or manager of a forestry enterprise utilizing scientific and applied skills in a broad range of forest resource management tasks.
Examples of occupational technical skills that an individual has developed upon satisfactorily completing the Forest Management Technology Associate in Applied Science degree awarded by MGCC are listed below. Student proficiency level in each of these training areas is the goal allowing the graduate confidence to work independently as an effective employee.
MGCC identifies several technical skill areas students are expected to proficiently possess upon graduation of the Forest Management Technology Degree.
Technical Skill Areas:
- Able to identify and describe silvics of a variety of economically and ecologically important tree species. Understand how forest communities interact and the importance of many exotic invasive species.
- Performs well as a timber cruiser estimating acreage, tree volume in cords, board feet, and cubic feet by commonly used cruise methods in a variety of different forest types.
- Able to utilize GPS for acreage calculations, stand delineation, timber cruising, and other important mapping applications.
- Ability to utilize GIS as a decision-making tool in managing a forested area. Ability to digitize and import GPS data for overlay on topographic maps and DOQQs. Able to access several different types of data available on the internet and utilize the data to communicate information and make decisions.
- Demonstrate a variety of skills in wildfire control and a knowledge of fire behavior. Able to meet all academic requirements for interagency wildland fire fighting certification in S130, S-190, and ICS-100.
- Exhibits skills, knowledge, and attitudes to be certified by the State of Virginia as a pesticide applicator.
- Demonstrates the basic skills needed for harvesting and logging timber by participating in an actual harvesting operation over a 15-week period. Performs well as a heavy equipment operator or a crew foreman. Understands basic small engine repair and maintenance. Able to manage logging operations and comply with state and federal regulations regarding timber harvesting Best Management Practices.
- Displays a basic knowledge of silvicultural treatments in both eastern US hardwood and pine plantation forests for the management of a multiple use resource. Defines options available for private and public landownership.
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of forest management planning on small tracts which includes the understanding of issues private non-industrial forest landowners must face in Virginia.
- Performs well in sawmill operations and can work as a log scaler, yard foreman, lumber grader, sawyer, or other operational related jobs. Develops an understanding of the process of timber estimation, harvesting, scaling, sawing, and final tally count, from start to finish.
Forest Management Technology – Degree
The Forest Management Technology program has the distinction of being accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
Adam Tygrett '18
"All of the embedded credentials and real-word education is what gave me the lead over other applicants for this full-time position with Weyerhaeuser. "
Jonathon Moore '19
"During my time at Dabney, I learned a tremendous amount, rubbed shoulders with many folks from all aspects of the VA-WV Forestry/Wildlife sectors, built a great resume, made lifelong friends (instructors included), and had an absolute ball. I highly, highly recommend the FMT program at Dabney, and I already miss the tight knit, family-like atmosphere."
Suzanne Ryan '20
"The forestry program at MGCC carried by two field foresters dedicated to creating a close-knit community with their students has been a remarkable introduction to this vast industry. While it certainly prepared many of my classmates to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, it also gave us all a foundation in the ecological, economic, and practical aspects of managing forests, so that we have our choice of many careers and further studies to pursue. I will treasure my experiences in the program and will miss the camaraderie and great fun of timber harvesting, sawmilling, tree climbing, and the Woodsmen's Team. "
- Forestry Consultant
- Forestry Technician
- Sawmill Technician