Forestry Technician


Algonquin College’s Forestry Technician program offers students the opportunity to earn their diploma in less than one year, including 2 weeks of professional certifications and 2 weeks of field placement. A third of the curriculum is delivered in the outdoors, making it the most field-oriented natural resources program in the province.

Read the Program Info and Gear Handbook for important information.

Ontario College Diploma
47 Weeks

Program Code: 0108X04FPM
Academic Year: 2013/2014


Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program delivered in a compressed format over 47 weeks is the most practical and field-oriented Forestry Technician program in Ontario. Students spend approximately 30 percent of the program duration outdoors in a diversity of landscapes including Algonquin Park, the Petawawa Research Forest, County forests, Crown lands and private woodlots.

This program provides students with the basic knowledge, technical skills and entrepreneurial expertise to participate in the management of natural resources for timber and non-timber values by the forest industry, sustainable forest licence holders, private landowners and ministries. Emphasizing safety and professionalism, students collect a variety of forest resources data, compile and analyze the data and make recommendations for its use. Students gain a working knowledge of the practices and procedures to support various resource operations and obtain experience in the planning, execution, and monitoring of forest, environment, ecosystem and wildlife management activities.

Students obtain a minimum of eight industry/government recognized certificates or licences from a list which includes: SP100 Forest Fire Fighter, OMNR Tree Marking, OMNR Land Management, Professional Chainsaw Operation, Bear Awareness and Night Navigation.

SUCCESS FACTORS

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Want an active, outdoor, hands-on learning environment.
  • Want to be trained in how to protect, sustain, or enhance our natural environment and forest ecosystem.
  • Want to be well-prepared for a variety of forestry careers.

Your Career

Graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce or to further their studies through university or the natural resources law enforcement (conservation officer) program. Geographic mobility is usually a prerequisite to employment with forestry companies, governments, private woodlot owners, hydro, municipalities, conservation authorities or resource consultants. Graduates may find entry-level work in the fields of tree marking, forest inventory, forest environment and ecosystem assessment, compliance monitoring, forest renewal, harvesting, parks, wildlife management, nature interpretation, arboriculture, bio-energy management and forest fire control. Self-employment as a forestry contractor or consultant is another avenue graduates may decide to pursue. Students have the opportunity to obtain industry-related certifications enhancing employment prospects.

Courses

Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
DAT7668 Basic computer skills required to succeed in college and in the workplace are covered. Students gain experience using the college standard, elearning software Blackboard. Topics covered include effective use of email, email attachments and word processing. Also covered is the management of data using spreadsheets, as well as graphic presentation of spreadsheet information. Effective Internet searching is discussed, as well as sources of Internet mapping information. Microcomputer Applications Basic computer skills required to succeed in college and in the workplace are covered. Students gain experience using the college standard, elearning software Blackboard. Topics covered include effective use of email, email attachments and word processing. Also covered is the management of data using spreadsheets, as well as graphic presentation of spreadsheet information. Effective Internet searching is discussed, as well as sources of Internet mapping information. 24.0
ENL7777 Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practise writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. Communications I Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practise writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. 45.0
FOR7310 Students practise the basic skills required in forestry throughout Canada. Students interpret and determine areas, coordinates, compass directions and distances from basemaps, topographic maps, and Forest Resource Inventory maps and apply this information in the field. Field inventories are conducted using equipment to determine a tree's age, basal area, diameter, height and location. Students learn to tally and complete a variety of survey sheets. The Forest Environment Students practise the basic skills required in forestry throughout Canada. Students interpret and determine areas, coordinates, compass directions and distances from basemaps, topographic maps, and Forest Resource Inventory maps and apply this information in the field. Field inventories are conducted using equipment to determine a tree's age, basal area, diameter, height and location. Students learn to tally and complete a variety of survey sheets. 60.0
FOR7311 Focus is placed on the identification of local forest vegetation in the summer and winter conditions. The environmental requirements of the major shrub and tree species are introduced. Dendrology I Focus is placed on the identification of local forest vegetation in the summer and winter conditions. The environmental requirements of the major shrub and tree species are introduced. 45.0
FOR7312 This natural science course examines the silvics of tree species, which deals with the growth and development of single trees and of forests, in their natural environments. Awareness is gained in the dynamics and succession of forest ecosystems and how they respond to changes in their landscape. Students gain a broader understanding of how trees function in a park, private woodlot, forested or wilderness setting. As we move into the 21st century, it is every citizen's responsibility to ensure that our rich natural resources, including our forests, are appreciated and conserved by all. Ecology This natural science course examines the silvics of tree species, which deals with the growth and development of single trees and of forests, in their natural environments. Awareness is gained in the dynamics and succession of forest ecosystems and how they respond to changes in their landscape. Students gain a broader understanding of how trees function in a park, private woodlot, forested or wilderness setting. As we move into the 21st century, it is every citizen's responsibility to ensure that our rich natural resources, including our forests, are appreciated and conserved by all. 60.0
FOR7314 The characteristics of common soils with emphasis on the physical, chemical and biological features are explored. Students spend a portion of time in the field examining soil texture and profile, and the correlation between landforms and a variety of landscapes. Soil movement, erosion, contamination and their control are examined. Soils and Landforms The characteristics of common soils with emphasis on the physical, chemical and biological features are explored. Students spend a portion of time in the field examining soil texture and profile, and the correlation between landforms and a variety of landscapes. Soil movement, erosion, contamination and their control are examined. 45.0
FOR7315 Students develop the ability to interpret aerial photographs and satellite images at different scales. They study natural, man-made, landform and tree species features. Photogrammetry is applied. Orienteering oneself, in the forest, using compass and aerial photos is practised. Remote Imagery Students develop the ability to interpret aerial photographs and satellite images at different scales. They study natural, man-made, landform and tree species features. Photogrammetry is applied. Orienteering oneself, in the forest, using compass and aerial photos is practised. 60.0
FOR7316 Students learn to identify various species of wildlife. Special emphasis is placed on the identification and management of forest hawk habitat and species at risk. The management of fur bear and ungulate populations and its habitat are covered. Field surveys are done to assess wildlife habitat. Techniques for the installation of buffers, to protect wildlife values, are practised in the field. Other topics include radio telemetry. Wildlife Students learn to identify various species of wildlife. Special emphasis is placed on the identification and management of forest hawk habitat and species at risk. The management of fur bear and ungulate populations and its habitat are covered. Field surveys are done to assess wildlife habitat. Techniques for the installation of buffers, to protect wildlife values, are practised in the field. Other topics include radio telemetry. 60.0
FOR7322 This course combines the identification and management of diseases and insects that affect forest trees. Trees are graded for their potential as growing stock. Tree cavities are also studied. Several field trips are used to place special emphasis on the study of tree defects for selection tree marking. Logging techniques to minimize the damage to residual trees are also discussed. Forest Health This course combines the identification and management of diseases and insects that affect forest trees. Trees are graded for their potential as growing stock. Tree cavities are also studied. Several field trips are used to place special emphasis on the study of tree defects for selection tree marking. Logging techniques to minimize the damage to residual trees are also discussed. 45.0
Level: 02 Hours
ENL7679 Students develop technical communication skills. Topics include written and oral reports; technical writing style; employment correspondence and resumes; locating, evaluating and documenting technical information; interpreting and using visuals; and other communication skills required by technicians in today's workplace.

Prerequisites: ENL7777
Technical Communication Students develop technical communication skills. Topics include written and oral reports; technical writing style; employment correspondence and resumes; locating, evaluating and documenting technical information; interpreting and using visuals; and other communication skills required by technicians in today's workplace.

Prerequisites: ENL7777
45.0
FOR7313 Analysis of digitized spatial data is presented. Students practise basic skills in manipulating and presenting data with emphasis on applications in natural resources management. ArcGIS software package is used. Geographic Information Systems Analysis of digitized spatial data is presented. Students practise basic skills in manipulating and presenting data with emphasis on applications in natural resources management. ArcGIS software package is used. 64.0
FOR7321 Students determine the growth and yield of trees and forest stands. Emphasis is placed on methods and techniques of various forest inventories, compiling tallies, analysis of data and auditing of work. Students learn to create a stand and stock table. Students learn about the essential parts of a contract and appreciate how a bid is conducted. Mensuration Students determine the growth and yield of trees and forest stands. Emphasis is placed on methods and techniques of various forest inventories, compiling tallies, analysis of data and auditing of work. Students learn to create a stand and stock table. Students learn about the essential parts of a contract and appreciate how a bid is conducted. 56.0
FOR7324 Students study silviculture systems, site preparation, reforestation, tending, thinning and vegetation control. Emphasis is placed on a good understanding of the selection and shelterwood silviculture system so students can apply their knowledge in the tree marking course. Students learn to make recommendations concerning silvicultural treatments to contribute to the development of forest operations prescriptions. Several field exercises help students comprehend the course material. Examples of field activities include: brushsaw operations, stand analysis of tolerant hardwood forest, tree planting, inspection of areas harvested with the shelterwood system. Silviculture Students study silviculture systems, site preparation, reforestation, tending, thinning and vegetation control. Emphasis is placed on a good understanding of the selection and shelterwood silviculture system so students can apply their knowledge in the tree marking course. Students learn to make recommendations concerning silvicultural treatments to contribute to the development of forest operations prescriptions. Several field exercises help students comprehend the course material. Examples of field activities include: brushsaw operations, stand analysis of tolerant hardwood forest, tree planting, inspection of areas harvested with the shelterwood system. 64.0
FOR7325 Regulations, licences, equipment, methods, processes, and layouts employed in different harvesting systems are explored. Careful logging and compliance monitoring are studied in detail. The planning, scheduling and costing of operations are practised. Students learn the basic entrepreneurial skills for logging operations. Harvesting Regulations, licences, equipment, methods, processes, and layouts employed in different harvesting systems are explored. Careful logging and compliance monitoring are studied in detail. The planning, scheduling and costing of operations are practised. Students learn the basic entrepreneurial skills for logging operations. 56.0
FOR7327 Students learn the organizational structure and practices used to control forest fires. Initial attack procedures are studied. The use of prescribed fire as a forest management tool is explored. Students gain an understanding of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System. Forest industry involvement to assess fire danger and perform compliance inspections of fire equipment is also covered. Field exercises involving the use of fire pumps and hose, enhance student learning. A modest testing fee is charged for those students attempting the SP102 Forest Industry Fire Certification. Depending on the level of student interest, the SP100 Forest Fire Training will also be offered for an additional fee and time commitment. Fire Management Students learn the organizational structure and practices used to control forest fires. Initial attack procedures are studied. The use of prescribed fire as a forest management tool is explored. Students gain an understanding of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System. Forest industry involvement to assess fire danger and perform compliance inspections of fire equipment is also covered. Field exercises involving the use of fire pumps and hose, enhance student learning. A modest testing fee is charged for those students attempting the SP102 Forest Industry Fire Certification. Depending on the level of student interest, the SP100 Forest Fire Training will also be offered for an additional fee and time commitment. 56.0
FOR7340 Students are introduced to the care of trees within an urban and urban-interface environment. Students practise using the different tools for this discipline and the various knots for ropes. Urban tree hazard management is undertaken. Arboriculture Students are introduced to the care of trees within an urban and urban-interface environment. Students practise using the different tools for this discipline and the various knots for ropes. Urban tree hazard management is undertaken. 39.0
FOR7345 Students learn to identify logs in mill yards, standing trees in the forest in their winter condition and wood in a lumber product form. Students, by visiting local mills, also learn the process by which logs are transformed into commercial forest products. Dendrology II Students learn to identify logs in mill yards, standing trees in the forest in their winter condition and wood in a lumber product form. Students, by visiting local mills, also learn the process by which logs are transformed into commercial forest products. 30.0
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED1108 Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED1896 or GED5002 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED5200 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or PSI0003
General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED1896 or GED5002 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED5200 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or PSI0003
45.0
Level: 03 Hours
FOR7330 Students are exposed to the operations of forestry or other natural resources organization. They also have an opportunity to network with employees and management. Field Placement Students are exposed to the operations of forestry or other natural resources organization. They also have an opportunity to network with employees and management. 60.0
FOR7331 Best management practices of natural resources on privately owned lands are highlighted. Students examine strategies to maintain or enhance natural environments and to remediate disturbed lands. Non-timber forest products are explored. The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program is examined and applied. Students gain an appreciation for volunteerism. Land Stewardship Best management practices of natural resources on privately owned lands are highlighted. Students examine strategies to maintain or enhance natural environments and to remediate disturbed lands. Non-timber forest products are explored. The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program is examined and applied. Students gain an appreciation for volunteerism. 42.0
FOR7333 This field-oriented course considers the proper locating of various types of forest access roads and trails. Bridge and culvert sizing, installation and soil erosion control are assessed. Regulatory and aesthetic requirements are applied along with the scheduling and costing of access routes. Compliance monitoring is studied and conducted in the field. Forest Access This field-oriented course considers the proper locating of various types of forest access roads and trails. Bridge and culvert sizing, installation and soil erosion control are assessed. Regulatory and aesthetic requirements are applied along with the scheduling and costing of access routes. Compliance monitoring is studied and conducted in the field. 42.0
FOR7334 The student applies knowledge from previous courses to the realistic preparation of parts of a sustainable Forest Management Plan and also completes part of an Annual Work Schedule. The student examines provincial statutes, regulations, policies, licensing and reporting. Forest Management The student applies knowledge from previous courses to the realistic preparation of parts of a sustainable Forest Management Plan and also completes part of an Annual Work Schedule. The student examines provincial statutes, regulations, policies, licensing and reporting. 84.0
FOR7335 Standardized, and consistent, ecosystem inventory is needed by resource managers and planners. Students learn to identify, describe and name Ontario ecosystems. The Ontario Forest Ecosystem Classification system is followed. Inventory methodology abides by the Ontario Forest Resources Inventory calibration plot specifications. Field trips include visits to local Ontario ecosystems. Forest Ecosystem Classification Standardized, and consistent, ecosystem inventory is needed by resource managers and planners. Students learn to identify, describe and name Ontario ecosystems. The Ontario Forest Ecosystem Classification system is followed. Inventory methodology abides by the Ontario Forest Resources Inventory calibration plot specifications. Field trips include visits to local Ontario ecosystems. 36.0
FOR7337 The knowledge gained from previous and concurrent courses is brought to the practical application of tree marking. The student gains field experience and skills to mark trees under different silvicultural systems. This course is taught to the standards of the Provincial Tree Marking Certification program. Tree Marking The knowledge gained from previous and concurrent courses is brought to the practical application of tree marking. The student gains field experience and skills to mark trees under different silvicultural systems. This course is taught to the standards of the Provincial Tree Marking Certification program. 42.0
FOR7339 Students have the opportunity to gain certification in specialties that they choose from a selection that is offered. Some examples are Fire Fighting, Chainsaw Operators, Tree Marking, Pesticide, Safe Boating, Erosion and Sediment Control, Aircraft Safety, Seed Forecaster, Culvert Installation, Tree Planting, Night Navigation and Prospectors. Certifications Students have the opportunity to gain certification in specialties that they choose from a selection that is offered. Some examples are Fire Fighting, Chainsaw Operators, Tree Marking, Pesticide, Safe Boating, Erosion and Sediment Control, Aircraft Safety, Seed Forecaster, Culvert Installation, Tree Planting, Night Navigation and Prospectors. 60.0
FOR7346 Global positioning systems are a critical tool for data collection and navigation in forestry. Using a combination of field exercises and self-directed projects, students explore the science and technology of global positioning systems. Students collect field information with various GPS units and download the information into GIS software to produce finished mapping projects. Examples of current related technology are ArcPad, ArcGIS, DNR Garmin software and DRAPE imagery. Advanced Techniques Global positioning systems are a critical tool for data collection and navigation in forestry. Using a combination of field exercises and self-directed projects, students explore the science and technology of global positioning systems. Students collect field information with various GPS units and download the information into GIS software to produce finished mapping projects. Examples of current related technology are ArcPad, ArcGIS, DNR Garmin software and DRAPE imagery. 42.0
FOR7347 The physical, chemical and biological characteristics of freshwater environments are presented. Students specifically gain an understanding of the ecological importance of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. The relationships between forested and aquatic environments are explored. Several field trips are intended to familiarize students with freshwater systems and to provide practical training in an array of aquatic sampling techniques. Protocols for collecting, identifying, analyzing, storing and transporting aquatic samples are practised. Freshwater Environments The physical, chemical and biological characteristics of freshwater environments are presented. Students specifically gain an understanding of the ecological importance of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. The relationships between forested and aquatic environments are explored. Several field trips are intended to familiarize students with freshwater systems and to provide practical training in an array of aquatic sampling techniques. Protocols for collecting, identifying, analyzing, storing and transporting aquatic samples are practised. 45.0
FOR7348 Surveys, to verify the success of silvicultural operations, are essential to ensure forest sustainability. Focusing on the performance of regeneration assessments, students are given the opportunity to become proficient with the field procedures required. Planning of a regeneration assessment, the statistical analysis of the results, and development of treatment options are studied. An overview of forest herbicides is covered. Students conduct tree plant assessments and/or site preparation assessments. Results of these surveys are analyzed and their compliance and success are discussed. Silvicultural Surveys Surveys, to verify the success of silvicultural operations, are essential to ensure forest sustainability. Focusing on the performance of regeneration assessments, students are given the opportunity to become proficient with the field procedures required. Planning of a regeneration assessment, the statistical analysis of the results, and development of treatment options are studied. An overview of forest herbicides is covered. Students conduct tree plant assessments and/or site preparation assessments. Results of these surveys are analyzed and their compliance and success are discussed. 42.0

Fees & Expenses

Tuition Fees: $1,739.67 per term.

Information Technology Fee: $62 per term. *

Student Activity/Sports Fee: $210.50 per term.

Student Commons/Auditorium Fee: $22 per term.

Student Centre Building Fee: $17.50 per term.

Health Service Fee: $20 per term.

Health Plan Fee: $117.02 paid once annually. **

A $40 graduation fee is payable in the final term.

A $25 transcript fee is payable in the first term a student attends Algonquin College.

International Students pay all relevant Canadian fees plus an International Premium of $4,400 per term.

* Students paying the Information Technology fee are provided with a network account, an email address, and Internet access. For more information please visit our website at www.algonquincollege.com/its/services/it_fee.htm.

** Students who have coverage with another plan can request a refund by supplying the Students' Association with documentation supporting the request. This request will have to be made annually.

Books and supplies cost approximately $1,060 for the program duration and can be purchased in the campus bookstore. Major, one-time equipment costs are approximately $420. As part of a two-week certification period in the final level, fees for certification courses are assessed separately and are announced early in the program. Students should arrive with a CSA approved hard hat and work or hiking boots, a Fox 40 whistle, a high visibility vest, and safety glasses. It is recommended that students have equipment to take pictures.

Admission Requirements 

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which there is a current fee of $40 (subject to change).
Program Eligibility
  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 11 or 12 (MAP4C or MBF3C or equivalent).
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of either: IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with the minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening: 20; Speaking: 20, Writing: 20.
Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

A current Standard First Aid and CPR certificate is preferred prior to registration. Otherwise, the student must obtain the certificate within the first two months of the first level. Applicants must sign and submit a Forestry Technician Program Assumption of Risk and Indemnifying Release Form.

An up-to-date tetanus booster is preferred prior to class. This immunization is available at no cost through the College health services.

Application Information

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:

ontariocolleges.ca
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario N1G 5J3
1-888-892-2228

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should contact their Guidance Office to apply. For all other applicants, applications are available online at www.ontariocolleges.ca. A $95 fee applies.

Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at https://xweb.algonquincollege.com/FormIE/index.aspx or by contacting the Registrar's Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar's Office
Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley
1 College Way
Pembroke, ON K8A 0C8
Telephone: 613-735-4700 ext. 2708
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723

Additional Information

In order to prepare our graduates to be the best in their field, we believe the educational environment must closely resemble the work environment, including the associated risks. Risk, therefore, is an inherent part of the educational environment.

Students contemplating taking Forestry at a university should seriously consider our program first, as we provide a one year, hands-on, practical, field-oriented program. Our articulation agreement with Lakehead University allows you to enter their Forestry or Forest Conservation program in the second year. We also have an articulation agreement with the University of New Brunswick in their Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management.

Applicants who participated in the Specialist High Skills Major - Forestry and/or Environment may be eligible for exemptions, in whole or in part, for some of the Forestry Technician courses. Applicants should bring documents to the program coordinator for review, particularly co-op placement and industry certifications.

For more information, please contact Frank Knaapen, Program Coordinator, at 613-735-4700 ext. 2741 or knaapef@algonquincollege.com.

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time