The forest science and economy deal with the forest ecosystem and its systematic use.
The study field at a glance
It also deals with the importance of the forest for the environment, in particular for the sustainable performance of the natural balance, for the climate, the water balance, the clean air, soil fertility, the landscape, the agricultural and infrastructure as well as the recovery of the population.
The importance for the economy arises from the fact that a large part of the area of Germany is covered by forest. Wood is economically important as a renewable raw material. The usage serves among others as a supply for the domestic wood and paper industry. Tasks in the international field are of increasing importance. On the whole, forestry aims to achieve optimal timber production on an ecological basis while at the same time ensuring the protection and recreational function of the forest.
The multifaceted tasks of forestry experts not only require the solution of biological and ecological problems, such as the global challenge of climate change, but also require technical and economic understanding as well as legal knowledge, commercial skills and extensive administrative knowledge.
The programs in this field are called forestry, forest ecology or forest management. Depending on the focus, students concentrate more on economics, environmental science or engineering topics. Bachelor's and Master's programs are offered at universities and technical colleges.
Contents of the course
In the bachelor’s program, students receive basic scientific and methodological training in forest science and resource management through modules such as chemistry, biology, soil science, forest botany and zoology, dendrology (teaching of trees and wood), climatology and forest law.
In the master’s program you can specialize in forest management, forest resource management, forest conservation, biodiversity, wood technology, timber management, ecosystem analysis and international forestry among others.
Additional modules are available on topics such as project management, quality management, forest education.
The study of forestry at a university of applied sciences concentrates more on practical forest management and the operational implementation of forestry measures than on tasks in the management of a forest district.
At universities and universities of applied sciences, internships or entire practical semesters are common.
Admission criteria & course application
Depending on school / vocational training, a pre-study internship lasting several weeks e.g. at forestry offices or forestry companies is usually obligatory at universities of applied sciences.
Possible careers after graduation
Forestry graduates traditionally work for public sector employers, e.g. in forestry departments and forestry offices, in forestry administrations of the federal government, the federal states or municipalities, in forest directorates, forestry departments at governments and ministries, in forestry research and experimental institutes, at agricultural chambers and offices, authorities and institutions in the field of environmental and nature conservation and landscape management. In addition, there are opportunities to work in the private sector, e.g. in the timber industry and in the timber trade, in engineering and management consultancies, in large private forest enterprises, in botanical gardens and nature parks or in forestry interest groups. Also services such as reports, planning or foreign activities in reforestation projects are imaginable.