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:
- Academic Year:
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
|FOR7310||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.
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.
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.
|FOR7314||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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|FOR7313||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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 processes by which logs are transformed into commercial forest products.
|Choose one from equivalencies:||Hours|
|GED1108||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 ENL7643 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED1896 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED5009 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or GEN2009 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or PSI0003
Students are exposed to the operations of forestry or other natural resources organization. They also have an opportunity to network with employees and management.
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.
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.
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.
|FOR7335||Forest Ecosystem Classification|
Students apply the knowledge they have learned in soils, dendrology and silviculture to classify forest sites. The ecosystem classification system used in Ontario is followed.
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.
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.
|FOR7344||Land Use - Protecting Our Heritage for Future Generations|
In today's global economy, Canada continues to be a front runner in the area of responsible land use with regards to protecting its renewable resources. It is the responsibility of every Ontario citizen to be informed of both historical and contemporary issues, and practices of the various levels of government as they relate to contributing to the environmental, social and economic well-being of the province through the sustainable development of natural resources. This course introduces students to the roles of levels of government and the part they play in the land management. It examines both historical and current policy and direction, including Aboriginal rights.
Advanced techniques are applied in natural resources management. Special emphasis is placed on the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Students practise, in the field, with various GPS models. Students integrate GPS data into Geographical Information Systems software to produce maps. In addition, field methods are practised for surveys, such as silviculture effectiveness monitoring (regeneration assessments) and tree plant assessments. Forest sampling design is discussed, as well as forest seed collection and the production of seedlings in tree nurseries.
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 used 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.
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Tuition Fees: $1,684.96 per term.
Information Technology Fee: $62 per term. *
Student Activity/Sports Fee: $200.50 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 algonquincollege.com/its/support/IT-Fee/index-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.
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- 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 a fee of $40 (subject to change) will be charged.
- English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
- Mathematics, Grade 11 or 12 (MAP4C or MBF3C or equivalent).
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.
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Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Applications are available online at www.ontariocolleges.ca A $95 fee applies.
Applications for Fall Term, Winter Term and Spring 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:
Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley
315 Pembroke Street East
Pembroke, ON K8A 3K2
Telephone: 613-735-4700 ext. 2708
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org..
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