AFE Certified Academic Programs

These programs have AFE Certified Academic Programs. The date of certification is listed after the school name. Scroll down or click on the names to jump to details for each program. Learn more about Academic Certification.

California Polytechnic State University
Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences
Certified in 2013, Recertification pending

Colorado State University
Warner College of Natural Resources

Certified in 2013, Recertified in 2019

Humboldt State University

Certified in 2013, Recertified in 2019

Northern Arizona University
School of Forestry

Certified in 2013, Recertified in 2019

Oregon State University
College of Forestry
Certified in 2016, Recertified in 2019

Stephen F. Austin State University
Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

Certified in 2013, Recertified in 2019

University of Idaho

College of Natural Resources

Certified in 2013, Recertified in 2019

University of Montana- Missoula
Wildland Fire Sciences & Management Program, College of Forestry and Conservation

Certified in 2013, Recertification pending

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Wildland Fire Sciences Program, College of Natural Resources

Certified in 2014

Details for each institution follow. Many of the links provided are PDF files. If you would like to download these to your hard drive, right-click and choose “save link as” or “save target as.” To view them in your browser left-click (results will vary by browser).

California Polytechnic State University

Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences

The Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences (NRES) Department at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo offers the Wildland Fire & Fuels (FFM) Concentration within the Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) Major. The catalog link for the concentration is http://www.catalog.calpoly.edu/2011cat/cafes/nres_dept/fnr_bs.pdf.

A full list of course descriptions offered by the Department can be found at http://www.catalog.calpoly.edu/2011cat/cafes/nres_dept/nrcrs2011.pdf.

The FFM Concentration includes a core of a 3-unit Fire Control (NR-204) course, a 3-unit Fire Management (NR-340) course, and a 4-unit Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Protection (NR-455) course. Additionally, a 6-unit Internship in some aspect of fire and fuels management (NR-339) is required. Further, there are 17-units of advisor approved electives, which might include the 4-unit Fire & Society (NR-308), the 4-Unit Technology of Wildland Fire Management (NR-312), and others.

Colorado State University

Warner College of Natural Resources

The department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University offers bachelorette degree programs in Forestry, Rangeland Ecology and Natural Resource Management. The general Forestry Degree Program is SAF accredited and provides students the opportunity to specialize in 7 concentration areas including a concentration in Forest Fire Science. The Bachelor of Science in Forestry with a concentration in Forest Fire Science consists of 120 credit hours.

Students in the Forest fire Science concentration are required to take a rigorous schedule of classes that include core university courses such as calculus, chemistry and plant biology, forest management classes such as forest stand management, watershed management and timber management, policy and economic classes such as NR policy and sustainability, Natural resource history and policy, Economics of Forest Environment. They are also to take a spectrum of classes focused forest fire science including fire ecology, fire economics, fire management and fire behavior.

In addition to classroom work, all students in the forest fire science concentration are required to complete 7 credits of an intensive measurements class at Pingre Park during the summer between their sophomore and junior years and to complete at least 200 hours of professional work experience before graduation. To help students meet professional work experience requirements, CSU employs a full time experiential learning coordinator and has developed two internship programs; one with the Colorado State Forest Service and another with The Nature Conservancy Fire Use Module located in Loveland Colorado.

In addition to the 7 credits of measurements taken over the summer and the professional work experience, students gain additional field experience during scheduled laboratory times and Saturday field trips during semester-based classes. The balance of class work, field work and professional experience required for completion of the forest fire science concentration provides students with a well-rounded education and technical skills required giving them the foundation to grow and develop from an academic setting to positions of leadership in the professional workforce.

Humboldt State University

Humboldt State University offers five types of programs that include the study of fire: an undergraduate wildland fire management option, a campus-wide fire ecology minor, a wildland fire certificate of study (via the Wildland Fire Studies Institute), and graduate study (M.S. level).

The wildland fire management option and fire ecology minor and categories are available to undergraduate students currently enrolled at Humboldt State University who are seeking a Bachelors degree. The Wildland Fire Studies Institute’s Wildland Fire Certificate of Study is a cooperative program that is designed for students (often Federal employees) to meet the educational requirements for the GS-401 Fire Management Specialist job series.

The Technical Fire Management program’s mission is to enable wildland fire managers to apply the most current fire-related technology to the management of fire-dependent ecosystems. Humboldt State University also offers a graduate degree (M.S. level) for students interested in studying fire through Forestry and other department. Additional information for each program is provided at the websites below.

Wildland Fire Management Option Info:

ForestryPrograms: http://pine.humboldt.edu/registrar/catalog/documents/sections/Programs/forestry.pdf | http://humboldt.edu/fwr/program/forestry#Fire

Minor in Fire Ecology: http://pine.humboldt.edu/reg/catalog/documents/sections/Programs/fire.pdf

Wildland Fire Certificate of Study: http://www.humboldt.edu/wildlandfirecertificate/overview.html

Graduate Study in Fire: http://humboldt.edu/fwr/program/graduate_degrees

Northern Arizona University

School of Forestry

The School of Forestry (SOF) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) has one undergraduate degree, a Bachelors of Science (B.S) in Forestry. We have six certificates which students must choose from within the degree. The B.S. in Forestry with the fire ecology and management certificate is the academic program we would like AFE to consider for recognition.

School of Forestry: http://nau.edu/cefns/forestry/

Course catalog description for the B.S. in Forestry: http://catalog.nau.edu/Catalog/details?plan=FORBSFX&catalogYear=1213

Course catalog description of the Fire Ecology and Management Certificate: http://catalog.nau.edu/Catalog/details?plan=FORBSFX&catalogYear=1213.

Program Explanation: The SOF curriculum is structured differently than most undergraduate forestry or natural resource programs in the U.S. The SOF has a preprofessional program that makes up the first two years of coursework. Preprofessional coursework must be completed during the freshman and sophomore years with an overall GPA of 2.75 or better and a minimum grade of C. Upon successful completion of the preprofessional program students apply for the Professional Forestry Program for the last two years of coursework. This approach helps to insure students are prepared for the upper-division professional program.

The underlying educational philosophy of the professional program focuses on the integrated instruction of students in ecosystem science and management. This currently includes a team-taught immersion approach taught in two 13-credit courses across two semesters in the junior year and two 6-credit courses, one in each semester of the senior year. This allows more team-teaching and integrated labs allowing for some cross-pollination of topics. In addition, this structure can allow for full-days of class designated for field data collection and data analysis besides lectures, student presentations and class group work.

Fire Ecology and Management Certificate: The Fire Ecology and Management Certificate (Fire Certificate) is designed to meet two different needs. One is for our in-house undergraduate degree seeking students. The other is for professionals to come back to school via hybrid distance learning courses to help satisfy educational requirements for the federal government.

All students are required to take FOR251: Introduction to Wildland Fire and then they must take one class under five different blocks: Ecology; Measurement, Analysis and Technology; Fire Ecology; Fuel Management; and Management, Planning and Policy. This was initially developed in collaboration with the University of Idaho so that our professional students could take some classes at other institutions for a more flexible schedule.

Oregon State University

College of Forestry, Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management

The “Forest Restoration and Fire” (FRF) option at Oregon State University prepares students to understand, manage, mitigate and/or use forest disturbance processes (primarily wildland fire, but also addresses insect and disease outbreak, landslides, and windthrow) as part of sustainable forest management planning. It is a 180-quarter-credit, four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, one of three options within the Forestry degree program (FRF, forest management, and forest operations) accredited by the Society of American Foresters. In addition to coursework, all students are required to complete a total of six months of satisfactory employment in forestry or related natural resource work related to their major, typically in wildland fire or prescribed burning for this option. This is usually accomplished by two or more summers of work, but may include work during the academic year.

Our BS in Forestry degree is divided into Pre-professional and Professional components; courses included in the first and second years produce a solid foundation for future professional program studies in the junior and senior years. Pre-professional courses can be taken at Oregon State University, including online, or at any accredited community college or university that offers equivalent courses. These courses include: biology, chemistry, physics, economics, mathematics (through trigonometry and calculus), English composition, public speaking, introductory to forestry, computing applications, dendrology, surveying, photogrammetry, remote sensing, GIS, forest biology, general and forest soil science, statistics, technical writing and general baccalaureate courses. The Professional program (years three and four) begins with a Forestry Field School during the two weeks prior to the junior-year fall term, followed by two years that include: harvesting operations, forest watershed management, forest mensuration, forest economics, silviculture, analytical tools for forest resource analysis (including disturbance), forest operations regulations and policy, a two-term capstone course, and appropriate option/elective courses. 

Courses required in the FPF option include: atmospheric sciences, topics in wildland fire, forest ecology, ecological restoration, collaboration and conflict management, forest models, forest entomology, forest pathology, forest watershed management, economics and policy of forest wildland fire, wildland fire science and management, wildland fire ecology and at least two courses from a list including physics of climate and climate change, environmental geology, plant pathology, plant physiology, insect ecology, biodiversity conservation in managed forests, managing at the wildland-urban interface, advanced forest soils, natural resources policy and law, and/or several fire seminars/field trips. The recently developed FRF option is growing in popularity among current Forestry BS students (33 students currently enrolled). This was also the case prior to our current curriculum, which has only recently been approved and implemented. Of the seven options in the old Forest Management degree the “fire management” option was consistently the heaviest enrolled, often with half of the forest management student body. In addition, Oregon State University has an Honors program for a small number of exceptional students, two of whom are currently working in fire. And, there is an active Student Association for Fire Ecology (SAFE) club that provides the opportunity for undergraduates to network with graduate students researching the fire sciences; Dr. John Bailey is their faculty advisor. 

Stephen F. Austin State University

Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

Stephen F. Austin State University Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
The BS wildland fire program at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is a concentration under the Forestry major in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture.  In addition to the general education courses required of all undergraduate students at SFA, a fire student takes a wide range of courses that meet Society of American Foresters accreditation criteria as a forester, including a required Introduction to Wildland fire course.  Fire students are required to take additional courses in Fire Management, Fire Ecology and Climate&Weather, as well as Range Management and Agriculture courses.  Undergraduate students, as well as graduate students focusing on wildland fire, are able to obtain Red Card certification each fall and participate on prescribed burns under an agreement with the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas (USFS) and other state and Federal Agencies.
Visit the University’s College of Forestry and Agriculture.

University of Idaho

College of Natural Resources, BS in Fire Ecology and Managementhttp://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/frfs/bsfire

The University of Idaho has been recognized for more than 35 years as a national leader in teaching wildland fire ecology and management, conducting fire research and educating wildland fire professionals. Graduates of our Fire Ecology and Management Program are prepared to be leaders in fuels management, fire prevention, fire management, fire suppression and related fields.

We educate future leaders. Graduates of our program:

  • Provide ecological support for forest and rangeland restoration activities and fire suppression;
  • Assist with the silvicultural and rangeland management plans for fuels reduction projects,
  • Inform policy makers about the effects of fire on other natural resources,
  • Learn about fire science
  • Conduct prescribed burning in shrublands and forests for a range of habitat management, silvicultural and watershed goals,
  • Inform policy makers and the public about the ecological role of fire, and
  • Apply specialized analytical and technical tools to wildland fire and natural resource management plans.

In this program, our students learn about fire ecology and management of forest and rangeland ecosystems. The capstone senior experience course is our Prescribed Burning Laboratory where students plan, conduct and evaluate prescribed fires to accomplish ecologically-based land management objectives. The BS Fire Ecology and Management program is managed by faculty and staff of the Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences. Our Wildland Fire Program includes a vibrant graduate program, active research and effective outreach, all of which enhance the learning experience for our undergraduate students.

We are part of the College of Natural Resources (http://www.uidaho.edu/cnr) with two other departments, Conservation Social Sciences (http://www.cnrhome.uidaho.edu/css), and Fish and Wildlife Sciences (https://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/fishwild), and 7 other complementary BS degree programs (http://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/academics). Professional education leading to a degree in forestry began at the University of Idaho in 1909. To the initial curriculum in forest resources have been added those in forest products (1914), rangeland ecology and management (formerly range resources) (1917), wildlife resources (1942), fishery resources (1951), resource recreation and tourism (formerly wildland recreation management) (1974), ecology and conservation biology (formerly natural resource ecology and conservation biology) (1999), and fire ecology and management (2007).

The academic objective of the college is to provide its students with opportunities to become better prepared for lives of responsibility and fulfillment and to acquire competence for entry into professional careers in natural resource science and management. Each of the curricula offered by the college acquaints the student with the physical, biological, and social sciences and with the humanities, thus establishing a basis of general education and preparing the student for the scientific-professional courses addressing the use of forest and rangelands and related resources. In addition to the most modern technical and academic classroom instruction, the college prides itself in “hands-on” learning, taking advantage of its outstanding field facilities and its emphasis on communications and student activities to enhance leadership potential.

University of Idaho (www.uidaho.edu) is located in Moscow, Idaho, which is an ideal geographical location for preparing students for the renewable natural resources professions. Forest and rangelands comprise 90 percent of the state’s area. Forested areas include many types from the ponderosa pine in southern Idaho to the mixed coniferous and famous western white pine of northern Idaho. Rangelands ecosystems encompass grasslands, shrublands dominated by sagebrush, and juniper woodlands. Within the forest and rangelands are hundreds of lakes and streams and extensive wilderness areas that provide habitat for fish and wildlife and opportunities for wildland recreation. The values derived from these resources include wood products of all types; cattle and sheep in great numbers; abundant wildlife of many species; world renowned game fish; water for domestic use, power, and irrigation; and recreational activities.

These natural study areas and resources enhance students’ professional preparation. Our complex terrain, diverse ecosystems, and many different land uses offer rich learning opportunities about fire and fire effects. University of Idaho is centrally located to experience and address many of the challenging natural resources issues for the West, the US and world, including an increasing number of large fires threatening people and property, conservation of threatened and endangered species and ecosystems, invasive species, changing economic and demographics for many rural towns and amenity communities, water quality, and smoke. Idaho has a long history of fire, and has often served as a laboratory from Gisborne’s research on fire behavior from which the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory grew, to the large fires of 1910, 1994, 2000 and 2007 that led to changes in national fire policy and fire management strategies.

This academic program is described in the University of Idaho catalog.

University of Montana- Missoula

Wildland Fire Sciences & Management Program, College of Forestry and Conservation

Program Home Pagehttp://www.cfc.umt.edu/FireSciences/default.php

The Wildland Fire Sciences and Management Program at The University of Montana- Missoula is an interdisciplinary program that integrates fire research, land management, and workforce development. We provide students with the knowledge and skills to become creative, practical, and forward-looking managers, scientists, and leaders in the field of wildland fire.

Our program offers two undergraduate degree options in Wildland Fire: a minor in Fire Sciences and Management and a Bachelor of Science in Resource Conservation with an emphasis in Fire Management Graduate students specialize in fire science in their MS or PhD programs through degrees in Forestry, Resource Conservation, or Systems Ecology.

Fire Sciences and Management Minor – http://www.cfc.umt.edu/FireSciences/Courses.php

The minor in Wildland Fire Sciences and Management provides focused, complementary studies in wildland fire to prepare students for careers in fire-related natural resource management and for graduate school in fire sciences. The minor capitalizes on Missoula’s unique environment and location to educate and train in applied fire management, the natural and physical sciences, and in the human dimensions of fire.

The Wildland Fire Sciences & Management minor requires 23 credits in four subject areas (see web link for details). Students are required to complete a fire core which includes coursework in ecology, weather and climate, fire management, and a field-based practicum. They must also select from electives in measurements, natural/management sciences, and human dimensions. The program is very complementary to CFC majors in Resource Conservation; Forestry; Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management; Wildland Restoration; or Wildlife Biology but is also open to students from majors outside the CFC. The minor requires a significant number of upper division credits and many of the classes have pre-requisites, which means that students should consider the minor early in their academic careers.

Program advisors expect that students will actively take part in fire management activities via summer jobs, fire training, and the UM Student Association of Fire Ecology and Management chapter. Students also have access to the College’s nearby Lubrecht Experimental Forest, where they actively participate in fire and forestry operations.

Bachelor of Science in Resource Conservation – Wildland Fire Management Emphasis

The Wildland Fire Management Emphasis in the Resource Conservation Degree Program at UM prepares students for careers in fire management through flexible yet concentrated study in fire science, forestry, and land management, while providing professional advising to connect students with jobs, training and experiential opportunities. Our program maintains a strong core of ecology, biology, soils, measurements, statistics, and communications. Beyond this core, students can tailor coursework to develop more expertise in areas such as fire ecology, forest operations and restoration, fuels management, economics, and geospatial analysis (see web link for details).

The Wildland Fire Management Emphasis is an ideal option for students with career goals in fire management, and may be particularly suitable for non-traditional and transfer students. Beyond coursework, it is expected that students will actively take part in fire management activities via summer jobs, fire training, and UM student firefighter associations. Our program benefits from access to the College’s nearby Lubrecht Experimental Forest, where students actively participate in fire and forestry operations.

Beyond the College of Forestry and Conservation, the city of Missoula is a center for fire learning, research, training, and technology development, providing unparalleled work and training opportunities for motivated students. The degree can meet the requirements of the government-service 0401 series and the professional forester (0460) series with proper advising.

M.S. in Forestry, Resource Conservation, and Systems Ecology
Ph.D. in Forestry and Systems Ecology

As with many forestry and natural resource schools, UM CFC’s graduate degrees are general and inclusive. For example, a student completing the MS or PhD in Forestry is as likely to be an economist or policy expert as a fire ecologist or statistician. Graduate students are recruited by faculty and align with faculty interests and expertise under a suite of degree offerings, e.g., Forestry, System’s Ecology, and Fish and Wildlife Biology at the PhD level, and Forestry, Recreation Management, Resource Conservation, Systems Ecology, and Wildlife Biology at the MS level.

Currently, there are thirteen faculty members within CFC engaged substantially in fire research with at least fifteen graduate students working on fire-related theses and dissertations. Beyond the College, the Division of Biological Sciences, School of Journalism, and Department of Health and Human Performance host many additional faculty and graduate students involved in fire research. Collectively, these programs support a comprehensive graduate curriculum for students in fire ecology, modeling, remote sensing, economics, policy, fuels measurements/management, statistics, human physiology, and environmental journalism.

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Wildland Fire Sciences Program, College of Natural Resources

The Wildland Fire Science Program (WFS) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) is housed in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management Discipline in the College of Natural Resources (CNR). The CNR at UWSP is one of the largest in the United States and over the past 10 years has demonstrated steady growth in contrast to similar programs nationally. 

The purpose of the Wildland Fire Science Program at UWSP is to equip students with the breadth and depth of knowledge, and related skills that will maximize their contributions in the field of wildland fire science. Students thus equipped will be prepared for careers focused in fire management, fire ecology or fire administration.
Our goal is to provide training in fire ecology and management at all levels, conduct research on issues and pressing needs, conduct outreach to a variety of publics, provide the opportunity for inter-agency exchange and development of new fire ecology and management initiatives for the region. 

The WFS Program is an applied and therefore hands-on program. Students are given a broad background in natural resource management with some focus on forest management and ecosystem restoration. By the middle of their sophomore year in the program students are required to become certified as a Type II Firefighter. This is a pre-requisite for all other core fire courses. Core fire courses include: 
FOR 224 - Fire Operations (S130/190, L180, I100). 
FOR 324 - Fire Management and Ecology 
FOR 450 - Fire Policy, Suppression and Use. 
NRES 454 - Fire Behavior and Fuels. 
NRES 455 - Advanced Fire Ecology (Capstone Course). 

The program is rigorous and requires calculus rather than basic math and plant and animal biology rather than basic biology. Beyond the sophomore level students are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA to remain in the program. Students are also required to complete a summer experience series of courses in Field Techniques in Natural Resources. Here students receive intensive and directed hands on training in the application of field skills basic to natural resource management. 

Fire management has become increasingly complex and has come to mean and include much more than simply fire suppression. This major will prepare students for dealing with the complex issues involved in fighting and preventing wildfires while understanding the natural role of fire and its prescribed use. Students gain a number of skills including practical experience in developing prescribed burn, fire management and wildland fire use plans, a working knowledge of wildland fire policy, suppression, and use; predicting fire behavior; fuels management; and fire ecology. Students have the opportunity to pursue additional NWCG training and certifications to make themselves more competitive in the job market.

The program officially began in Fall 2013. We currently have approximately 50 undergraduates and 2 graduate students in our program. To date we have had one graduate who is pursuing a MS degree at Oklahoma State University.

In addition to our integrated curriculum, we strongly encourage and support experiential learning by our students through classroom and fieldtrip experiences, computer simulation models, summer jobs, internships and involvement in student organizations. One of these organizations is the UWSP Fire Crew. The 90 member Fire Crew has strong appeal among students and strong support from agencies working in the region and is recognized nationally as an effective student organization. SAFE operates within the UWSP Fire Crew and has 8 members.  http://stuorgs.uwsp.edu/firecrew/Pages/default.aspx

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