Educational programs

Penn State Mont Alto

Half of this college degree path is spent outdoors! At Mont Alto, the forest technology major isn't just about trees. It's about nature and science, environment and research, conservation and technology. As the nation’s first public forest academy and one of only twenty-four programs in North America accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF), Mont Alto’s forest technology degree is part of a longstanding tradition of conservation and environmental awareness. Forest technicians are trained to perform fieldwork in forest management, tree care, and wildlife management. They conduct forest inventories, gather research data, mark timber, and supervise timber sales.

Best for:

Those seeking to prepare for forest management, tree care, and wildlife management.

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Penn State University Park

The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management prepares students for careers in the conservation and management of natural and human-dominated ecosystems. We focus on preparing leaders to overcome critical obstacles to healthy fisheries, wildlife, soils, forests, water, agriculture, and agroecosystems. Ecosystem Science and Management undergraduate and graduate academic programs integrate the science, technology, and management skills needed to understand and conserve our valuable natural resources. Learning takes place in the classroom, the laboratory, and in forests, fields, and waterways. Penn State is a Tier 1 Research University. As such, our students—from first-semester students to doctoral candidates—participate in meaningful research. Current focus areas include Forest Health, Restoring Ecosystem Function and Service, Scaling Up Ecosystem Management, and Watershed Resilience. At Penn State the Forest Resources Building houses classrooms and laboratories and serves as our departmental home. Our facilities also include the Land Analysis Lab, Forestland Management Office, Soil Research Cluster Laboratory, Center for Private Forests, Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics, and more.

Best for:

Those looking to pursue a degree in a program that combines a solid scientific and technical foundation with hands-on application.

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Penn State Extension

The Penn State Extension is an educational network that provides access to the University's resources and expertise, to anyone located in Pennsylvania's 67 counties.

The Extension partners with the our own educators, faculty, and local volunteers to work together to share share unbiased, research-based information with local residents.

Best for:

Any individuals, families, businesses or communities who are looking for information and education on how to better their community.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology

This hands-on program prepares students for technical positions in forestry production. Learn about forest fire control, wildlife habitat improvement and more.

Best for:

Those interested in timber estimating, marking and surveying among others.

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PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) ​

SFI's Professional Timber Harvester Training Program serves as an essential role in ensuring the sustainability of our state's forest resources. This program focuses on the critical management activities that sustain our forests and supply our forest products industry.

Best for:

Those seeking a hands-on position with an interest in continuing educational training.

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Somerset County Technology Center

At the secondary level, the Somerset County Technology Center is the only career and technology center in the Commonwealth with a Forestry program.The program operates from 10-12th grade with content that includes Measurement, Surveying, Mechanics, Dendrology, Wildlife Management, and Forest Products.

Best for:

Those who enjoy the outdoors and would like to help manage forests for the next generation.

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National Hardwood Lumber Association

National Hardwood Lumber Association is the creator and keeper of the North American hardwood lumber grading rules and offers a variety of courses for lumber graders. Their Inspector Training School offers a career in the hardwood industry as lumber graders from their 10 and 12 week courses in Memphis, TN. They also offer other technical short courses and on-site company training by an NHLA National Inspector. NHLA has the experience to further your knowledge and your career.

Best for:

Those looking to learn more about lumber graders and expanding your knowledge base.

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DCNR ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors

ECO Camp, Exploring Careers Outdoors, is a week-long residential camp for high school students focusing on outdoor careers in recreation, conservation and natural resources. Professional staff from DCNR including state parks, geology and forestry, act as counselors and educators, exposing students to a variety of careers and outdoor recreation activities while interacting with students on a daily basis.

Best for:

High school students who are looking to experience a variety of outdoor careers.

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