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Forestry, Wildlife Ecology, & Ecosystems Restoration at Northland College, Ashland, WI

This blog contains direct quotes from websites as of today’s date. Programs and policies do change, at colleges, from time to time, so please check with the colleges directly to receive any updates. These are not, necessarily, the biggest, best, or most popular programs at the college, but they are the ones that just “caught my eye” as unique, special, interesting, or just plain awesome. They are randomly listed in the blog section of this website. Enjoy!

From the Northland College website (2023): “You like the outdoors, right? Then you’re going to love this place. Northland College has a location like nowhere else on Earth. We are surrounded by a million acres of forest and the largest freshwater lake in the world. These amazing natural resources are right outside our doors and serve as living laboratories and natural playgrounds.

“Expect to get out often as part of your classwork in natural resources. You’ll be working closely with faculty who will immerse you in the wildlife, fisheries, forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes of this northern ecosystem. You’ll acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate effectively, manage resources, and solve problems.

“Classes are small enough for in-depth field activities, data analysis, and group projects such as developing a management plan. You will get the ecological, economic, policy, and management foundations necessary to use, protect, and enhance natural resources, preparing you for careers in government, tribal agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or the private sector and for graduate school.

“Our graduates go on to do the coolest stuff—from mitigating ecological impacts of climate change in Antarctica to managing fires out west to studying sharks in South Africa, and everything in between.

“With coursework and field experiences focused on ecosystem restoration, you get a rock-solid foundation in ecology and an understanding of the physical and biological components of ecosystems. You will explore major threats to local and global biodiversity and efforts to mitigate those threats (i.e., habitat loss, exploitation, pollution, global climate change, and invasive species). Through project-based learning, we will teach you the practical nuts-and-bolts of conducting an ecological site assessment and designing and implementing conservation and restoration plans. We will lead you on fieldtrips to a variety of habitats and learn to recognize key species and their natural histories. You’ll discuss adaptive restoration and applications of prescribed fire and other ecosystem management tools. Upon graduation you’ll be ready to apply your education to real-world challenges and to make a difference by working to conserve biodiversity and ecological integrity of natural areas and to restore degraded ecosystems. course list

“Fisheries and wildlife ecology will prepare you for a career studying and managing wild populations of animals for multiple uses. At Northland, you will learn the basics while studying populations of wolves, flying squirrels, sharp-tailed grouse, trout, and sturgeon, to name a few. Our courses and lab work cover anatomy, physiology, genetics, and ecology, so you’ll know your animals inside and out. Our intensive Field Techniques class provides a month of hands-on, outdoor learning and collaboration with local wildlife and fisheries professionals. We also emphasize the human dimensions of managing animal populations and the interests of different stakeholder groups. course list

“Forestry is more than trees. Way more. A Northland College forestry degree will take you beyond conventional forestry to becoming a skilled leader and thinker in this field. The modern forester needs to be fluent in the biological, ecological, social, and economic worlds, to understand how trees and forested ecosystems work, and how forests interact with other Earth systems. You will learn about the interconnectedness of forests, human society, and culture from a historic to modern land ethic viewpoint while exploring the past, present, and future role of forests as a commodity that can provide potentially renewable and sustainable raw materials, fuels, sources for recreation, clean water, diverse habitat, carbon sequestration, and more. In four years, you’ll be ready for a future in ecological restoration, scientific monitoring, wildland fire, private or governmental land management, environmental policy and law, traditional and alternative timber products, or preparation for postgraduate degrees.”

Northland is one of the 31 colleges featured in this new book (click image for information):

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