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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Eric Turnblom
ESRM 323
Seattle Campus


Silviculture techniques, including nursery practices, clear-cutting, seed trees, shelterwood, selection cutting, site preparation, regeneration methods, thinning, fertilization, chemicals, and regional silviculture in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, California, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. Multiple-use field trips. Offered: Sp.

Class description

Silviculture is applied forest ecology. It is the theory and practice (science and art) of controlling the establishment, composition, constitution, structure, and growth of the forest. Silviculture provides the biological technology that carries ecosystem management into action. The practice of silviculture consists of deriving and prescribing various treatments for forests to maintain and enhance their utility for any defined multi-faceted purpose a mosaic of ecological, social, and economic goals in a sustainable manner.

Student learning goals

Students will learn about how different tree species grow, reproduce, and respond to their environment;

Students will learn about silviculture techniques including site classification, species selection, regeneration methods, and tree seedling nursery practices;

Students will learn about silviculture systems (differentiated by their principal tree/forest reproduction method), such as single-tree selection, group selection, shelterwood, seed tree, and single-cohort systems;

Students will also learn about preparing sites for successful forest regeneration / reproduction, intermediate thinning treatments, and other forest / stand tending techniques;

Students will learn about the regional silviculture of other western forest complexes, looking beyond western Washington.

General method of instruction

There are 1-1/2 hour, semi-weekly lecture / discussion sessions, seven multi-resource, multi-purpose field trips that provide opportunities to gain exposure to applications (students are required to attend a minimum of four field trips), and two or three two-hour labs, focusing on analyzing silvicultural data.

Recommended preparation

Students should have good understanding of basic principles in biology / ecology / botany, such as those afforded in BIOL 180, 200, 220, and / or ESRM 201. Supplemental reading materials are made available for students to review and brush up on these concepts.

Class assignments and grading

Periodic homework and lab assignments will require students to synthesize and apply concepts presented up to that point in the course by way of short answer / essay type questions as well as light math to quantify their qualitative descriptions of silvicultural options.

There is one midterm and one final exam accounting for 35% of the grade; homework assignments and labs make up another 35%, field trip questionnaires (short answer and True / False) are worth 25% (students attend at least 4 field trips); while general effort and participation is worth 5%.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Eric Turnblom
Date: 03/03/2011