Forest and Conservation Technicians
Main Topic: Physical Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society
Overview: Forest and conservation technicians measure and improve the quality of forests, rangeland and other natural areas. They help in the conservation of soil, water, forests, or other natural resources. They also will patrol natural areas to make sure that environmental regulations are being followed. Forest and conservation technicians gather data on soil quality, disease and damage to plants and trees that may present a fire hazard. Forest technicians mark property lines and evaluate forest and wildlife areas to determine species, quality and amount of standing timber. They may lead forest conservation activities within the local community. Many forest and conservation technicians also use mapping technologies to map forest tract data.
Forestry technicians help professional foresters manage forest resources. They work for federal and state government agencies that manage public forest lands used for recreation and conservation purposes. Some technicians work for private companies engaged in logging and manufacturing paper and wood pulp products. Foresters and forestry technicians estimate the amount of timber in a forest. First, they determine the number of trees that can be harvested. Then they calculate the amount of lumber or pulp-wood an average tree will produce. Foresters and technicians also mark trees so that logging crews will know which ones to cut. Many forestry technicians are involved in reforestation. They plant trees on land that has been logged or destroyed by fire or industrial use. Both government agencies and private companies hire forestry technicians to work on reforestation projects. Technicians may oversee the work crews that plant trees. Sometimes these crews plant grass or ground cover crops to prevent soil from being washed or blown away. Forestry technicians may assist foresters who check for evidence of harmful insects or tree diseases. Training for forestry technicians generally includes courses in land surveying, timber cruising, forest protection, wildlife management, and logging.
Geographers at work: Physical Geographers, GIS Specialists, Dendrochronologist, Cartographers, Environmental Geographers
Recommended College Courses: Remote Sensing, Environmental Management, Quantitative Methods, Physical Geography, Geographic Information Systems
Skills: Geographic information systems (GIS), ecology, physical geography, sustainability, human-environment relations, land surveying, field methods
Occupation Group: Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
Learn more about Forest and Conservation Technicians from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/farming-fishing-and-forestry/forest-and-conservation-workers.htm
Written by Kaleigh Shuler and Christopher Hinojosa