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Campus

The location where your NAIT courses will be held.

Credential

The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times

Length

The average or expected time it will take to complete your program.

Open Studies

Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program.
It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in.

International Students

Program availability may be limited for international applicants. Contact your student advisor for more information.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced Credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 7 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of D in the course(s) or program

Transfer credit - successful graduates from the Portage College Forest Technician program will be granted one year of advanced credit in the Forest Technology program at NAIT, provided they meet the prerequisites for the program.

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

If you do not qualify for transfer credit or credential recognition, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be an option.

Contact the program for additional information about Advanced Credit.

Learn to manage and protect Alberta's forests

Alberta's forests are a renewable public resource, managed according to Alberta's Forests Act. In NAIT's Forest Technology diploma program, you'll learn how to manage forests responsibly and sustainably on behalf of the residents of Alberta through a variety of field activities, class lectures and data analysis.

If you have a passion for the environment, enjoy being outdoors, have a strong work ethic, are in good physical fitness and comfortable working with computers, Forest Technology could be an excellent fit for you!

This is a 2-year diploma program delivered over 4 semesters. Fall semesters that begin in August run 17 weeks while Winter semesters beginning in January run 15 weeks. 

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

Modern forestry is a high-tech, field-oriented career focused on forest management activities such as reclamation, fire behaviour and protection, insects and disease, watersheds, ecosystems, reforestation, forest engineering, wildlife habitat, forest legislation, recreation, soils, harvest planning and operations, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). 

These are just some of the subject areas we cover in the Forest Technology program to help prepare you for real-world environmental management:

  • Learn to use current tools, equipment, techniques and technology for forest and land management
  • Conduct wildfire and forest health operations
  • Generate a vegetation inventory
  • Apply relevant policy and legislation

Field training

What better way to learn about forests than spending some quality time outdoors? In Forest Technology, field training is stressed over the 2 years of the program.

The first 5 weeks of Year 1 are spent at NAIT’s Kidney Lake camp, located about 50 km northwest of Whitecourt, AB.  During camp, plenty of time will be spend in the field developing foundational skills in wildfire suppression, plant identification, forest ecology, and forest measurements.

The Kidney Lake camp has a number of modest cabins and permanent structures in which you'll sleep, eat and attend classes.  You'll also have time to develop strong relationships with the people you’ll be working with during the program and throughout your career.

Year 2 field training primarily occurs in the Cache-Percotte forest, located adjacent to Hinton, AB.  Here you'll continue your hands-on learning and further develop career focused skills essential to becoming a successful forest professional.

Field labs will emphasize real world activities associated with reforestation, operational planning, sustainable harvesting, and reclamation using the latest technology.

Other field labs in and around Edmonton are conducted throughout the two years of the program.

Enter the workforce with confidence 

The program will work closely with you to identify career opportunities within the forest industry and help you develop the skills you'll need to find a meaningful, lifelong career.

Over 80% of our grads have secured employment directly related to their studies a short time after graduation. Graduates report competitive salaries and opportunities for rapid career advancement. 

Forest technologists typically find employment with industry, government agencies, consulting firms, conservation groups and private landowners. The positions typically involve a mixture of work in both the forest and office, and are almost always based out of towns near the forested areas of Alberta. 

Become a trusted professional 

After graduation, you will earn a diploma in Forest Technology.

NAIT's Forest Technology program currently works with the Association of Forest Management Professionals (AAFMP) to set the academic benchmark required for Registered Professional Forest Technologists under the Regulated Forestry Profession Act.

Graduates of the program are eligible to register as Registered Professional Forest Technologists.

Any person who practices forestry in Alberta is required to register with the AAFMP.  Learn more about the AAFMP and mandatory registration at http://www.aafmp.ca

Have questions? We've got answers 

General program information

If you have questions about the Forest Technology program, Wendy Pineda is happy to help.

Advanced credit

Students who have been accepted into the program can apply for advanced credit. Please contact program chair Marc Mayhew for more information.

  • Email: mmayhew@nait.ca
  • Phone: 780.471.8520

 

Student Service Centre

  • Email: askNAIT@nait.ca
  • Phone: 780.471.NAIT (6248)
  • Toll free: 1.877.333.NAIT (6248)


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Courses

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Tuition & Fees

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How to Apply

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Scholarships & Awards

Funding for students in this program

Term 1

FORT1101Worksite Safety
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course develops safety skills required in the forest industry. As part of this course students will receive training in defensive driving, chainsaw operation, bear awareness and avoidance, wilderness survival and All-Terrain Vehicle use. In addition, students will learn maintenance skills for vehicles, equipment and field camps along with requirements for worksite safety.

FORT1110Forest Inventory I
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Co-requisites: FORT1111, FORT1112.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course focuses on using remote sensing methods with particular emphasis on forest landscapes using the Alberta Vegetation Inventory (AVI) as a classification tool. Students learn how to use survey systems, map and photo scale, and interpretation methodology and principles through a variety of field and classroom activities. This course will increase confidence in field program planning and navigation.

FORT1111Forest Measurements
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Co-requisites: FORT1110, FORT1112.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course introduces the techniques and procedures of forest measurements acquisition and data capture within the forest industry. Skills will be developed in the areas of equipment usage and maintenance, Alberta Third System of Survey, measurement processes and procedures, crew efficiency, data collection and recording, field map and aerial photography use, map scale, basic statistical compilation and analysis, as well as project management development.

FORT1112Forest Ecosystems
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Co-requisites: FORT1110, FORT1111.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course focuses on the identification and use of common vegetative species found in Western Canada. Students will learn about various ecosystems and their implications for reforestation decisions. Students will also conduct tree planting and quality assessments to learn about Alberta silviculture planting practices with a focus on how they relate to microsite and reforestation decisions.

FORT1120Wildfire Suppression
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course is the Alberta Wildfire Management Branch (WMB) Wildfire Crew Member training course. It is an entry-level wildfire suppression course where students may receive academic certification as Wildland firefighters if all sections of the training course are completed to required WMB standards.

FORT1140Communications
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course introduces some of the basic communication methods used in the forest industry including memos, informal reports, presentations and spreadsheets. Students will also begin to develop personal management tools for success, take part in a career symposium with forest industry representatives, and improve their skills with word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software.

Term 2

FORT1130Forest Engineering
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course introduces the concepts and skills required to plan and locate a resource road. There are four broad objectives in this course: locating a forest road to specification, utilizing road engineering software to generate a road plan, measuring and recording data in field conditions and identifying the components of various water-course crossings. In addition, the use of the Third System of Survey (ATS) and map scale will be reinforced as a foundational skill.

FORT1211Forest Management I
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT1111.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course introduces the concepts of sustainable forest management, forest tenure systems and forest management legislation. Students will also develop knowledge to increase Aboriginal Peoples cultural awareness and generate basic statistics to support forest management decisions.

FORT1214Forest Soils and Plants
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Pre-Requisite: FORT1112.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course focuses on plant physiology and the sub-surface components of forest ecosystems. Plant physiology will be examined to determine how different plant species vary in their genetics, site requirements and influence on the forest environment. Students will explore concepts of forest ecology, forest soils and plant physiology while growing seedlings in a greenhouse setting. The potential impacts of forest operations on the forest ecosystem will also be introduced.

FORT1215Forest Health
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course focuses on wildlife, insects and diseases with an emphasis on species identification and management. Students will learn how to identify the major forest insects and pathogens affecting Alberta's forests and discuss forest management strategies to mitigate their effects. Students will also learn about the interaction between forest management activities and the habitat requirements of major fish and wildlife species in Alberta with an emphasis on "Species at Risk".

FORT1250GPS and GIS I
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course develops the skills required to collect and map spatial and attribute data. Students will learn how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to manage, analyze and create different data structures and maps while Global Positioning System (GPS) compatible hardware and software will be used to capture spatial and attribute information in the field for integration with existing GIS datasets. Mastering the concept of file management is very important for this course.

FORT2340Professional Development
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT1140.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course builds upon the professionalism that is required throughout the forestry program. Some of the areas of emphasis include the development of supervisory skills, the application of codes of conduct and ethics, giving effective presentations, sensitivity in dealing with stakeholders and the importance of striving for lifelong personal professional development. Oral and written communication is emphasized.

Term 3

FORT2311Reclamation and Land Use
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisites: FORT1211, FORT1214.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Students will gain experience with the standards and practices applicable to reclamation on severely disturbed industrial work sites in forested ecosystems. In addition, this course builds on land use and forest policies introduced in the first year with an emphasis on practical application and associated approval processes. Forest range health, invasive species and stakeholder consultation will also be covered.

FORT2314Silviculture I: Reforestation
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT1214.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course builds upon Year 1 soils, ecology and physiology courses. A major goal is to develop the ability to make appropriate reforestation choices. This is primarily accomplished through emphasis on the development of site specific reforestation prescriptions. Another area of focus is planning and implementation of Alberta's legal reforestation surveys. In this portion the student learns to carry out surveys and also has the opportunity to evaluate the success of industry reforestation prescriptions. Vegetation management is also emphasized through planning and carrying out a stand tending project with brushsaws.

FORT2332Forest Harvesting and Milling
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT1101.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will emphasize sustainable, economical and safe forest harvest and mill operations. The student will participate in a harvest operation and gain experience from an industry, contractor and government perspective. Students will also learn to assess log quality, compare various manufacturing facilities, and identify associated commercial products from harvested forest resources. The Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Log Scaling Course will be delivered providing students with the opportunity to obtain their Province of Alberta Scaling Certificate.

FORT2350Watershed Management
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT1250. Co-requisite: FORT2351.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will develop an understanding of the hydrological principles, legislation, guidelines and strategies applicable to water and watershed management. GIS analysis tools will be used to create resultant datasets for a watershed assessment report.

FORT2351GPS and GIS II
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT1250. Co-requisite: FORT2350.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course builds on GPS and GIS skills introduced in the first year with an emphasis on practical applications within forestry. Students will use GIS to develop a resource plan and implement a field based project using GPS and GIS. Collected and provided data will be analyzed and presented as part of a forest engineering project.

Term 4

FORT2410Vegetation Inventory
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisites: FORT1110, FORT2351.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course builds upon basic skills and concepts already taught in Forest Measurements and Forest Inventory. Some general areas of focus are species and stand composition, choosing an appropriate AVI (Alberta Vegetation Inventory) attribute code, further development of interpretation principles and skills, and an introduction to enhanced inventory techniques.

FORT2411Forest Management II
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT2311.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will develop a better understanding of emerging forest industry trends, technologies and issues through a combination of self directed research, guest speakers and industry tours. Students will also develop skills associated with stakeholder consultations and learn more advanced statistical methods.

FORT2414Silviculture II: Stand Improvement
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT2314.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course builds upon the basic reforestation taught in Silviculture I by focusing on options that industry has to enhance the forest beyond their legal obligations. Some of the general areas of focus include recognizing which stand improvement treatments are appropriate and reconciling treatment choices with overall objectives. Tree improvement, thinning, pruning and fertilization are examples of some of the treatments that are investigated. Students apply fundamental concepts such as the law of self thinning in order to develop a real world stand management plan.

FORT2420Wildfire Management
  • Requisites: This course is available to Open Studies students. Standard First Aid and CPR is required prior to taking this course. Although not required, successful completion of Science 20 or equivalent is recommended prior to taking this course.
  • Open Studies: Available

This course will look at how wildfire management agencies across Canada deal with the wildfire threat to human values. While recognizing that wildfire plays an ecological role in vegetated landscapes around the world, we will focus on the Boreal forest in Alberta. An important component of the course will address some of the issues facing wildfire management such as aging forests, increased human presence in fire-prone ecosystems, and decreasing fire-fighting budgets.

FORT2432Harvest Management
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT2332.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course develops a further understanding of previously introduced forest harvesting topics by expanding on harvesting systems and their management. Operational planning is emphasized through the development of detailed block designs, comparison of machinery types and productivity, calculating the cost of equipment ownership, evaluating log haul logistics and predicting the total cost of a project.

FORT2450Harvest Planning
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Forest Technology program. Prerequisite: FORT2351.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

In this six week course, students will have the opportunity to integrate and apply their knowledge, expertise, and creativity into forest harvest planning. Students will be challenged to take a practical and thoughtful approach to harvest planning that goes beyond “farming trees”, incorporating stand and landscape level biodiversity, wildlife concerns, integration of stakeholders, and silviculture planning. Students will work in groups to produce several plans, including: a Final Harvest Plan (FHP), Annual Operation Plan (AOP), Silviculture Plan, and delivery schedule for a compartment within an existing Forest Management Area (FMA) in the province. At the end of the course each group will do a brief presentation to a panel of industry representatives.

Tuition

Cost Per Credit: $180
Tuition Cap: $1,940

Tuition for International Students

Cost Per Credit: $567
Tuition Cap: $6,111

Mandatory Fees

NAITSA: $129
U-Pass: $175
Health & Dental: $128
Rec. & Athletics: $70

Pay Your Tuition & Fees
How much will first year cost?

Books, Supplies & Program Fees (est.)

Level 1 Term 1: $1,825
Level 1 Term 2: $325
Level 2 Term 1: $225
Level 2 Term 2: $225

Dates & Deadlines

We recommend submitting your program application at least 90 days before the application deadline.

Application Deadline: Aug 12, 2019

Term Start Date: Aug 12, 2019

Program Availability Status:  

Domestic Applicants: WL
International Applicants: WL

Entrance Requirements

  • Grade 12 English (English 30-1 or 30-2)
  • Math 30-1 or 30-2 or Pure Math 30 or Applied Math 30
  • Two of: Chemistry 20, Biology 20, Physics 20 or Science 30
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency

Additional Requirements and Considerations

First Aid - Standard First Aid and CPR.

Driver's License - An Alberta Class 5 driver's license is recommended and a requirement for most jobs in forestry.

Technology Requirements

Students are required to have laptop computers for the duration of their studies at NAIT. This is referred to as BYOD (bring your own device). Students are also required to have a GPS enabled Android tablet for field data collection. To ensure student success, devices must meet minimum standards to operate the required educational software used throughout the program. Before purchasing a laptop and tablet, please note the following requirements.

Laptop Requirements: • 15.6 inch display (minimum 24-bit color depth). • 2.2 GHz minimum; Hyper-threading (HHT) or Multi-core recommended. • Memory / RAM 8 GB or higher. • 500 GB hard drive. • Video/Graphics adaptor 256MB RAM, or higher (NVIDIA, ATI, and Intel chipsets supported), 24-bit capable graphics accelerator. • OpenGL version 2.0 runtime minimum is required, and Shader Model 3.0 or higher is recommended. • Microsoft Windows 10 Home or Pro version recommended (NOT Windows 10 S). • Students are responsible for the service and repair of their own computers. • Tech Support will be available to assist with NAIT educational software licensing and installation issues. • No Apple laptops. There are NO MAC VERSIONS of the required ARCGIS software. Previous semesters have shown that Apple laptops have frequent incompatibility issues.

Android Tablet Requirements (used in Semester 2 and beyond): • A GPS enabled Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) or later • Processor: ARMv7 or later, or x86 • OpenGL ES 2.0 support • Precise location (GPS and network-based) support • A ruggedized Otter box case (or similar)

If you have any questions please contact either the School of Applied Sciences and Technology technical support at SSBEMTech@nait.ca or the Forest Technology Program at FOT@nait.ca.

Apply to Program

Apply to the program with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application process. Please note, processing time may vary for applicants, so we recommend starting early.

Apply nowHow to apply checklist


Open Studies

A great option to get started or take a few courses without committing to a full program. Learn more

International Students

This program is open to international applicants. For more detailed information about applying, visit our admissions page. Learn more

Legend

Term Definition
Open Program still has seats available.
Waitlisting Program is full and qualified applicants are being placed on a waitlist. For information about waitlists, please visit the Waitlist FAQs.

If you’re on a non-competitive waitlist, you should consider NAIT’s Academic Upgrading program or NAIT Equivalency Tests to become a more competitive applicant.

There is no guarantee that waitlisted applicants will be offered a seat, however it is common for seats to become available until the start of class. As seats become available, they are filled from the waitlist.
Closed Program is no longer accepting applications.
N/A Not available for this term.


*Program availabilty is subject to change without notice.

Scholarships & Awards

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Video gallery 

 

Student success

Techlifetoday: Wildfires fuel thirst for adventure, community spirit

Forestry Technology grads share what motivates them to battle blazes

Read more

Alumni profile: Braden Shaw

This NAIT Forest Technology grad has embraced a rewarding career in reclamation – returning former industrial sites to a natural state.

Watch the video

 

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Learn how to register through Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) or begin the application process.

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