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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife

Students in the Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife (FFW) major learn to create solutions for sustaining ecosystems, habitats, and plant and animal species that are affected by human use of the environment. Forestry, wildlife, and aquatic specialists address the biological principles and socio-economic aspects of managing forest lands, freshwater and coastal ecosystems, and fish and wildlife, and look for ways to incorporate landscape restoration and habitat conservation into their practices.

There are 3 different tracks a student can focus on within the Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife major:


Forestry is one of the three different tracks a student can focus on within the Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife major. The mission of the Forestry Program at The Ohio State University is to enhance and impart knowledge of forest ecosystems and their use by humans through an integrated educational program of experiential teaching, learning, scholarship, and discovery.

The goals of the Forestry Program are:

1)  To provide SAF professionally accredited undergraduate curriculums grounded in the ecological principles of forest ecosystem science and in the adaptive management of ecosystem components (e.g., wildlife, water) for diverse and long-term societal benefits and values;
2)  To provide research programs and graduate educational opportunities emphasizing our specific strengths in forest ecosystem science and management, including forest ecology, restoration, ecosystem management, fire science, policy, and geospatial analyses;
3)  To provide continuing educational opportunities in Forestry and Natural Resources for professionals and for the public through comprehensive extension outreach programs;
4)  To provide educational opportunities for students from across the School, the College, and The University that impart knowledge of the science and management of forest ecosystems; and
5)  To provide recognized professional leadership and service related to forest ecosystem science and management to interested persons and groups within The University, the profession, and the state of Ohio, including by serving on committees and advisory boards and councils.

The two Forestry specializations (Forest Ecosystem Science and Management and Forestry and Wildlife) focus on the ecology and management of forest ecosystems. Students graduating from these specializations will be prepared for careers involving the management of private and public forest lands, pulp and timber operations in the industrial sector, domestic or international consulting, wildland firefighting, research, or teaching. These two Forestry curriculums are accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

Students may select the Forest Ecosystem Science and Management disciplinary intensive and science-based specialization that is designed for those most interested in the profession of forestry, including those that may plan to attend graduate school inSociety of American Foresters Accredited logo. forestry or another discipline. Alternatively, other students may choose the Forestry and Wildlife combined-focus specialization that is designed for, but not limited to, students that expect to seek professional employment upon graduation in either discipline.

The two Forestry curriculums include the coursework that is required for professional certification by the Society of American Foresters.


Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Through this specialization, students study aquatic organisms and ecosystems, explore the sustainable use of aquatic resources, and understand how to apply science to a  broad range of conservation and environmental issues.  This specialization offers a dynamic learning environment where students actively engage in classroom, laboratory, and field activities in streams, rivers, wetlands and lakes.  Students will be prepared for career pathways ranging from conservation and management of fisheries and aquatic resources, to aquaculture and ecosystem restoration, to environmental consulting.  Additionally, many of our students continue on to receive graduate or professional degrees.  Students completing the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences specialization are eligible for certification through the American Fisheries Society.



This specialization emphasizes managing ecosystems and populations so that all components remain healthy and balanced. Wildlife specialists play an important role in determining size and health of wildlife populations for improved management. Students following this specialization could find employment in the private sector with an environmental consulting firm, such as West, Inc, or a non-profit organization, such as the Nature Conservancy or in the public sector with a federal agency, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or a state agency, such as the Ohio Division of Wildlife. , Students will be prepared for careers as wildlife biologists, wildlife managers, conservation law enforcement officers, environmental educators, and researchers. This specialization provides the necessary credentials to become an Associate Wildlife Biologist through the Wildlife Society.


Students may choose one of the following combined-focus options that are designed for, but not limited to, students that expect to seek professional employment upon graduation:

     -Forestry and Wildlife
     -Fisheries and Wildlife

Students may select one of the following more disciplinary-intensive and science-based options that are designed for, but not limited to, students that expect to attend graduate or professional school:
     - Forest Ecosystem Science and Management
     - Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
     - Wildlife Science
     - Wildlife and Pre-Veterinary Sciences

View FFW Major Requirements Here.


On average, 93% of graduates in this major have acquired employment or enrolled in graduate or professional school within 6 months of graduation with an average starting salary of $40k. In a typical year, 9% of FFW grads go directly into graduate or professional school.

Forestry specializations:

Wildland Firefighter, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon
Forester, Florida Forest Service, Florida
Forestry Technician I, FORECON Inc., West Virginia
District Forester, Indiana Division of Forestry, Indiana
Tree Climber, Bartlett Tree Experts, Ohio
Biological Technician, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Horticultural Specialist, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Ohio
Forester, ODNR-Division of Forestry, Ohio
Forestry Technician, US Forest Service, Washington
Arborist, Joseph Tree Service, Ohio

Fisheries specializations:

Fish and Wildlife Biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia
Fisheries Observer, Alaskan Observers Inc, Washington
Biological Science Technician, USDA - APHIS, Ohio
Environmental Planner, AECOM, Jew Jersey
Lake and Pond Specialist, AquaDOC Management, Georgia
Natural Resource Technician, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida
Coastal Initiatives Strike Team Specialist, The Nature Conservancy, Ohio
Biologist, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, Ohio
Research Technician, Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois

Wildlife specializations:

Wildlife Specialist, U.S. Dept of Agriculture - APHIS Wildlife Services, Ohio
Animal Care and Conservation Assistant, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio
Wildlife Technician, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin
Natural Resource Officer, ODNR - Division of Wildlife, Ohio
Interpretive Collection Intern, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Ohio
Educational Interpreter/Tour Guide, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio
Veterinary Technician, Annehurst Veterinary Hospital, Ohio
Interpretive Park Ranger Intern, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Farmhand, Skyline Alpacas, Oregon
Interpretive Specialist, Cincinnati Museum Center, Ohio

Full employment and graduate school outcome reports are available here.