Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management

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This entry is currently under development. Please do not consider the entry authoritative until it has been completed.

Forestry camp. Record group/Fonds UA RG; File 8; Item G8476 (1936).

Previously named: Department of Forestry, Faculty of Forestry

Established: 1907 (as Department of Forestry)

History: The Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management—which evolved through the addition and removal of multiple departments and instructors with varying specializations—existed as a Department for nearly thirty years before becoming a full faculty at UNB. As early as the 1860s, signs that pointed towards studying certain aspects of the forests became evident, as the professor of Chemistry and Natural Science, Loring Woart Bailey, took to studying and teaching botany during his time at the University. In the early twentieth century, it was listed alongside the Departments of Electrical and Civil Engineering within the Faculty of Applied Science.

The Department of Forestry was formally established through the efforts of UNB President C.C. Jones who, in 1907, presented a paper entitled "The Relations of Educational Institutions to Forestry" at the Provincial Forestry Convention in Fredericton. It this paper he proposed a syllabus for a course that could be taught at UNB, provided funding were available. Attendents of the Convention proceeded to call on the provincial government to provide sufficient funds for developing the program at the University.

Robert Barclay Miller became the first professor of Forestry, appointed soon after the government's approval of the program, which began in 1908. The first two years of the Forestry course were identical to those of the Engineering course, but with the addition of a Botany class in freshman year and Forest Botany in sophomore year. There were twelve courses offered altogether, five for third-year students and seven for fourth-year students. These courses of study included Forest Mensuration, Silviculture, Lumbering, Technology, Forest Law, and Meteorology. Also, combined five-year courses in both Forestry and Civil Engineering were offered around this time, indicating that the study of both disciplines would lead to a full-fledged program of its own. By 1912, there were only ten course offerings under Forestry in the calendar. A course in Entomology was added to the Forestry curriculum in 1919, designed to provide students with a working knowledge of forest insects, identification, control methods and so on.

After the First World War, the 1920s saw many breakthroughs in the Forestry field, including surveying of forested land, forest inventories, and forest fire protection. By 1923, there still were only two full-time Forestry professors teaching at UNB: Professor of Forestry, Albert Van Siclen Pulling, and Professor of Forest Engineering, Bertram Eugene Claridge. Funding for more courses, professors, and course materials was a primary concern at the University for much of the twentieth century. Since the early 1900s, the staff at UNB had to deal with limited space and laboratory equipment for teaching as student enrollment numbers rose more rapidly. In 1929, construction for the Forestry and Geology building began and was finished in 1930. On the whole, Forestry graduates were more recognized for their presence in technical, professional, and administrative fields. As a result, little contributions were made in conducting biological research in the Forestry curriculum for the first thirty years following its establishment, favouring the engineering phases instead. It did not take long for the study of the biological phases of Forestry to surface at UNB, as the University established a Chair of Forest Entomology for the Department during the 1938-39 academic year. It was the first of its kind in Canada at the time. By 1941, there were fourteen courses offered by the Department.

The end of the Second World War initiated many major changes at UNB as student enrollment grew significantly as ex-servicemen registered for programs and courses. In 1946, the Senate granted Forestry its status as a Faculty and later added six specializations including Forest Entomology, Forest Surveying, Botany, Forest Pathology, Forest Management, and Economics. A few years later, the undergraduate program was extended from four years of study to five. Five years of study in total allowed the students to follow the more modern changes that were made to the program and avoid overspecializing in the undergrad level. During this period there were reportedly more than four hundred students enrolled in Forestry at UNB. By the end of the 1940s, there were twenty-three course offerings in Forestry. The Forestry staff consisted of nine instructors in the beginning of the 1950s. There were additional specializations made around 1951, including Forest Products, Wildlife, and Silviculture. Generally, specializations would vary over the years. There were thirty-eight courses by 1954 including Graphical and Statistical Methods, Soils and Silvics, Photogrammetry, and Economic Forest Entomology. In the 1954-55 academic year, the Faculty divided the Department of Forestry into three new departments which were the Departments of Silviculture, Forest Utilization, and Forest Management. By the early 1960s, there were around thirty-one undergraduate courses, fourteen graduate courses, and thirteen instructors in the Faculty. In the 1963-64 academic year, six options for pursuing a specialized area in the curriculum were developed for students entering their third year. These options were Forest Management, Silviculture, Forest Entomology, Industrial Production, Wood Technology, and Business Administration. There were forty-six course offerings by the 1965-66 year including theses, camps, and summer projects.

The Forest Engineering program was established by 1967. At that time, twenty-four professors were employed in the Faculty of Forestry. It became possible to select any Forestry option in the second year, with the exception of the Industrial Production option. This option was soon replaced by Forest Engineering at the end of the 1960s and it led to the degree of the Bachelor of Science in Forest Engineering (B.Sc.F.E.). The 1972-73 academic year had fifty course offerings including Forest Trees and Forest Stands, Forest Meteorology, Forest Mensuration, Forest Hydrology, Forest Operations Research, and Wood Physics. The options for upper-year Forestry students experienced alterations, and were as follows in 1973: Forest Resource Management, Forest Wildlife/Entomology, Forest Tree Biology, Forest Environment, and Wood Science. There were twelve upper-level Forest Engineering courses at this time including Intro to Logging Systems, Forest Operations Research, Timber Harvesting Plan, and Fluid Mechanics with Applications. There was a minor name change in the 1976-77 UNB Calendar and the Department of Forestry became Department of Forest Resources. Forest Engineering was also departmentalized that year. There were sixty-three Forest Resources course offerings around this time and fifteen in Forest Engineering. Some courses under Forest Resources included Intro to Photo-interpretation and Remote Sensing, Forest Policy and Administration, Tree Mineral Nutrition, Photomicrography, and Fire Control and Effects. Constraints on classroom and laboratory space were a continuous problem for the Faculty and around 1976, the Integrated University Complex, with a Forestry component, was completed for use. The Faculty began its move into the new building in 1977. By 1980, there were seventy-eight courses, with twenty under the Department of Forest Engineering and fifty-eight under the Department of Forest Resources. There were twenty-nine professors in the 1983-84 academic year. By the late 1980s, some Forest Engineering courses offered by the Faculty included Tree Harvesting Concepts and Machine Component Design, while more recent Forest Resources courses were Kiln Drying, Ecological Modelling, and Computer Techniques in Forestry. Around nine professors taught in the Forest Engineering Department along with twenty-four in Forest Resources.

By the mid-1990s, the Faculty of Forestry became the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management. The Department of Forest Engineering and the Department of Forest Resources remained two distinct degree programs. There were twenty-nine Forest Engineering courses and sixty-six Forest Resources courses, making a total of ninety-five. Thirty-seven professors were working for the Faculty at this time. The Forestry courses offered under the Faculty were briefly labeled Forest Ecosystem Management in the 1996-97 Calendar, changing back to Forestry in the following academic year. In the 2002-03 year, there were forty-nine professors, sixty-one Forestry courses, and around twenty seven Forest Engineering courses. Course offerings around this time included Applied Geomorphology, Human Factors Engineering, Seed Production of Conifers, Kiln Drying and Preserving Wood, and Forest Nursery Practices. By the mid-2000s, the Faculty offered Forestry Minors in Computer Applications, Parks and Wilderness, Wildlife, Wood Products, and Forest Science. Forest Engineering consisted of two options which were the Wood Products option and Registered Professional Foresters option. It was also possible to complete a Minor in Forest Engineering through the Bachelor of Science in Engineering program. Admission to the Forest Engineering program was suspended in 2010. There was a gradual reduction in the Faculty, with only thirty-seven professors by the 2012-13 academic year. Then, sixty-five courses were offered including, Wildlife Investigational Techniques, International Forest Studies, Methods in Tree Physiology Research, and Fire Management.

Physical location: Forestry Building (I.U.C.)


Name Dates of office
John Miles Gibson 1948-1961
John W. Kerr 1961-1982
Gordon L. Baskerville 1982-1993
Ian R. Methven 1993-1997
E.W. Robak (Acting) 1998-1999
David MacLean 2000-2009
Ian Smith (Acting) 2004-2005
Don Floyd 2010-2013
Van Lantz (Acting) 2013-

Departments: Forestry (1907-1954), Silviculture (1954-1975), Forest Utilization (1954-1975), Forest Management (1954-1975), Forest Engineering (1976-1995) Forest Resources (1976-1995)

Notes: The year that a certain department was established can be a subjective figure. For the purpose of this wiki, the year that a department is considered first established is the first year it was listed in the academic calendar as an independent chair with no other affiliation, unless documentation can demonstrate otherwise.


  • The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of New Brunswick 1908-1958. Fredericton: The UNB Forestry Association, 1958.
  • Harris, Robin S. A History of Higher Education in Canada, 1663-1960. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976.
  • UA Case 99; Sections 1, 4, 5.
  • UNB Calendars (UA RG 86) 1865, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1919, 1923, 1929, 1930, 1941, 1944-45, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1951-52, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1961-62, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80, 1983-84, 1986-87, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13.
  • Videto, Harris E. “The Growth of Forestry at the University of New Brunswick”. The University of New Brunswick Memorial Volume. Ed. Alfred G. Bailey. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1950. 87-97.
  • Wade, Scott and Hugh Lloyd. Behind the Hill. Fredericton: Published by the Students’ Representative Council, the Associated Alumni and the Senate of the University of New Brunswick, 1967.

--HollyMiller 3 April 2014 (ADT)
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