Lakehead University Restructures Forestry Faculty


THUNDER BAY – Lakehead University’s Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment is pleased to announce it has changed its name to the Faculty of Natural Resources Management.  The Faculty has also restructured its undergraduate programming.   Both changes have been approved by Senate and are effective immediately.

Dr. Ulf Runesson, the Faculty’s Interim Dean, says the change reflects the right direction at this point in time.  “Our new name better describes our mission to meet related challenges and opportunities, such as adapting to climate change, responding to new economic realities for Ontario, and engaging a more informed and motivated public in the stewardship of Ontario’s significant forest estate.”

As part of this initiative, the Faculty has aligned two undergraduate Honours degrees – a new degree in Environmental Management and a restructured Science in Forestry degree. Both degree options have a five-year Co-op choice.  They also share a common curriculum for the first two years to ensure students receive a sound foundation in sciences, humanities, social sciences, and natural resources management.

After the first two years, students will have sufficient information to choose a specialization based on their interests. There are six specializations to choose from – three within each degree.   To ensure that all students appreciate the decision-making process on forested lands, they will now all come together in their last two semesters for policy and management courses.

Since the 1950s, the University has offered high-quality educational programming in forest sciences, which started with forest technologist diplomas and moved through the addition of bachelors and masters degrees, later expanding to include preparing PhDs in forest science over the last decade.  “Lakehead has a longstanding commitment to academic leadership in forested ecosystems, a commitment which continues to be a focus with these recent changes,” says Dr. Laurie Hayes, Vice-President (Academic & Provost).

Dr. Hayes is also enthused that the Faculty of Natural Resources Management is developing an easy pathway for college graduates who want to enter the final two years of specialization in both redesigned degrees.  She says the college pathway will include improved evaluation of advanced credit, a summer transfer program, and special mentoring.

President Fred Gilbert has commended these changes as actions which are in line with the University’s recently approved 2010-2013 Strategic Plan. He points out that “The renamed Faculty is an example of an academic unit that has evaluated and sought new efficiencies in its structure, marketing, and quality. The new Faculty of Natural Resources Management has leveraged a strong foundation based on years of experience, and has introduced changes to better match current realities and future challenges – both within the academy and in society as a whole.”

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