About Us

Over a century ago, when the University's forestry program began, Minnesota's natural resources looked vastly different than now.  As time passed, the demands placed on these resources have increased dramatically, and critical issues, such as climate change, energy, invasive species, the economy, have emerged to challenge us in new and complex ways. Mindful of these changes, the Department of Forest Resources has been continually evolving. See the 2014 Department of Forest Resources Strategic Plan (.pdf) 

Our undergraduate and graduate education programs are consistently ranked among the top in the nation. Research within the department focuses on the development, integration, and translation of knowledge crucial to effective policies and practices. Outreach programs bring this knowledge to Minnesotans where they live and work.

The Department of Forest Resources is committed to fostering an environment that respects the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students.  Our goal is to be broadly inclusive in carrying out our teaching, research, and service mission by offering access, opportunity and scholarship for traditionally underserved groups as well as our traditional stakeholders.  In December, 2017 FR completed a year-long effort to develop a plan for increasing diversity and inclusion within the department.  The plan identifies several goals, objectives, and strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion the following five areas: teaching, students, faculty/staff, engagement, and research. 

The Department of Forest Resources will continue, as it has for over a hundred years, to fulfill its role in education, research, and outreach to advance the science and management of our forest and related natural resources. Please let us know if we can help with any questions your may have. We especially encourage prospective students and advisors.


In 2018, a group of faculty, staff and students revised the mission and vision from the 2014 Strategic Plan and crafted an accompanying set of overarching themes.


Our mission is to advance the science and management of forests and related natural resources by developing solutions to important problems affecting these resources; training the next generation of forest and natural resource scholars and practitioners; and informing the broad public on the economic and ecological importance of forests and natural resources and how they enrich our quality of life.  


While embracing excellence and diversity, we aspire to deliver extraordinary education, breakthrough basic, applied and integrating research, and inspired outreach and community engagement in the science and practice of forest and natural resource management.

Overarching Themes

Community: We embrace a supportive, intellectually diverse, respectful, and representative community.

Engagement: We seek to enable open, equitable, and inclusive communication that involves both listening and offering.

Excellence: We strive for excellence in all areas essential to our vision and mission.

Experiential: We value hands-on learning that takes us into the forests and communities we engage with.

Integrity: We uphold academic integrity and basic scientific principles.

Interdisciplinary: We value expertise and experiences across a range of disciplines and apply integrative approaches to education, discovery and engagement.

Knowledge: We embrace many different ways of generating, recognizing, evaluating and disseminating knowledge.

Service: We work to extend knowledge and engage society to help improve their quality of life.

Theory-Based/Applied Science: We address important and pressing societal issues involving forests and natural resources using novel approaches that produce practical and effective solutions.

Welcoming/Inclusive: We strive to create a welcoming environment that is open to different kinds of questions, views, and perspectives.