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To provide Cal Poly students, faculty, staff and the public with a unique interdisciplinary environment in which to foster the Learn by Doing philosophy by providing educational experiences on a working ranch, supporting diversified agriculture and forest resources while maintaining the integrity of ranch operations.

  —Our Mission

NR 474 Forest Stewardship Practices and NR 475 Senior Project - Forest Stewardship

Summer 2023: June 20—July 14

In-person on-campus and at Swanton Pacific Ranch

NR 475


April 4th 10—10:30 am:


Course Overview

Instructor: Dr. Lilli Kaarakka (
This summer course combo is an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in developing practical skills in sustainable natural resource management and looking to network and learn from forest industry professionals in the region.

Industry and Agency Professional Oversight

The course is delivered by leading resource management professionals, who contribute their on-the-ground perspectives regarding effective and informed land management. Guest instructors include more than 40 resource managers, planners and agency professionals involved in the process of Timber Harvest Management Plan writing, field preparation, and review. These professionals attend class and assisy with virtual "field" training to assist in the delivery of information and provide informed feedback to assist students during class activities.

Field and Classroom-based Training

Course work includes virtual classroom-based introduction on topics involved in the development of a Timber Harvest Management Plan (THP). Virtual classroom-based instruction is followed by field-based activities necessary for gaining technical skills included in THP development and for the process of preparing the landscape for a timber harvest. Topic areas include resource inventory, timber harvesting practices, permitting/regulations, and environmental/cultural protection measures. In addition to the time spent on-site and in the field, students will also travel on a field trip through northern California to gain perspective of various harvest practices and monitoring efforts implemented elsewhere in the state.

Course Substitution

12 units - Upper division major course
ENVM: NR 474/475 will substitute for: NR 425, NR 435 and NR 465
FNR: NR 474/475 will substitute for: NR 416, NR 435 and NR 465
EESS: NR 474/475 will substitute for: Approved Electives (12 units – upper division)
Priority given to summer and fall 2023 graduates.
Note that you do not need to be a forestry major BUT you must have taken a class in GIS.

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