Forester Career

Job Description: Manage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, water quality, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine optimal harvesting schedules.


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What Foresters do:

  • Establish short- and long-term plans for management of forest lands and forest resources.
  • Perform inspections of forests or forest nurseries.
  • Monitor contract compliance and results of forestry activities to assure adherence to government regulations.
  • Determine methods of cutting and removing timber with minimum waste and environmental damage.
  • Supervise activities of other forestry workers.
  • Conduct public educational programs on forest care and conservation.
  • Plan and supervise forestry projects, such as determining the type, number and placement of trees to be planted, managing tree nurseries, thinning forest and monitoring growth of new seedlings.
  • Choose and prepare sites for new trees, using controlled burning, bulldozers, or herbicides to clear weeds, brush, and logging debris.
  • Direct, and participate in, forest fire suppression.
  • Plan and direct forest surveys and related studies and prepare reports and recommendations.
  • Plan and implement projects for conservation of wildlife habitats and soil and water quality.
  • Plan cutting programs and manage timber sales from harvested areas, assisting companies to achieve production goals.
  • Provide advice and recommendations, as a consultant on forestry issues, to private woodlot owners, firefighters, government agencies or to companies.
  • Analyze effect of forest conditions on tree growth rates and tree species prevalence and the yield, duration, seed production, growth viability, and germination of different species.
  • Monitor forest-cleared lands to ensure that they are reclaimed to their most suitable end use.
  • Map forest area soils and vegetation to estimate the amount of standing timber and future value and growth.
  • Study different tree species' classification, life history, light and soil requirements, adaptation to new environmental conditions and resistance to disease and insects.
  • Negotiate terms and conditions of agreements and contracts for forest harvesting, forest management and leasing of forest lands.
  • Develop techniques for measuring and identifying trees.
  • Plan and direct construction and maintenance of recreation facilities, fire towers, trails, roads and bridges, ensuring that they comply with guidelines and regulations set for forested public lands.
  • Subcontract with loggers or pulpwood cutters for tree removal and to aid in road layout.
  • Monitor wildlife populations and assess the impacts of forest operations on population and habitats.
  • Develop new techniques for wood or residue use.
  • Contact local forest owners and gain permission to take inventory of the type, amount, and location of all standing timber on the property.
  • Procure timber from private landowners.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Holland Code Chart for a Forester

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