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A Forest of Voices


Biology and Educational Studies


Dr. John Lovseth and Professor Galen Benson

Program Summary

We are integrating two courses, Introduction to Forestry (Biology) and Communication (Educational Studies), with the Integrated Learning Course (ILC) in this FYE program. Throughout these three courses, you'll improve your observational and situational awareness skills and learn how to thrive in college. Forestry and Communication are aligned in the quest to improve relationships by validating the importance of understanding nature and of understanding oneself and one’s social interactions and connecting to deeper meaning. 

BNR 105: Introduction to Forestry (3 SH, GESL)
In Introduction to Forestry, students will be equipped with skills in identifying and measuring trees, writing forest descriptions, understanding the potential impacts of silvicultural options, engaging stakeholders, and writing prescriptions and treatments for forests. Students will understand that forest management decisions have long lasting ecological and social repercussions for generations to come. Forestry is about trees, but it is also about people and how people interact with their surroundings. Forestry is a major avenue through which societal values are imprinted on the natural world. Any manager of a natural area, whether a policymaker creating rules for millions of acres of federal lands or a steward caring for a tract of black walnuts on 40 acres, must be equipped with the communication skills to deeply understand a diverse array of stakeholder sentiments, hopes, and expectations. Translating societal values into actions in the forest requires skill in communicating on multiple levels.

EDST 260: Communication (3 SH, GESS)
In Communication, you will learn how to build trust and understanding between groups with different perspectives. Being aware of interpersonal communication can lead to an improvement in social connections and stronger relationships. This course introduces the study of oral communication in large and small groups. Techniques and theories of verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as interaction with readings, process activities, and dialogue with communication professionals, form the course content. Verbal and nonverbal communication skills are developed through practiced large and small group interactions. Emphasis is given to learning about communication in a variety of social contexts, as well as cultural and ethnic awareness in communication.

GEN 101 FV: Integrated Learning Course (3 SH)
This foundational course serves to help you not only survive college, but thrive. You will explore ideas about practicing and demonstrating critical thinking,  information retention and understanding,  reading, and writing. You will also learn about learning strategies, time management, reflection, and self-discovery. As part of each FYE program, this course develops skills that will help you find success as an undergraduate.