Biology, ecology, economics, policy, and human dimensions for the management and conservation of forests and natural resources.



Our program in forestry, natural resources, and conservation address the ecological, social, and economic aspects of managing terrestrial natural resources.  Within this broad field, faculty and staff with a variety of technical and academic specialties conduct innovative basic and applied science; educate society on the value and proper management of natural resources, and develop the next generation of professional natural resource managers; and work to improve our natural resources through outreach to the public, landowners, and resource stewards.

Our work on the ecology of terrestrial natural resources includes such subfields as the role of disturbance/successional forces such as fires, storms, timber harvesting, and insect/disease outbreaks; the carbon and water cycles of forests; and basic tree physiology and genetics.  Faculty and staff studying the social aspects of terrestrial ecosystems address the value of recreational opportunities, including managing ecosystems to balance recreational use with resource protection; how the public understands environmental issues, and how educators can better disseminate new information on environmental issues; and how public policies impact the way terrestrial ecosystems are managed.  Forests continue to have a significant role in society from an economic perspective: identifying new markets for timber products and ecosystem services; how landowners choose to manage their land to produce financial returns; and how policy changes influence the markets for land, timber, and ecosystem services.

The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing problems; a practical approach to developing solutions; and a “hands-on” approach to disseminating new information.

Graduate students work closely with the faculty on projects spanning the range of Florida’s diverse aquatic systems. We emphasize field experiences, development of critical thinking skills, strong faculty-student interactions and other educational experiences to ensure that our students develop a set of core competencies that are consistent with their professional success and sustainable competitive advantage.
Research programs in FRC are diverse, covering aspects of forestry and natural resources spanning human dimensions, resource management and conservation, ecology, and biological and physical sciences. Laboratories and projects are managed by the faculty and staff members within each discipline.
Faculty and students participate in innovative extension/outreach activities that get kids outdoors, educate teachers on environmental topics they can use in K-12, encourage land stewardship, foster public engagement to improve natural resource and environmental governance, and more.
newins-ziegler hall campus building

Forest Resources & Conservation
136 Newins-Ziegler Hall
1745 McCarty Drive
PO Box 110410
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410

(352) 846.0850
(352) 392.1707 fax



Forest biology and ecology research is wide ranging; varying from landscape level ecology and conservation to genetics and tree improvement, from water resources to forest heath and silviculture to tree biology. Research is generally problem-oriented and conducted in collaboration with state and federal agencies, industry, and/or other scientists from the University of Florida and other universities. SFRC faculty develop and disseminate the knowledge needed to conserve and manage forests and natural resources as healthy, working ecosystems that provide social, ecological and economic benefits on a sustainable basis.


faculty examine the interplay between economic forces, forest management decisions, and their implications for society using a variety of techniques; including models of economic behavior, financial analysis, impact analysis of resource policies, and markets for environmental services. Beyond the extensive rural forests lie the highly fragmented and often very stressed forests within and around communities and urban areas. Researchers intensively study these urban and community forest ecosystems, seeking to improve their quantity, quality, health, and sustainability.


Geomatics makes use of ground-based sensors, such as terrestrial lidar, GPS or total stations, to geo-reference ground features. These data are integrated in a GIS or digital mapping system to produce paper and digital representations of these features. Satellite and airborne sensors provide spatial data over larger areas. Increasingly, Geomatics explores the fusion of different forms of these technologies for addressing development and conservation problems. Geomatics deals with the theory, technology, and methods for collecting, analyzing, and managing spatial information. Geomatics deals with cadastral systems which define property rights and boundaries.


The objectives of the human dimensions and resource policy research programs are to understand the behavior of people with respect to the use and conservation of natural resources and apply that knowledge to formulate sustainable management and policy strategies. Exploring strategies for designing, conducting and evaluating successful environmental education and communication programs is one cornerstone of human dimensions research. Other major research foci include investigating the role of often disparate attitudes, values, beliefs, and opinions in planning and managing natural resources for recreation and tourism.


Tropical forestry and agroforestry are both highly interdisciplinary, spanning both biological and social sciences. Understanding the impacts of varied uses on tropical forests is critical to the development of management plans and policies that can sustain both the systems and the people that depend upon them. Tropical forestry research in the School focuses on ecological and societal requirements for sustainable forest management in the tropics and on the ecosystem dynamics of tropical forest regrowth. Agroforestry is the incorporation of trees and/or shrubs into agricultural systems. Research conducted by our faculty has contributed to the development and sustainability of agroforestry systems both nationally and internationally.



The School maintains a 2,080 acre teaching and research forest northeast of Gainesville. The forest is used by a wide variety of individuals and groups, both related to the School and otherwise. Professional schools are required to provide practical training and experimental facilities to supplement students classroom and laboratory teaching experience. The School of Forestry needed a forest to put into practice the theories and principles of its academic subjects such as protection, silviculture, mensuration, management, economics and others, thus the Austin Cary Forest was created.

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The Forest Campus and Roland T. Stern Learning Center

Are you interested in reserving the Stern Learning Center or Education Building for your event, course, or other function? You can find the calendar, reservation, photos, and much more at the Austin Cary Forest Campus website.