Skip to main content

School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

Our students hone their skills through hands-on, experiential learning to become better scientists, resource managers, community leaders, and policymakers. They are using their talents and energy to serve and make their mark on the world.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

One of the greatest strengths of our undergraduate education is that students receive real-world field experience in our courses. Our goal is for students to apply the principles learned in the classroom to practical and relevant situations now and in the future. At the undergraduate level, we offer four majors: Forest Resources & Conservation, Geomatics, Interdisciplinary Marine Sciences, and Natural Resource Conservation.


    The Forest Resources and Conservation major introduces students to a wide range of natural resource fields, including ecosystem management, modern technology applications for natural resource managers, wildlife management, and forest health. The curriculum for this major is broad, with required coursework in tree biology, forest ecology, communications, soil science, resource inventory, and resource economics and policy. Students spend significant time in the field gaining hands-on experience with ecological and management principles.

    This major offers seven optional specializations that reflect the broad career opportunities available to our graduates, ranging from conservation and restoration work on government-owned lands to the practice of environmental law, and from working with the forest resources in and around cities and towns to privately-owned lands managed by consulting firms. Six of the seven specializations in the major are accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Our School offers the only accredited forestry programs in Florida.


    Geomatics students learn how the Earth is measured, how Earth-based data are analyzed and how these data are integrated into forms and systems that people can use. Geomatics has applications in all disciplines that depend on spatial data, including forestry, environmental studies, planning, engineering, navigation, geology, and geophysics. This major is accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and students graduating with a Geomatics degree are eligible to sit for the Professional Surveyor and Mapper licensure exam.

    Our Geomatics major is available at four locations throughout the state of Florida: on the main campus in Gainesville, at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka (MFREC), at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC), and at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Plant City.


    This interdisciplinary degree program focuses on a truly holistic discipline, requiring the integration of marine biology, ecology, conservation, and sustainable resource management. Students are prepared for graduate study and careers related to marine ecology and resources management. An interdisciplinary approach to marine science education and research is promoted to prepare students for a variety of rewarding academic and professional careers.


    The natural resource conservation major allows students to tailor a curriculum that suits their interests and career goals. Working with a faculty adviser, students can elect to focus their curriculum on any number of natural resource fields. Students preparing for advanced degrees in natural resources often elect to complete a very broad, interdisciplinary program.

    This major is also offered at the West Florida Research and Education Center in Milton, FL. Ideal for place-bound students, this version of the NRC major provides a broad ecology/environmental management curriculum.

Certificate Programs - On Campus or Online

Not ready to commit to a degree program? We offer on campus and fully online certificates for busy professionals seeking to enhance their expertise and credentials. You are also welcome to learn more about certificate programs

Earn your certificate in:

  • Aquaculture & Fish Health
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Geomatics (undergraduate)
  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Natural Resource Policy & Administration
  • Quantitative Fisheries Sciences
  • Mapping with Unmanned Aerial Systems (graduate and undergraduate).

Graduate Degree Programs

Graduate education is focused on cultivating highly-experienced Doctoral and well-qualified Master’s graduates. Graduate students design their programs under the guidance of a dedicated faculty advisor and committee, focusing on areas of study ranging broadly from the molecular to landscape levels and spanning disciplines such as ecology, resource management, social sciences, quantitative biology, and geospatial sciences including cadastral principles, unmanned aerial vehicle applications, LIDAR, and more. Our graduate degree programs also include a variety of optional interdisciplinary concentrations.


    We offer graduate programs leading to the Master of Forest Resources and Conservation (professional, non-thesis), Master of Science (thesis and non-thesis), and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in forest resources and conservation. Non-thesis master's degrees are available 100% online.

    Areas of study include agroforestry, biometrics, biotechnology, ecology, economic sustainability, ecotourism, environmental education, fire science, forest economics, forest genetics, forest nutrition, geographic information systems, geomatics, hydrology, international forestry, management operations, pathology, physiology, policy, reforestation, remote sensing, resource management, silviculture, soils, tropical forestry, and urban forestry.


    The School’s program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences leads to the Master of Science, Master of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (non-thesis), and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with a program in fisheries and aquatic sciences. The MFAS degree is available 100% online.

    Research programs of faculty encompass water quality and chemistry, fish ecology, marine and estuarine ecology, paleolimnology, crustacean biology, fish and shellfish genetics, fish and shellfish reproduction and endocrinology, fish health management, fish population dynamics, phycology/microbiology, stream ecology, and aquatic plant science and management. Research associations exist with the Whitney Marine Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, National Biological Survey, National Marine Fisheries Service, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Mote Marine Laboratory, and several state agencies including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.


    This program is offered as a concentration within the Forest Resources & Conservation Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Concentrations in Geomatics are offered to enhance a student’s capabilities in developing technical and professional areas. Non-thesis master's degrees are available 100% online.

    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 MS student is expected to provide technical leadership to surveying and mapping organizations. PhD students develop a higher level of advancements in the geomatics knowledge base.

Online Programs (Distance Education)

We offer several graduate degrees for students who are unable to relocate to Gainesville for a traditional graduate program, or working professionals who are seeking greater expertise and advancement. These are intended to be non-thesis degrees, though in special cases exceptions may be made.

  • Master of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences (MFAS)
  • MS, Ecological Restoration (non-thesis, Forest Resources & Conservation)
  • MS, Geomatics (non-thesis, Forest Resources & Conservation)
  • MS, Natural Resource Policy & Administration (non-thesis, Forest Resources & Conservation)
  • Online Graduate Certificates in any area can be taken independently or during a degree program.

Student Voices

Hear from our students on what it's like to be a part of our programs.

Forestry & Natural Resources

Fisheries & Marine Sciences

Geomatics & Surveying


Come Curious, Leave Prepared Find What Speaks to Your Passion

Contact us for more on our degree programs

Sandie Houder:

Graduate Degree Programs:
Dianne Behringer:


I am a student (or work with students) in: *

Current status: *

Majors I'm considering: