Module DXX-2010:
Forest and Woodland Management

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr James Walmsley

Overall aims and purpose

This module develops students' understanding of: modern concepts of sustainable forest management (SFM), the criteria and indicators used to determine whether or not forests are being managed sustainably, and the operation of forest certification schemes to provide independent verification of SFM. Particular emphasis is placed on two of the criteria of SFM: (1) maintenance and enhancement of forest resources and their contribution to global carbon cycles; (2) maintenance and encouragement of productive functions of forests. In relation to (1), students will develop theoretical understanding of and practical skills in remote and ground-based methods of forest inventory; in relation to (2), they will develop theoretical understanding of and practical skills in forest growth modelling and yield prediction.

Course content

Sustainable forest management: history, modern concepts and definitions; criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management; sustainable forest management in the UK - the UK Forestry Standard. Forest certification: history and principles of certification; certification schemes operating in Europe; forest certification in the UK - the UK Woodland Assurance Standard. Forest resources and their contribution to global carbon cycles: remote sensing and ground-based methods for assessing forest resources; inventory planning and forest sampling; estimation of forest biomass and carbon content. Productive functions of forests: numerical descriptions of tree and forest growth characteristics; forest growth models and associated functions; quantification and modelling of forest stand structure; management interventions and yield prediction.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Grade D- to D+ Students will show some understanding of the meaning and some understanding of the practices of sustainable forest management. They will be able to define sustainable forest management and identify some of the criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management, and be able to describe the main schemes of forest certification.
They can prescribe an appropriate silvicultural intervention to achieve a desired management outcome, but their descriptions of interventions may be incomplete or inaccurate in places. They have passing familiarity with forest operations in temperate plantations and understand that these operations may cause environmental damage. They will be able to describe some of the ways in which economic methods are used to make forest management decisions.

good

Grade C- to B+ Students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the meaning and practice of sustainable forest management. They will be able to explain the meaning of sustainable forest management, and identify most of the criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management. They will be able to describe and compare the main schemes of forest certification. They can prescribe an appropriate silvicultural intervention to achieve a desired management outcome. They have an understanding of forest operations in temperate plantations and the ways in which these can cause environmental damage.

excellent

Grade A- and above Students will have a comprehensive understanding of the meaning and practice of sustainable forest management. They will demonstrate excellent knowledge of the literature, creative application of the material and a capacity for synthesis. They will be able to explain the meaning of sustainable forest management and evaluate the criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management. They will be able to describe in detail, compare and evaluate the main schemes of forest certification. They will be able to explain in detail the ways in which economic methods are used to make forest management decisions, describe how the methods are applied in different situations, and evaluate their effectiveness. They can prescribe appropriate silvicultural interventions to achieve a range of desired management outcomes. They will have a full understanding of forest operations worldwide, the ways in which these can cause environmental damage and the ways in which these effects can be minimised.

Learning outcomes

  1. Prescribe a silvicultural intervention to achieve a desired management outcome.

  2. Describe the operational practices used in temperate plantation silviculture and how to minimise their environmental effects.

  3. Describe the different forest certification schemes operating in Europe, and evaluate their merits and disadvantages

  4. Explain the meaning of sustainable forest management and discuss the ways in which it can be assessed and monitored

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Exam 40
COURSEWORK Debate Report 15
COURSEWORK Silvicultural intervention 45

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Private and guided self-study

166
Lecture

13 x 2 hour lectures

20
Fieldwork

2*6 hour field visits

12
Seminar

2 hour debate

2

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the provisional nature of information and appreciate competing and alternative explanations.
  • Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module