Fall 2022 - REM 471 B100

Forest Ecosystem Management (4)

Class Number: 4367

Delivery Method: Blended


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    One of REM 100, or GEOG 100 or 111, or EVSC 100 or BISC 102; and 45 units.



Forests are critical components of the earth system and provide diverse ecological services. They are also a source of conflict regarding their conservation and use. Students will examine the problems of managing forest ecosystems for a variety of societal goals and objectives. We begin by examining the ecological characteristics of forest ecosystems and follow with a focus on the objectives and tools of forest management. The final section of the course will examine institutions, economics, and policy related to forests, with a focus on British Columbia's historical and current management issues. This course will involve lectures, group discussions, field trips, and exercises.


In this survey of current issues in forest ecosystem management, students will examine the problems of managing forest ecosystems for a variety of societal goals and objectives. We will work from the premise that forest management is to a large extent, people management. The course will start with an entry level overview of trees, the ecological characteristics of global forest ecosystems and their dynamics. There will be a special emphasis on the forests of British Columbia. The second section will focus on the history and political ecology of silviculture as a discipline of resource management, with its objectives and tools of forest management. This will be accompanied by a tour through the various ecosystem management paradigm shifts. The final section of the course will focus on the current controversies, institutions and policies of managing forest ecosystems in an era some are calling the Anthropocene.


  • Become familiar with the history of Silviculture and its critics.
  • Understand the basic theories of forest succession and ecosystem dynamics.
  • Zoom in to BC as a case study in the history of forestry.
  • Learn about ecological approaches to forest management and critiques of ecosystem approaches.
  • Explore Indigenous and community forestry approaches and their future in BC.
  • Explore personal connections to trees and forests.


  • Critical Reading Reflections 20%
  • Roundtable Discussion Facilitator Summaries 20%
  • Forest Observation Field Journal 30%
  • Forest Management Working Groups and Class Presentation 30%



Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of Coastal British Columbia. (Lone Pine Press).

Puettmann, Klaus J. K. David Coates, Christian C. Messier. 2009. A Critique of Silviculture: Managing for Complexity. (Island Press).

Simmard, Suzanne. 2021. Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest. (Knopf).


Perry, David, Ram Oren and Stephen C. Hart. (2nd Edition). Forest Ecosystems. John Hopkins University Press, 2008.

Ashton, Mark and Matthew J. Kelty (10th Edition) The Practice of Silviculture: Applied Forest Ecology. Wiley, 2018.

Franklin, Jerry F., K. Norman Johnson, and Debora L. Johnson. Ecological Forest Management. Waveland Press, 2018.

Watts, Susan B. and Lynne Tolland, Forestry Handbook of British Columbia (Vol. I, II), UBC, 2005.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


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