Forest Ecology (A.S.)

The program is designed for students to receive an Associate in Science Degree (A.S.) upon completion of the requirements. Gikenimindwaa Mitigoog translates to ‘getting to know the trees,’ an apt description for a program which provides graduates with broad based field knowledge of forest lands, the organisms inhabiting them and the systems (soil, water, air) that support them. Students complete course work designed to develop an understanding of natural systems, examine human impacts and interactions, and practice relevant field and technical skills. Students who chose this option are prepared for employment at the technician level upon completion of this degree, or they may choose to continue on into a four year program. The Forest Ecology program is intended for students with an interest in plant communities, water, forestry, wildlife and fisheries and/or recreation management.

62 Credits

Core Requirements (20 Credits):

Course Code Course Title Credits Pre-Req
ANI 100 Introduction to Anishinaabe Studies 3  
BIO 111 General Biology & Lab 4  
EDU 102 Path to Success 3  
ENGL 101 English Composition I 3 EDU 102
OJI 101 Speaking Ojibwe I 4  
SPCH 201 Speech and Communications 3 ENGL 101

General Education Requirements (12 Credits):

Course Code Course Title Credits Pre-Req
BIO 200 or BIO 204 Ethno-biology or Environmental Science 3  
MATH 150 or MATH 155 College Algebra or Advanced College Algebra 3  
POLSC 225 Treaty Law and Tribal Sovereignty 3  
MUS 250 or ART 100 History of Anishinaabe Music and
Dance or Intro to Traditional and Contemporary Art

Program Requirements (30 Credits):

Course Code Course Title Credits Pre-Req
BIO 140 Ecology 3 BIO 111
BIO 130 Wildlife Biology 4 BIO 111
FOR 101 Introduction to Forestry 3  
FOR 110 Woodland Plants 4  
FOR 120 Natural Resources Careers 2  
FOR 130 Intro to Field and GIS Skills 2  
FOR 210 Freshwater Studies 4 BIO 140
FOR 230 Dendrology 3 FOR 101
FOR 240 Survey and Measurement 2 Field Skill
FOR 260 GIS Applications 3 Field Skill

ANI 100 (3 Credits)

Introduction to Anishinaabe Studies

This course introduces students to the content areas of the Anishinaabe curriculum. The word Anishinaabe refers to all Indigenous people of North America. Content includes an overview of Anishinaabe culture, history, and philosophy, federal Indian [sic] policy, land and environment, gender roles, and contemporary social issues.

BIO 111 (4 credits)

General Biology I

This course is an introduction to animal and plant biology, including traditional herbs and plants used by the Anishinaabe people. Emphasis of this course is on studies from a whole system perspective. It includes principles of biodiversity and ecology and their relationship to humans. Both Indigenous and Western scientific views will be explored. Lecture and laboratory

EDU 102 111 (3 credits)

Path to Success

This course is designed to help students negotiate the complexities of college; from selecting classes and completing degree requirements to finding one's way through the financial aid maze. Study skills such as effective reading strategies, note-taking, and time management will be taught. The course will infuse English language writing and reading skills by incorporating best practices throughout the course. Opportunities for students to apply these skills in their current courses and texts will be provided. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore Anishinaabe values and how these values apply to their own lives.

ENGL 101 (3 credits)

English Composition I

This course reviews the basics of sentence construction and essay development; emphasizes style, organization, coherence, and persuasion in written discourse; and provides extensive practice in communication skills: reading, critical thinking, speaking, listening, and writing. College Placement Test required (students not scoring a passing grade on the exam must successfully complete EDU 102 prior to enrolling in ENGL 101).

OJI 101 (4 credits)

Speaking Ojibwe I

This course emphasizes values, learning the sounds of Ojibwe, developing introductory conversational skills, and understanding the concepts of language with the goal of using language in everyday life in Ojibwe communities.

SPCH 201 (3 credits)

Speech and Communications

This course will teach speaking and listening skills that will be reinforced through multiple opportunities for interpersonal communication, public speaking, discussion, and the oral tradition of Ojibwe people. They will gain experience in critical thinking, reading, and writing, as well as in public speaking. Prerequisite: ENGL 101.

BIO 204 (3 credits)

Enviromental Science

This course introduces biological, ecological, chemical, physical, and social principles underlying environmental issues. Special emphasis will be placed on Indigenous values pertaining to the environment, and to the effects of modern technology on the environment. Examination of the impacts of human activities and the technological options for environmental protection are researched.

MATH 150 (3 credits)

College Algebra

This course includes algebraic concepts including linear, quadratic, rational and absolute value equations and inequalities; function notation; complex numbers; graphs of relations and functions including lines and parabolas. Prerequisite: An appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Test or MATH 093 with a grade of C or better.

MATH 155 (3 credits)

Advanced College Algebra

This course covers functions, including polynomial, rational, inverse, exponential, and logarithmic; systems of equations and inequalities, and matrices. Prerequisite: An appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Test or MATH 150 with a grade of C or better.

POLSC 225 (3 credits)

Treaty Law and Tribal Sovereignty

This course is an introduction to treaty law and history and analysis of major treaties affecting the Anishinaabe nation. Course draws on actual treaty documents and on case law, which explicates those documents. Theory and practice of self-determination for indigenous peoples and tribal sovereignty are emphasized.

MUS 250 (3 credits)

History of Anishinaabe Music and Dance

This course introduces students to the great variety of Anishinaabe music and dance styles from around the United States and Canada. Course content focuses on the creation and function of the powwow drum and dance styles within Anishinaabe community and culture. No previous musical or dance experience is required.

ART 100 (3 credits)

Introduction to Traditional/Contemporary Art

This course teaches students an appreciation for, and skills in, both traditional and contemporary art media, design, beadwork, and techniques of basic drawing, painting, and carving. Students will also engage in critical analysis of art work. Course fee: $60.

BIO 200 (3 credits)


This course examines two worldviews of understanding the natural world: Western scientific analysis and the Anishinaabe perspective. Laboratory and empirical analysis will be integrated with cultural values, traditions, and techniques to deliver a holistic and intimate knowledge of the natural world. This course will explore the cycles of the natural world and how all living things are related and maintain balance in their respective communities.

BIO 140 (3 credits)


This course examines relationship between living and non-living things that make up the natural world. Includes natural biochemical processes, interaction between plants and animals, predator-prey relationships, and seasonal cycles.

BIO 130 (4 credits)

Wildlife Biology

This course encompasses the whole spectrum of wild creatures and how they interrelate to each other and their environment which affect them. The cultural significance of animals to Indigenous peoples will also be addressed. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 111.

FOR 101 (3 credits)

Introduction to Forestry

This course provides an overview of forest systems around the world, with special emphasis placed on the forests of northern Minnesota. The material presented introduces forest management, traditional and non-timber forest uses and forest ecosystems. Students are expected to participate in field trips to view forest management practices and uses of the forest. Offered every semester. No prerequisites.

FOR 110 (4 credits)

Woodland Plants

This course incorporates ecology, Ojibwemowin, and art to study fifty woodland plant species. Students will learn to identify plant families by their characteristics, recognize scientific and Ojibwe names for local plants, and visit various woodland ecosystems. Offered fall semester. No prerequisites.

FOR 120 (2 credits)

Natural Resource Careers

This course is held once a week (2 hour block) and explores the various career paths a student might take with a Forest Resources degree. The class includes guest speakers from various resource positions in the area. Students will explore their strengths and research 2-3 career pathways. Offered every semester. No prerequisites.

FOR 130 (2 credits)

Introduction to Field and GIS Skills

This course provides field experience in map reading, compass use, GPS and map use, along with an introduction to GIS skills. Students will be outdoors and in computer labs and need to come prepared based upon the schedule. Offered fall semester. No prerequisites.

FOR 210 (4 credits)

Freshwater Studies

This course examines the connections between healthy forests and healthy waters. A strong emphasis is placed on the ecology of lake systems, particularly in Northern Minnesota. Nutrient cycling, aquatic food webs and an introduction to species interactions are covered. Two local field trips are required as part of this course. Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: BIO 140.

FOR 230 (3 credits)


This course focuses on the study of important tree species including identification, geographic range, habitat, importance, and distinguishing characteristics. Students will develop a portfolio of tree species for their final project. Field identification is required in both leaf on and leaf off conditions for local tree species and selected shrubs. Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: FOR 101 or can be taken simultaneously.

FOR 240 (2 credits)

Survey and Measurement

This course provides students practice in survey methods and measurements typically conducted in natural resource fields. Students will identify projects with the help of the instructor and collect data, utilize spreadsheets, analyze data and provide summary reports. Recommend that MATH 150 be taken prior to this course. This course should be taken in conjunction with FOR 260 – GIS Applications. Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: FOR 130.

FOR 260 (3 credits)

GIS Applications

This course introduces Geographic Information Systems concepts and ideas. This course involves learning how to use ESRI’s GIS software ArcMap and ArcCatalog. Basic tools and concepts will be covered with projects geared towards basic maps and basic GIS concepts. Should be taken in conjunction with FOR 240 – Survey and Measurement. Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: FOR 130.