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Wildland Fire Sciences & Management Program

Wildland Fire Sciences & Management Program

The Wildland Fire Sciences and Management Program at UM is an interdisciplinary program that integrates fire research, land management, and workforce development. You can get a minor in Wildland Fire Sciences and Management or add a fire emphasis to your undergraduate or graduate degree.

We provide students with the knowledge and skills to become creative, practical, and forward-looking managers, scientists, and leaders in the field of wildland fire. More than 45 of the College of Forestry and Conservation’s undergraduate and graduate students are wildland firefighters. Many of those students will choose to go on to a career in fire, finding jobs at the Forest Service, the BLM, or the DNRC, managing fire on public lands. Those future managers are challenged to both meet academic requirements for their degrees and fulfill the myriad qualifications necessary to advance their federal firefighting qualifications. The school calendar often conflicts with fire season and students must make other compromises between building their academic portfolio and gaining field experience. At the same time, fire seasons in the Northern Rockies are generally longer, fires are bigger, and both costs and accountability are higher. This next generation of public land managers will be challenged to incorporate advanced knowledge of subjects like GIS mapping and the ecological effects of fire with efficient on-the-ground decision making. Neither a degree nor fire qualifications alone can prepare students for these future conditions.

The College of Forestry and Conservation is preparing these future fire managers through a variety of experiential learning initiatives, research opportunities, student fire club activities (must be logged in to Facebook to see club page), advisement and mentoring, and formal curriculum.