Welcome to the UCD Forestry online information
UCD Forestry is the only university forestry programme in Ireland and has a long and prestigious heritage dating back to 1927. Most of the forestry professionals and scientists working in Ireland have studied forestry at undergraduate and post-graduate level in UCD. In earlier years, the focus of forestry in Ireland was on species selection and forest establishment, nowadays the emphasis has moved towards the sustainable development and management of Ireland’s forest resources, with the aim to produce the optimal mix of goods and services for the forest owners and society as a whole.
The UCD Forestry programme consists of four pillars: education, research, innovation and extension. UCD Forestry staff are active in all of these, at both a national and international level.
The FETAC Level 8 undergraduate programme (BAgrSc [Forestry] Honours) forms the educational basis for the forestry profession in Ireland. Exchange programmes with Michigan State University, Purdue and the University of California Berkeley in the USA and the University of Freiburg in Germany give the programme an international relevance. A Taught Masters programme will probably be introduced in the near future, based on the UCD Forestry’s staff in-depth knowledge on the sustainable development and management of plantation forests.
UCD is a research-intensive university and the UCD Forestry programme is no exception. Staff are actively engaged in research, at a national and international level, which supports the large number of Research Master and PhD students and Post-Doc researchers in UCD Forestry. The strong linkages between research and education, which ensure that our teaching is informed by the latest research findings and give our undergraduate students a chance to participate in high-level research work, are essential for the delivery of both top-class education and research programmes and distinguish UCD Forestry from other, less research focused programmes.
Many of the outcomes of the research carried out at UCD Forestry result in innovative products and services, especially in relation to ICT and decision support systems. Examples are the dynamic growth models for Irish forests, decision support systems for the management of privately owned forests, wind throw prediction models, a web-based national harvest forecasting system, and single tree taper and volume models. All of these models are used on a daily basis, by professional foresters, enabling them to improve their decision making, resulting in the better management and use of the forest resources.
Traditionally extension has been a very important component of the work of the staff. Given the unique position of UCD Forestry in Ireland, it is essential that staff are involved in the translation of their expertise and research findings for use by forestry practitioners, politicians and the general public. The staff play an important role by informing and educating decision makers, forest owners and managers, as well as the general public, based on scientific research findings. These days the vehicle of extension ranges from the web, to speaking about research findings at industry meetings, to writing about the research in accessible publications sponsored by COFORD (COFORD Connects) and trade magazines.
It is envisaged that, given the continued expansion of forestry in Ireland and the more complex nature of the development and management of the forest resources given society’s increasing demands for an expanding range of goods and services, the UCD Forestry programme will further grow, both in terms of staff members and students, but also in terms of the importance of the innovation and extension roles.