Forests in the fall at Baskett Wildlife Research and Education Center.

Being a forester is more than just working with trees. Foresters are stewards of the land. They not only care about the trees, but they also care about the land the trees grow on and the other plants and animals that live in the forest. Forestry combines interests in protecting wildlife habitat and the environment while meeting the ever-growing human demand for wood products, clean water, outdoor recreation and scenic beauty. Some forestry careers include Forest resource managers, urban foresters, and forest resource entrepreneurs. Forest Resource Managers often are employed by state and federal agencies, such as the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service, to manage public forests. They are responsible for promoting forest health, increasing biodiversity, protecting endangered species and providing wildlife habitat. Urban Foresters work for cities and other municipalities. They are responsible for maintaining and improving the health and appearance of trees found in parks and other public spaces. Urban foresters also work with citizens to plan neighborhood tree plantings, protect trees during development and answer various forestry questions. Forest Resource Entrepreneurs are exploring new areas of business in forestry. Entrepreneurs can help in informing and organizing landowners, conducting audits and helping in the development of carbon contracts, among other practices. Graduates with a firm understanding of management of business can also work for a large wood products firm like Weyerhaeuser or Georgia Pacific, can be employed by local forestry companies, or start their own business as a forest consultant. These foresters ensure that their forests produce all the materials the world demands from the timber industry.

Photo by Kyle Spradley, CAFNR Marketing and Communications

Common Career Paths

You can do nearly anything with a Mizzou degree, but here are some common career paths taken by graduates of this major: