Full-time Diploma 7470dipma


Note: The September 2017 intake is now closed for new applications to Level 1. Applications for re-admission may be submitted. Applications for the September 2018 intake will be accepted starting November 1, 2017.

Are you passionate about working outdoors and interested in the management of trees, vegetation & forest ecosystems? The Forest and Natural Areas Management (FNAM) program is a two-year diploma program with a focus on forestry, vegetation management, arboriculture for supporting sustainable community development in both rural and urban environments.

The program gives you a strong foundation in ecology, earth sciences, mapping, surveying & measurements. You will learn skills and training in silviculture, forest inventory, forest engineering, fire & forest health management, and urban forestry. Our programs unique focus natural areas in urban & interface environments provide you with skills in the management of trees, invasive species & soil resources. The breadth of technical and field-based skills you acquire also relevant to many other natural resource sectors.

Why is forest management important?

Management of forest resources in today’s world means managing forest ecosystems. Forestry practices must integrate field skills, scientific knowledge and technology in an ecological framework, to produce various goods and services. It involves assessing the health of forests with respect to insects and disease, planning revegetation strategies, and using technology to map and track forest inventories. But it is also about considering the interests of other resource users, while ensuring future generations can equally benefit from our forests. Forest ecosystems provide major economic, social & ecological benefits to communities, businesses & First Nations throughout British Columbia. Almost 60% of the land in British Columbia is forested – stewardship of these lands is no small feat. Are you up for the challenge?

What is natural areas management?

With increasing urbanization, forests and natural areas in and around our communities are growing in importance. People value natural areas for recreation, aesthetics and psychological well-being. But natural areas also provide important ecological services, like habitat for wildlife, promotion of biodiversity, storm-water flood mitigation & heat wave moderation. Whether you’re assessing urban trees, reducing wildfire risk around communities, or managing invasive plants, the role of a natural areas manager is diverse. It also requires an integration of skills, from community planning, to vegetation management & urban forestry.

The FNAM program contains the curriculum for graduates to be eligible to apply for Registered Forest Technologist (RFT) status in British Columbia along with the potential pathways for other levels of certification and education.

What are some key skills FNAM students learn?

  • Identify, describe, measure and interpret ecosystems and associated components including landforms, vegetation, soils, geomorphology, aquatic ecosystems, forest stand attributes and wildlife habitat

  • Collect field data in both urban and rural environments and create technical reports, spreadsheets and digital maps using industry standard software (such as GIS & GPS) including the use of leading technology

  • Apply vegetation management techniques for application in wildland and urban silviculture areas

  • Analyze vegetation symptoms that relate to insects and diseases

  • Design and implement sampling plans and techniques for resource inventories

  • Assist in wildland and urban interface forest fire activities including suppression and hazard assessment

  • Apply forest engineering principles to meet the objectives of operational plans and forest management objectives

  • Communicate effectively in all aspects of natural resource management activities

  • Apply principles of ethics and professionalism to day-to-day activities

Program Entry

Application processing

Open to applications beginning November 1st (or next business day).

Entrance requirements

Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.

  • English: two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with one of the following:
  • Math: one of the following:
    • Principles of Mathematics 11 (60%) or
    • Applications of Mathematics 11 (67%) or
    • Pre-Calculus 11 (60%) or
    • Foundations of Mathematics 11 (67%)

  • Science: two of the following with minimum high school grade 11 (60%):
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics or Applied Physics
    • Earth Science
    • Geology
    • Recognized Resource Science 12
    • Geography
    • Forestry

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Apply to program

Note: The September 2017 intake is now closed for new applications to Level 1. Applications for re-admission may be submitted. Applications for the September 2018 intake will be accepted starting November 1, 2017.

The Forest and Natural Areas Management program has three common terms and a choice of one of two elective streams in term four (Forest Engineering & Measurements OR Silviculture & Forest Protection).

Note: Do not specify a stream at the time of application.

Streams are chosen during term 3. Entry to each stream is competitive by GPA. Where space issues arise, students may get their alternative choice.

BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements prior to submission
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee
Apply Now

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September each year.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

Students may request to have prior work experience or previously taken courses assessed for course exemption. Contact the Program Head for further details on Prior Learning Assessment Recognition.

Technology entry

The Technology Entry (TE) program is a full-time, day school program which provides academic upgrading to students wishing to enrol in Computing, Engineering, Electronic, and Health Sciences programs at BCIT.

The TE program provides courses in chemistry, communication, mathematics, and physics that meet program prerequisites for selected programs at BCIT. The TE program also includes an introductory course in computer applications and a learning skills course. The program is supportive to those who require English-language training.


Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for information on full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies


At the commencement of each course the instructor will provide a list of required texts and guides. Estimated cost of books for the two years is $400-$500*.

Equipment and Supplies

Field survey, safety wear and safety equipment are required to participate in many of the courses within the program. The estimated cost is $700* in the first year and $300* in the second year.

*general estimated costs, subject to change


In addition to tuition fees, books, supplies and equipment, students will incur expenses for field trips and various certification courses.

Computer Equipment Requirements

It is mandatory that you own a laptop while attending the program. BCIT desktop computers are available on campus, however, some course delivery & field exercises require students to use their own laptops. A PC laptop with Windows 7 or 8 is preferred, but an Apple laptop is acceptable as long as it also runs both Linux and Windows 7 or 8. Your laptop should have a minimum of 3 GB of installed memory (RAM). Microsoft Office (including Access) should also be installed on your laptop.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.


Class hours

Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm (hours are subject to change)

The FNAM program is a two-year, 4 term program with classes running from September to the beginning of May.

Program delivery

The program is delivered in a combination of lecture, lab and outside field activities. You will be spending much of the two years learning hands-on, field skills in all types of weather conditions. Activities may take place on the BCIT Burnaby campus, at local parks, nearby field sites such as the BCIT Woodlot, Chilliwack Valley or the North Shore Mountains. Multi-day field trips to locations throughout the BC Interior, the BC Coast, and Vancouver Island are typically incorporated into second year classes.

Elective streams

During term 3, you will have a choice of one of two elective streams as your area of focus in Term 4.

Stream #1 - Forest Engineering & Measurements

You are trained in implementing harvest operations that optimize financial returns, while minimizing impacts to the environment. This complex task requires you to learn advanced skills in forest road location and design, harvest system selection, planning harvest operations and dealing with landslide prone terrain. Additionally, advanced field skills in forest sampling techniques and procedures for timber inventory, log scaling and waste assessments are addressed.

Stream #2 – Silviculture & Forest Protection

You are prepared in developing & implementing vegetation management strategies for areas where forests, natural areas and urban environments meet. This includes strategies for managing forest health management (disease and insects), invasive plants issues, and methods in arboriculture & urban forestry. You will also examine community planning and regulatory topics relevant to managing natural areas in urban & interface environments.

Note: The Sustainable Resource Management program matrix has been revised to Forest and Natural Areas Management, effective for the September 2015 intake. The revised matrix is listed below. Current students please refer to the SRM cohort matrix [PDF].

Program matrix

Level 1 Credits
  COMM 1147 Technical Communications 4.0
  FNAM 1135 Establishing Plant Communities 3.0
  FNAM 1600 Fire Control 3.0
  MATH 1145 Applied Mathematics for Forest and Natural Areas Management 3.0
  RENR 1105 Natural Resources Measurements 1 4.0
  RENR 1118 Field Navigation, Mapping and Data Management 4.0
  RENR 1125 Plant Identification 4.5
  RENR 1130 Earth Science and Soils 4.5
Level 2 Credits
  FNAM 1200 Sustainable Resource Management 3.0
  FNAM 1340 Hydrology and Riparian Management 3.0
  FNAM 2100 Terrestrial Ecosystems and Classification 5.0
  FNAM 2110 Natural Resource Sampling 4.0
  FNAM 2111 Introduction to GIS and Digital Field Data Collection 4.0
  FNAM 2320 Introduction to Fish and Wildlife 3.0
  FNAM 2500 Engineering for Resource Roads and Trails 4.0
  FNAM 2810 Vegetation Treatment Skills 3.0
  MATH 2145 Introductory Statistics for Forest and Natural Areas Management 3.0
Level 3 Credits
  FNAM 3231 Technical Projects 1 2.0
  FNAM 3350 Integrated Forest Land Management 4.0
  FNAM 3460 GIS and Remote Sensing for Resource Management 4.0
  FNAM 3500 Forest Engineering and Operations 5.0
  FNAM 3600 Forest Protection 5.0
  FNAM 3700 Fundamentals of Resource Measurements 5.0
  FNAM 3820 Silviculture 5.0
  MATH 3145 Applied Inferential Statistics for Forest and Natural Areas Management 3.0
Level 4 Credits
Complete 18.0 credits of common courses and 14.0 credits from either the Forest Engineering / Forest Measurements Stream or the Silviculture / Forest Protection Stream:

Courses common to both streams
  COMM 2147 Communications for Natural Resources 3.0
  FNAM 4231 Technical Projects 2 4.0
  FNAM 4500 Forest Management 4.0
  FNAM 4650 Forest Health 3.0
  FNAM 4810 Applied Silviculture 4.0
Forest Engineering / Forest Measurements Stream Only
  FNAM 4510 Forest Engineering 7.0
  FNAM 4700 Applied Forest Measurements for Technologists 7.0
Silviculture / Forest Protection Stream Only
  FNAM 4400 Community Resource Management and Planning 3.0
  FNAM 4450 Principles of Urban Forestry and Aboriculture 3.0
  FNAM 4670 Wildland and Community Fire Management 4.0
  FNAM 4850 Urban and Interface Silviculture 4.0
Total Credits: 127.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

Program length

Two years, full-time for a total of 4 terms

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Continue your education

Laddering opportunities exist to the BCIT Bachelor of Technology programs in Ecological Restoration, Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Engineering Technology. Students need to meet specific conditions to enter each program. For details please contact respective program head.

Post diploma transfer agreements are in development for degree programs at Canadian universities with undergraduate forestry degree programs and resource management degrees at Thompson Rivers University, Royal Roads University and the University of Alberta.

Graduating & Jobs

Job Opportunities

Career opportunities for resource technologists are excellent and projected to remain strong. The program will prepare you for a wide variety of employment opportunities; whether you are interested in working outdoors, indoors or a combination of both.

Graduates work for the municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments, the environmental consulting sector, and various natural resource industry sectors. You will also have your choice of working full time or on a seasonal basis. Working as a natural resource field technologist, you can work anywhere in BC or beyond, and be paid to explore nature by hiking, driving 4x4s and ATVs, boating, or flying in planes and helicopters. Alternatively, you may work as a natural area technologist in a city if a more urban setting is your preference. This new emerging field of "Urban Forestry" includes:

  • Invasive species management
  • Arboriculture
  • Urban interface management
In addition, graduates will be qualified to work in areas of the traditional forestry sector which include:
  • Forest Measurements and Inventory
  • Forest Protection and Forest Health
  • Forest Engineering
  • Silviculture

Professional associations

Graduates of the Forest and Natural Areas Management program will be eligible to enrol with the Association of British Columbia Forestry Professionals (ABCFP) to become Registered Forest Technologists (RFT) (pending formal accreditation).

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Steve Finn, Dipl.T., B.S.F., M.F., R.P.F.
Program Head

Tel: 604-432-8857
E-mail: Steve_Finn@bcit.ca

Julia Alards - Tomalin, Dipl.T, B. Tech 
Tel: 604-456-8175
E-mail: Jalardstomalin@bcit.ca

Stacey Auld, B.Env.D., M.S.F.M., R.P.F. 
Tel: 604-451-6803
E-mail: sauld3@bcit.ca

Norman Caldicott, B.Sc., B.S.F., R.P.F.
Tel: 604-412-7521
E-mail: Norman_Caldicott@bcit.ca

Richard Chester, B.A., M.R.M., Post Dipl. NRM
Tel: 604-451-6966
E-mail: Richard_Chester@bcit.ca

Wayne Horvath, Dipl.T., R.F.T., M.Ed.
Tel: 604-432-8506
E-mail: Wayne_Horvath@bcit.ca

Hélène Marcoux, B.Sc., M.Sc
Tel: 604-454-2268
E-mail: hmarcoux@bcit.ca

Jonathan Smyth, Dipl.T., R.F.T.
Tel: 604-432-8891
E-mail: Jonathan_Smyth@bcit.ca

Jace Standish, B.S.F., M.Sc., Cert. Arb., P.Ag., R.P.F.
Tel: 604-432-8862
E-mail: Jace_Standish@bcit.ca

Advisory committee

  • Bruce Blackwell, Blackwell and Associates ltd
  • Nadia Chan, City of Surrey
  • David Clarke, Forest Practices Board
  • Deborah Delong, UBC
  • Thomas Lewis, Woodlands Canada
  • Jonathan Lok, Strategic Natural Resource Consultants
  • Casey Macaulay, Association of BC Forest Professionals
  • Kelly Osbourne, Min. FLNRO
  • Chris Runnals, Min. FLNRO
  • Norm Shaw, Norm Shaw and Associates

Contact Us

Steve Finn, Dipl.T., B.S.F., M.F., R.P.F.
Program Head
Tel: 604-432-8857
E-mail: Steve_Finn@bcit.ca

Giti Abouhamzeh
Program Assistant
Tel: 778-331-1392
E-mail: Giti_Abouhamzeh@bcit.ca

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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