Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

Full-time Diploma 7470dipma


Delivery Mode: BLENDED

  • This program will be delivered during COVID-19 as a combination of online and on-campus learning.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We are putting measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see BCIT COVID-19 Return to Operations for details on the mandatory procedures that have been implemented.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

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 is a CTAB National Accredited program and 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

COVID-19 Notice to Applicants

Please visit Admission during COVID-19 to learn how BCIT Admissions is supporting applicants. At this time, there are no program-specific changes for applying to this program.

Application processing

Open to applications beginning October 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.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Apply to program

The Forest and Natural Areas Management program has three common terms and a choice of elective streams in term four: Forest Engineering & Measurements or Silviculture & Forest Protection.

You do not select your elective stream as part of your application. Streams are chosen during term 3, and entry is competitive by GPA. If space issues arise, students may get their alternative choice.

To submit your application:

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

Learn more about how to apply

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 enroll 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 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 Full-Time Studies Tuition & Fees page for full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies


At the commencement of each course the instructor will provide a list of required texts and guides. The 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.

Computers, Smartphones, and Calculators

  • PC laptop with the following:
    • 4GB RAM memory
    • webcam
    • microphone and/or mic enabled earphones
    • strong internet connection
    • MS Office 365 (Available free to registered BCIT students. Please see BCIT Software Access.)
    • access to a printer and scanner

    Note: Windows 10 is strongly recommended. Chromebooks and Notebooks are not acceptable.

  • Smartphone with the following:
    • 1 – 2 GB data plan
    • GPS tracking/location services

  • Scientific calculator: battery powered T1 30x or similar scientific calculator (solar powered is not suitable). The Sharp EL-546 or Sharp EL-520 are strongly recommended.

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, the 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

In Level 3 you will have a choice of one of two elective streams as your area of focus in Level 4.

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.

Silviculture & Forest Protection

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

Program matrix

Level 1 Credits
  FNAM 1125 Plant Identification 3.0
  FNAM 1130 Earth Science and Soils 6.0
  FNAM 1135 Establishing Plant Communities 3.0
  FNAM 1200 Sustainable Resource Management 3.0
  FNAM 1600 Fire Control 3.0
  FNAM 2320 Introduction to Fish and Wildlife 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
Level 2 Credits
  COMM 1147 Technical Communications 4.0
  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 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. 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

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2015-2017 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

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).

Part-time Studies

Below are our course offerings for the 2017 calendar year. Not all the courses are open for registration at this time. To view availability and register in specific classes, please view their respective course pages via the links below.

FNAM 3820 - Silviculture
Online June 12 – Nov. 30 or Online Sept. 6 – Dec. 22

  • Silviculture is defined as the theory and practice of controlling the establishment, composition, growth, and quality of forest stands to achieve the objectives of management. Common management objectives for stands (and forests) include timber production, pleasing appearance, conservation of biological diversity, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and production of high-quality potable water. Silviculture introduces pertinent silviculture theory, practices and procedures with a focus on British Columbia.

FNAM 3700 - Fundamentals of Resource Measurements
Online June 12 – Nov. 30 or In class Sept. 6 – Dec. 22

  • This course introduces "Measurements" as a discipline for inventory and resource management, for the application at the national, regional and operational levels. Course topics will include the use of standardized principles for the collection of data related to resource values such as vegetation, fish, wildlife, water, bio-energy and cultural values. The course will emphasize the use of Measurements information for the BC appraisal system including: Cruising, Scaling and Waste assessment procedures for Cut Control monitoring. Students are introduced to the use of GIS, modeling software and emerging technologies for Measurement applications to augment traditional field data collection techniques.

RENR 1601 - Introduction to Log Scaling
BCIT Campus & Field sites July 17 – July 21

  • This introductory course provides an overview of coastal log scaling. The course is designed to 1): provide the basic knowledge required to pursue further training necessary to obtain a Provincial Coastal Log Scaling licence, and 2): provide background knowledge for people who are working in a related field. A statement of completion (level 1 Log Scaling) will be issued upon successful completion. Included are practical skills for log measurements, volume calculations and the value grading of coastal log species based on the provincial statutory grading system. The scaling equipment is provided, however the student must have caulk boots.

RENR 2510 - Log Residue & Waste Survey Certification
BCIT Campus & Field sites July 24 – July 28

  • This course introduces the Logging Residue & Waste survey system which is currently in place in the province of BC, with emphasis on the field skills necessary to conduct waste surveys. The field portion of this course will focus on the assessment of the Coastal harvesting techniques, however Interior practices will also be covered. Additional administrative topics will include survey planning, reporting and ocular estimates. Introductory log scaling procedures will also be covered as it provides the foundation of the valuation of wood fibre.

FNAM 3600 - Forest Protection
Online or In class Sept. 6 – Dec. 22

  • This course is divided into two components of Forest Protection: Fire Management and Forest Health. The Fire Management component focuses on forest fire prevention, preparedness, detection, assessment and extinguishing of forest fires. Main topics include: use of Fire Weather Index, use of Weather Information, safe operation of common fire control equipment, fire line organization and supervision, Forest and Range Practices Act, Wildfire Act and Associated Regulations, fire behavior, fire safety, basic fire ecology, wildland/urban interface and other related topics. The Forest Health component introduces common insects and diseases of importance to the forests in British Columbia. It includes recognition of the organisms themselves, as well as the symptoms they produce in forested stands. The significance of life cycles in terms of sampling practices is also addressed. This component also emphasizes the recognition of signs and symptoms of the most important bark beetles, weevils, defoliators, decay causing fungi, rust fungi, and other organisms that influence forest health. A portion of the course includes recognizing abiotic agents that cause tree damage and distinguishing that damage from biotic damage.

FNAM 3500 - Forest Engineering and Operations
Online or In class: Sept. 6 – Dec. 22

  • In this course, students learn basic principles related to forest road location and design, harvest system selection, and harvest planning and operations. Students study a variety of harvesting scenarios to learn assess and site and match harvest method and equipment for the safe, economic, and environmentally responsible harvesting of forest stands. Engineering field survey and data collection methods are reviewed and applied to operational harvest planning tasks. Examples of how field survey data can be transferred to computer programs such as ArcGIS and the RoadEng Survey Map, Terrain, and Location modules is included.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

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

Tel: 604-432-8857

Julia Alards - Tomalin, Dipl.T, B. Tech 
Tel: 604-456-8175

Stacey Auld, B.Env.D., M.S.F.M., R.P.F. 
Tel: 604-451-6803

Richard Chester, B.A., M.R.M., Post Dipl. NRM
Tel: 604-451-6966

Wayne Horvath, Dipl.T., R.F.T., M.Ed.
Tel: 604-432-8506

Hélène Marcoux, B.Sc., M.Sc
Tel: 604-454-2268

Jonathan Smyth, Dipl.T., R.F.T.
Tel: 604-432-8891

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

Giti Abouhamzeh
Program Assistant
Tel: 778-331-1392

Questions or comments?

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The Forest and Natural Areas Management diploma program is CTAB accredited.