The course of study in Forest and Environmental Sciences aims to build a three-year graduate who is able to apply multidisciplinary knowledge of the structure and functioning of semi-natural and natural terrestrial ecosystems to the many problems related to the planning, sustainable management, and conservation of forest and environmental resources.
For this purpose, the course of study intends to provide knowledge and skills useful for i) continuing training in higher university levels, ii) technical-professional activities to be applied to the management, protection and enhancement of forest and environmental resources, and iii) the practicing of support activity research in public and private institutions.
The specific training objectives to be achieved concern the acquisition of knowledge, skills, abilities, and professionalism useful for insertion into the world of work in the following forest and environmental sectors:
- management of forest systems, grazing, prairie in mountain and rural areas with approaches based on multifunctionality and flexibility to ensure the sustainable production of goods and services, also in collaboration with other professionals and considering climate change;
- design, monitoring, and planning of forest and environmental systems, including public and private green areas, landscapes, and rural areas;
- monitoring activities aimed at the conservation of natural resources, with particular regard to plant and animal biodiversity;
- production and marketing of products in the forest-wood chain, including that of agro-energy and carbon credits;
- education and training in the environmental and technical-professional sector.
During the first year of the three-year period, disciplines such as mathematics, physics, general and organic chemistry, plant biology, entomology and agricultural and forestry zoology, and economics elements, which represent the common basis for graduates of this study course, are expected. Starting from the second year, the specific disciplines of the study course in Forest and Environmental Sciences such as systematic and forest botany, forest chemistry, agricultural and forestry genetics, geomorphology and forest pedology, mountain agronomy, dendrometry and silviculture, mechanics and forest mechanization, geomatics for analysis of territorial systems, and forestry and environmental economics and appraisal. The student’s preparation will be integrated with disciplines like forest land set-up systems, forest pathology, agricultural microbiology, animal nutrition and extensive breeding, plant ecology and geobotany. Furthermore, the student will have to carry out an internship period in order to acquire practical skills in one of the sectors related to agro-forest technologies. The internship activity involves the drafting of a final report, which the student must present to acquire the corresponding ECTS.
The graduate in Forest and Environmental Sciences will be able to interact in the processes of planning, management, conservation, and enhancement of the agro-forestry-pastoral heritage and landscape resources, also interacting with experts of other disciplines operating in territorial planning. The graduate person will be able to carry out design, management, and control activities in the forestry and environmental sectors, both public and private, as well as activities aimed at the enhancement and conservation of biodiversity, and at the environmental protection in the management of reserves and natural parks.
Skills related to the function
The skills developed during the degree course are functional to plant and animal production; the control of plants’ diseases and pests; the genetic improvement of plants and animals; the economic planning and estimates of rustic land units; the reclamation, irrigation, protection of waters and atmosphere; the land use planning and environmental impact assessment; the study, use and protection of the soil; the land and urban landscape design (parks, gardens, road trees, cycle paths, playgrounds, industrial green); the recovery of degraded areas.
The three-year graduate person can take the qualification exam to practice the private profession within the frame of the Section B - junior forestry doctors of the professional register of the Order of Agronomists and Forestry doctors. The graduate person may also take the qualifying examination for the private profession of agricultural graduate and agricultural technician graduate. The professional activity of SFA graduate persons takes place at: Forestry Carabinieri (special corps of Italian Army) and Regional and/or Provincial Forestry Corps (Regions and Autonomous Provinces); National services for the protection and development of environment and territory (e.g., National and Regional Agencies for the Environment, Watershed Authority); Regional Technical Services, Provincial and Municipal Administrations (Environment, Territory, Agriculture and Forests, Hunting and Fishing, etc.), Mountain Communities, Union of Municipalities; Environmental management Offices of State, Regional and Provincial Parks and Natural Reserves; Reclamation and Irrigation Consortia, Consortia of mountain watersheds; Professional studio, service and laboratory companies operating in the sector of management and protection of the environment and the territory; agro-forest-pastoral companies (single and associated), nursery and agro-energy companies; associations of producer and owners; Industries for the production and transformation of wood and its derivatives, forest management; Environmental quality control bodies and certification of forest and environmental products and processes.
The graduate person in Forestry and Environmental Sciences will be able to carry out professional activities in the agro-forest-pastoral and environmental sector both in the public and private sectors. In particular, responsibilities of the graduate person include: monitoring the mountain environment and forest ecosystems for planning and managing the territory; management of hydrogeological and soil protection projects and restoration works of degraded and compromised environments; consultancy, technical assistance and dissemination in the agro-forest sector; support for the enhancement and conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection in the management of reserves and natural parks; consultancy for all technical aspects relating to management, conservation and development of forest and environmental resources; technical activities for associations, consortia, cooperatives, commercial structures, public bodies and structures; technical activities for the implementation of practices addressed to the execution of measures for forestation and environmental recovery; technical assistance activities for agro-forest businesses within the company and the territory; economic and environmental assessment of forest resources; quality management and monitoring of forestry techniques and land maintenance; phytosanitary control of nursery production (European and regional directives); support services for research, assistance and technical dissemination.
The course allows graduate person to qualify for the following regulated professions:
- junior agronomist and forestry;
- graduate agro-technician;
- graduate agricultural expert;
- graduate industrial expert.