Course description (FORESPA)


Life on earth depends mainly on the good conditions of the surface layer of the Earth's crust. The agrarian, forestry, and pastoral systems represent its most widespread expression, but they are today characterized by a reduction in naturalness and subjected to the effects of climate change and global demographic and socio-economic dynamisms. Society today requires these systems to supply quality products and services, in quantities and in sustainable ways. The University is therefore called upon to train graduates who are capable of offering themselves in the production-management system with innovative methods. The master's degree course in Forest, Soil and Landscape Sciences prepares graduates capable of analyzing, designing, managing, enhancing and monitoring the rural and mountain territory and its resources. Graduates acquire specific skills in the following areas:
• Analysis and evaluation of
i. the rural landscape, forest and pastoral systems, and of the agro-ecosystems and their multifunctionality (ecosystem services);
ii. the environmental impact and the incidence of natural and induced disturbances.
• Planning and design of
i. interventions, at different levels of scale, on forest and pastoral resources and on the landscape;
ii. soil protection interventions in the hilly and mountainous areas to improve the hydro-geological structure and pollution problems;
iii. of conservation interventions in areas of high natural value and of the Natura 2000 network.
• management and enhancement in the sectors of
i. conservation and multifunctional enhancement of the landscape;
ii. conservation and monitoring of plant and animal biodiversity in protected areas with high naturalistic value (e.g., Natura 2000 network, agricultural areas of high natural value);
iii. restoration and functional recovery of abandoned or degraded areas (landfills, quarries, road embankments, abandoned pastures, post-fire forests, etc.), restoration and reconstruction of habitats and ecological networks with naturalistic criteria in areas with high environmental value;
iv. sustainable management of forest and pastoral resources (including wildlife);
v. enhancement of the products of the forestry, pastoral, and mountain agriculture sectors;
vi. enhancement of lignocellulosic biomass for energy and industrial purposes.

Graduates in Forestry, Soil, and Landscape Sciences will acquire: a) the main methods of survey and relative representation, of analysis and territorial planning (cartography, remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems) at different scale levels; b) the ability to use scientific and technical tools to sustainably integrate the economic-productive functions with those of protection of natural, semi-natural and socio-cultural resources (e.g., forest-wood-energy supply chains, protection of the hydrogeological structure, production of ecosystem services, mountain livestock production, wildlife and hunting management, protection and enhancement of the landscape); c) the ability to apply the knowledge at different scale levels (territorial, district, company/farm).
The training course includes:
• a strong integration among the lessons taught to encourage the development of a multidisciplinary and integrated vision of the problems according to the systemic approach;
• the use of diversified teaching forms and materials that, in addition to the lectures and the most up-to-date reference texts for the various disciplines, includes critical reading and discussion of scientific articles, carrying out of laboratory exercises and field activities, with the use of advanced tools for data collection, analysis, and processing;
• Active participation to seminars and workshops organized with the possible collaboration of specialized sector bodies and structures, especially in the second year of the course.
The verification of the learning outcomes will take place with written and oral tests, including the discussion of papers and projects; exams can be carried out both individually and in small groups of students.



Graduates in Forestry, Soil, and Landscape Sciences are trained for the following sector functions:
• sustainable management, eco-certification, and conservation of forest, pastoral, and mountain resources;
• land management for hunting and wildlife purposes;
• landscape and ecological territorial planning (protected areas, areas with high naturalistic value);
• planning, management, and testing of silviculture, wood arboriculture, urban and peri-urban green areas;
• design, management, and testing of soil protection and soil maintenance works;
• design and management of ecological reconstitution and restoration works for degraded environments;
• design and management of sites for waste disposal and quarrying.

Skills associated with the function
Graduates in Forestry, Soil, and Landscape Sciences will acquire the following skills related to territorial and environmental issues:
• experts in the analysis and monitoring of forests, pastures, and the rural landscape;
• experts in planning, sustainable management, and enhancement of forest and pastoral resources;
• experts in the conservation of biodiversity, and in the restoration of biotic and abiotic components of terrestrial ecosystems;
• experts in the design and management of energy and industrial transformation chains of wood biomass;
• experts in the design and implementation of interventions for the defense and conservation of the soil and water resources.

Employment outlets
Graduates in Forestry, Soil, and Landscape Sciences will find employment opportunities in:
• National and regional bodies and services for the defense and development of the environment and territory (State Technical Services, Forestry Corps, National and regional Parks and Reserves, National and Regional Agencies for the Environment, Watershed Authorities, Regional, Provincial and Municipal Technical Services and Departments, Mountain Communities, Union of Mountain Municipalities, Forestry Consortia, Reclamation and Irrigation Consortia and Consortiums of mountain watershed);
• National and international governmental and non-governmental bodies operating in the forestry and environmental sectors (FAO; WORLD BANK, European Union, etc.);
• National and international bodies for environmental quality control and certification of forest and environmental products and processes (FSC, PEFC, etc.);
• Research centers in the forest-environmental sector at public bodies (Universities, national and international agencies) and private entities;
• Firms operating in the sector of production and transformation of wood and derivatives from forest management, of energy enhancement of lignocellulosic biomasses and the green and blue economy;
• Companies operating in the design, construction, and maintenance of green areas and works and actions to protect the soil and water resources;
• Agro-forestry-pastoral, nursery, and agro-energy companies;
• Laboratories, professional studios, and service companies operating both in the fields of planning and management of forest and environmental resources, and in environmental monitoring and recovery;
• Producer associations and forest owners;
• Freelance activities;
• Teaching in secondary school, after obtaining the specific qualification and passing the competitions required by current legislation.