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Forestry Scientist / Silviculturist
Foresters plan and manage the growing, protection and harvesting of trees and help to manage their utilisation. They can choose to enter one of the following areas of activity in forestry:

Management: The majority of foresters are placed at forests or plantations where they initially serve as assistants and later as managers. Their duties include raising of seedlings in a nursery and planting of trees. They also coordinate and assist with the pruning, thinning and felling of trees, the sawing of felled trees into logs and their loading. They burn firebreaks and protect the forests against fire and damage. They may have to maintain roads, erect buildings and maintain telephone lines.

Conservation: Conservation foresters are responsible for conserving the fauna and flora, as well as the soil and water resources. They also manage and plan recreational activities like hiking and picnicking in forest areas.

Research: Research foresters conduct research to ensure the preservation of trees and specialises in growth modelling, forest genetics, forest thology, conservation and ecology.

Extension foresters advise farmers and educate the public about the importance of trees.

Areas of specialization:

Silviculture involves tree breeding, forest tree seed, nursery practice, establishment and tending, forest nutrition and management of ectomycorrhizal fungi.

Forest Soil Science involves soil classification, soil manipulation and site evaluation.

Forestry Finance includes: project selection, land and plantation valuation, optimal financial rotations and inflation economics. Other areas of specialization include growth and yield science, forest biometrics and the modelling of plantation development.

Forest Engineering is concerned with the environmental, social, physical and economic impacts of harvesting. This includes the management of the total supply chain from felling to mill delivery. The effect of harvesting methods and systems are analysed with regard to the impact on wood procurement cost and wood and fibre quality as well as ergonomics. Other factors are access development, forest road construction and network management.

Foresters work mostly out of doors and are sometimes subject to considerable stress, especially during fast-changing climatic conditions and due to the steep and mountainous nature of most state forests..

Satisfying Aspects
- working outdoors
- living close to nature
- caring for fauna and flora

Demanding aspects
- coping with fires, floods and other conditions that may destroy forests and wildlife
- working long hours during emergencies
- working in isolated areas
- working outdoors in adverse weather conditions
- having to do paperwork in the office

- enjoy working outdoors and living close to nature
- alert, careful and responsible workers
- able to adjust to living in isolated and distant surroundings
- physical fitness, strength and stamina
- good coordination
- able to communicate well with fellow foresters and labourers
- practical and versatile
- good observation skills and an enquiring mind

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences, Economics, Agricultural Science

Degree: US and UV offer a 4-year BSc Forestry degree. B.Tech is available from NMMU. A course in Wood and Wood Products is also available at US.

Diploma: The Saasveld Faculty of Forestry (NMMU) offers the N.Dip. Forestry. The course consists of three-year, six semester Forestry Diploma programme that consists of four academic semesters at Saasveld and two practical, in-field semesters at an approved forestry estate in southern Africa or elsewhere.
This can be followed by the BTech degree.
A three-year Wood Technology Diploma programme; as well as a BTech Degree (full time: one year or part time: two years) in the same discipline is also offered at Saasveld, as well as a MTech. and DTech Forestry. Bursaries are available at both training institutions.

A three year Diploma in Forestry is offered by Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry, Ciskei.

- forestry branch of the Department of Environment Affairs
- Institute for Commercial Forestry Research
- city councils
- timber growing organizations
- sawmills and timber preservation organizations
- private forestry companies
- such organizations as: SABS, SAPPI, Mondi Paper, Nampak Paper Ltd and Carlton Paper Corporation

Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Science
Private Bag X1
Matieland, 7602
Tel: (021) 808-4833/3323

College for Foresters

Nature and Environmental Conservation
Private Bag X 209
Pretoria, 0001

SA National Parks
P O Box 787
Pretoria, 0001