University of Maryland Extension

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who can enroll?

Anyone.  This is a great course for someone who knows little or nothing about forestry, and you don’t even have to own a forest to participate.  The course is designed for individuals who want to increase their knowledge of forestry and forest management.  Although the course targets Maryland forest landowners and several chapters focus on Maryland, the concepts apply across North America.  Participants from as far abroad as Alaska, Texas, Maine, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, California, and Manitoba have enjoyed this course.

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Are there any prerequisites?

No. However, you will need access to a forest as some assignments, such as tree identification, measuring tree diameters and heights, and bark rubbings are outdoor activities involving trees. Furthermore, you will need a forest for designing the framework of a forest management plan, a course requirement.

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When is the course offered?

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When available, the same course is offered twice a year, in the spring (February 1-May 20) and in the fall (September 1-December 15). The General Forestry Course will NOT be offered the spring of 2017.  However, it will be offered for the Fall 2017 Semester with registration opening on June 1.

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How much does the course cost?

The registration fee is $150.00.  The registration fee covers all the materials needed for the course, including: text and appendices; lesson quizzes; supplemental readings entitled A Sand County Almanac, American Forests: A History of Resilience And Recovery, and The Woodland Steward: A Practical Guide to the Management of Small Private Forests; and a small tree identification brochure entitled What Tree Is That?

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Do you accept credit cards?

Credit cards are now accepted for payment of the registration fee. Please contact Carol Taylor at (410) 827-8056, ext. 135 to pay by credit card.

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Where do I send the registration fee when enrolling by mail?

You can print the mail-in registration form or provide your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.  Also include which semester you are enrolling in and whether you are enrolling for the online or paper version of the course. Please mail the registration form, along with your registration fee, to:

                  General Forestry Course
                  Attn: Carol Taylor
                  University of Maryland Extension
                  Wye Research and Education Center
                  PO Box 169
                  Queenstown, MD  21658

For more information on course registration, refer to Course Registration Information.

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What information is covered by the course?
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This is a general forestry course and, as such, covers the many aspects of forestry. Some of the subjects discussed are: forest history, policy and regulations, physiology, ecology and tree identification, forest health and protection from insects and disease, the use of fire, silviculture, forest inventory and harvesting techniques, management, the business of forestry, and much more.

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How is the information presented?

There are two versions of the course available: the online version and the paper version.  The online version of the course presents information electronically while the course materials for the paper version are assembled into two binders.  Both versions of the course have, basically, the same information.  The text consists of 26 lessons divided into six units.  Over 50 resources are provided in the appendices.  Paper copies of the supplemental readings, as well as a self-addressed, stamped envelope for returning the management plan, will be sent to all participants.

The online version has a quiz following each lesson.  Answers to the lesson quizzes are submitted electronically.  The electronic version also offers six interactive exercises and a discussion board.  Those enrolled in the web-based version of the course will receive a flash drive of the course materials, for use as a reference after the course has ended.

The paper version is designed to have a quiz following each unit.  Quiz answers are submitted by mail.  Self-addressed, stamped envelopes are provided for returning the answers.  Neither the interactive exercises nor the discussion board are available with the paper version of the course.  Those enrolled in the paper version retain the course binders for future reference.

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How long does the course take to complete?

Participants are encouraged to complete the course work in approximately four months.

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How long does it take to complete a unit?

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Every unit is unique and completion time depends upon many variables. Each unit consists of three to six lessons, and one lesson may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to read. You may spend an hour on additional reading assignments. Some lessons require outside work, and the time needed to complete assignments requiring work in your forest will depend upon prior experience identifying tree species or using forest inventory techniques. For more detail, refer to Course Information.

 

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How do I know if I am falling behind or when to return my answers?

A schedule is provided for submitting the answers to the unit questions. Participants are given approximately two weeks to read a unit, answer the questions, and submit the answers (electronically for online version, by mail for the paper version).  The instructor corresponds with participants every few weeks to remind them of upcoming deadlines and to provide them with contact information.  Participants can also contact the instructor anytime they have questions or concerns.  Refer to What if I need help? located below.

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Can you earn college credit for this course?

No. This is a non-credit course. Quizzes are not graded, but checked for accuracy. Upon completing the work successfully, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

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Who sponsors the General Forestry Course?

The course is sponsored by University of Maryland Extension.

University of Maryland logo

 

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Are there classes held at a university or other location?

No. There are no formal classes. Participants work from the convenience of their home and correspond with the instructor through the postal service, electronic mail, telephone, or some other delivery service.

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What if I need help?  Where do I get assistance?

The instructor is available to answer questions, check your answers for accuracy, and provide comments and guidance.  Office hours will be posted for online consultation. The instructor is also available by phone, mail, or email. Feel free to contact the instructor anytime you have questions or concerns. Contact information is available at Contact Us.

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Do I get to keep the materials for future reference?

The paper version students keep the notebooks for future reference. The online students receive a USB flash drive that has the original General Forestry Course text as well as the appendices. The Discussion Board posts and the interactive exercises are not included. Students will receive the flash drive at the end of the course.

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Where can I get more information about University of Maryland Extension or the forestry course?

Log onto University of Maryland Extension web site at http://extension.umd.edu, phone Nancy Stewart at 410-827-8056, ext. 107, or email Nancy at nstewar1@umd.edu.

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