Auburn’s forestry program was first established as the joint Department of Horticulture-Forestry in 1946. In 1947, the Department of Forestry was created in the School of Agriculture and later accredited by the Society of American Foresters. In 1984, the department was awarded “School” status in recognition of its growing prominence in research, outreach, and undergraduate and graduate education. Fifteen years later, Auburn’s Department of Wildlife Sciences merged with the School of Forestry to create the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, or SFWS. With the continued expansion of its teaching, research, extension and outreach programs, the school was awarded “College” status in Feb. 2022. Later that spring, the Board of Trustees approved the college’s official name change to the “College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment” on Apr. 22.
Today, the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE, offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of natural resources disciplines. Our core undergraduate degree programs include Forestry, Wildlife Ecology and Management, Wildlife Pre-Veterinary Medicine Concentration, and Natural Resources Management, as well as graduate degrees at the master’s and PhD levels. In recent years, CFWE curricula has expanded beyond its core programs with the adoption of 3 new undergraduate degrees, including the Geospatial and Environmental Informatics, Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging, and Wildlife Enterprise Management programs. The CFWE has also expanded to offer distance education and online learning platforms with the availability of an online non-thesis master’s degree and professional certification programs in the areas of Restoration Ecology, One Health, and Forest Finance and Investment. Since the launch of these programs, CFWE undergraduate and graduate student enrollment has increased nearly 50 percent, respectively.
At the CFWE, professors are world-class scientists who offer unsurpassed classroom instruction and abundant opportunities for experiential learning. Our faculty also lead research which ranges from biological, ecological and geospatial, to socioeconomic and policy aspects of forestry, wildlife, and natural resource conservation. The diversity of CFWE research allows students the opportunity to participate in research aimed at finding solutions to some of the most critical issues facing society. Undergraduates are exposed to research methods such as data collection, laboratory analysis, computer modeling, and other activities that have the potential to influence human health, climate resiliency, forest policy and product development, and wildlife and natural resources management strategies.
The CFWE is housed within a recently constructed 110,000-square-foot building that features a 100-seat auditorium, eight technology enhanced classrooms, modular conference rooms, research laboratories, libraries, project rooms, a student advisement suite, and a student lounge. Adjacent to the building is a picnic pavilion and acres of forested green space available for student learning and enjoyment. In addition to this facility, the CFWE offers nearly 6,000-forested acres and many educational facilities dedicated to instruction and experiential learning, including the 120-acre Kreher Preserve and Nature Center and the 400-acre Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest, both located within Auburn, and the 5,300-acre Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center near Andalusia, Alabama.
The CFWE is a flagship institution for natural resource-based degrees and is the backbone to Alabama’s $24 billion forest, wildlife and natural resources industry. Its combined assets of faculty, facilities, and curriculum are preparing the next generation of leaders with the knowledge and ability to conserve and manage our natural systems for a sustainable future.
To learn more about the CFWE academic, research and outreach programs, we invite you to explore our website, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.