Talk to any Warnell graduate about their time spent at Warnell, and the aspect many are most excited to share is the courses. Warnell's classes often take place outside and are filled with hands-on experiences. Our students learn by doing, and that's how our graduates find incredible careers after they graduate.
But beyond classes that include outdoor labs—often taking place out at Whitehall Forest—Warnell students have a number of other opportunities for experiential learning. This ranges from the required Senior Project or Senior Thesis class for all seniors, to study away options and field courses that offer a deep understanding of a particular field over the course of a few weeks in Maymester.
Senior Project/Senior Thesis
To graduate, all undergraduate students are required to take Senior Project (FANR 4500S) or Senior Thesis (FANR 4990R). Each class offers specific benefits that complement a student's career or research goals. Both satisfy UGA's experiential learning requirement. For example:
Senior Project: Work in a team of typically two or three students to solve some type of management problem. This class, which is open to all BSFR students, includes a client who dictates the overall objectives for the project. The team, typically representing a mix of majors, take part in weekly lectures and team meetings, culminating with oral presentations and a final written plan.
Senior Thesis: This class requires the completion of a research project, and is intended for students with a strong commitment to pursue a research career. Enrollment in this class is by permission only, and the work is conducted individually.
In addition to interactive labs, students studying Aquatic Sciences, Forestry, or Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management may take a class that offers a deep dive into several aspects of that major. These classes often travel to different parts of the state over a set period of time—it's an intense, rigorous timeframe that many students say gives them a strong foundation for the rest of their studies. These courses include:
Fisheries Field Camp (FISH 4650L/6650L): Learn fish collection and identification skills at beaches, estuaries, streams and reservoirs across Georgia. Students are expected to travel as part of a group and stay in campsites/institutional facilities while learning field techniques and completing some writing assignments.
Management and Restoration of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem (FORS 4080/6080): Learn basic ecology, management, and restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem. Topics include longleaf history, conservation status, and fire ecology. This five-day class takes place at the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in Newton, Georgia.
Forestry Field Camp (FORS 4650/6650): This off-campus field practicum teaches field skills in applied silviculture, harvesting, and forest inventory. This three-week Maymester course includes visits to forest products facilities for a first-hand understanding of pulp, paper, solid wood, and engineered forest products and the resources required for their manufacture.
Prescribed Fire in the Forest Ecosystem (FORS 5610/7610): Learn about fire as a tool for forest management, species conservation, and ecosystem restoration in the Southeast coastal plain. This class is taught during spring break at the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in Newton, Georgia.
Hydrology, Geology, and Soils of Georgia (WASR 4700/6700L): This field course examines the diverse geology, soils, and surface and subsurface hydrologic processes within the state. This class visits mines, farms, forests, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and estuaries to explore the influence of human activities on the physical environment.
Field and Molecular Techniques in Wildlife Research and Management (WILD 4650/6650): Learn a variety of field and molecular techniques used in wildlife research and management, and apply these techniques in both field and laboratory settings. This intensive Maymester course takes place at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.
Study Away Courses
Want to extend your knowledge beyond the Southeast? The Discover Abroad program offers a variety of study abroad and service-learning programs on the theme of "sustaining human societies and the natural environment." Programs take place throughout the year—including during spring break and Maymester—in Fiji, Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Tahiti. Discover Abroad also offers a unique pre-fall-semester course at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Learn more about Discover Abroad