F 321 – Syllabus

Forest Biometry

Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship

Warner College of Natural Resources

Name:    Wade Tinkham
Office:    Forestry 123e
E-Mail:    Wade.Tinkham@colostate.edu
Office     MW 11-12 and F 8-9
Hours:    or by appointment

Teaching Assistant
Alex Weissman
Forestry 123a
MW 2-3 or by appointment

                Course Information
Term:                            Fall 2018
Lecture Day/Time:    Monday & Wednesday 12:00-12:50
Lecture Location:      Forestry 127
Lab Day/Time:            Thursday 11-12:40 or Friday 9-10:40
Lab Location:              Variable throughout the semester
Course Credits:           3

Course Overview
This course will challenge you to demonstrate a mastery of forest measurements and sampling methods used in forest management from individual trees to stand-level variables. Half of the course will focus on measurements related to forest resources and management, including the techniques used in determining the volume and quality of logs, trees, and stands of trees. A major objective of the course is not only for students to learn how to measure vegetation, but also to help them understand the interpretation of various forest structural attributes.

The other half of the course is intended to provide an understanding of the sampling designs and statistical approaches commonly implemented within forest management. It focuses on the statistics and theory of sampling forest resources for management, including topics such as simple random sampling, stratified random sampling, ratio estimation, and multiphase sampling. The course will also cover sampling designs for specialty forest products, fuels management, and rare populations. A major objective of the course is not only for students to learn the basics of sampling design, but to instill the importance of appropriate designs and what they mean for the standard error of the mean. The course culminates with a practical field project, were student groups are expected to develop, implement, analyze, and report on a forest inventory to meet specific objectives.

Course Goals and Objectives
This course should enable students with the following skills and knowledge:

  • Students should be able to employ equipment and technology to estimate forest structure.
  • Students should be able to calculate summaries of forest inventory data collected with different sampling techniques.
  • Students should be able to discuss and justify sampling with different methodologies.
  • Students should be able to analyze forest inventory data to project future stand conditions.
  • Students should be able to articulate the results of a forest inventory and growth simulation data through written and visual presentation.

Course Prerequisites

  • ST301 (Introduction to Statistics) or equivalent
  • NR220 (Natural Resources Ecology and Measurements)
  • F230 (Forestry Field Measurements)
  • MATH141 (Calculus in Management Sciences)
  • Required Text

    • Forest Measurements by Avery & Burkhart 5th edition or newer
    • Elementary Forest Sampling – pdf version available on Canvas
    • Additional readings will be posted on Canvas

    Graphical Syllabus

    Assignments will consist of numerical, data analysis, and critical thought exercises. Students are encouraged to work together, but all work handed in must be your own. You are required to report your final answers on the homework sheet and show all work on a separate sheet in an organized and as neat a fashion as possible, Credit will only be awarded if students show their work and doing so allows for partial credit. Part of showing your work will include turning in two copies of any work performed in Excel, one with the values displayed and another with the formulas displayed. Without this formulas page we will not be able to provide partial credit. Be sure to double check your answer for proper units and to determine if your answer is reasonable, failing to label units will result in a 50% deduction on the question.
    Each assignment will be available on the course website and should be handed in by the end of lecture/lab of the week following when the material was covered. The best 7 graded assignments will count toward your final grade. Written answers are encouraged to be typed and turned in on a separate piece of paper. Any typed answers must use Times New Roman 12 pt font, 1 inch margins, and at least 1.5 line spacing.

    Course Project
    The course will work toward developing the skills need for students to complete a two-part sampling practicum. The sampling practicum will require 2 mandatory Saturday fieldtrips. Firstly, students will perform a preliminary evaluation from a site visit and previously collected data to determine the most feasible, rigorous, and statistically viable approach to sampling each of the stands with the appropriate management objective in mind. This should include how many plots each stand will receive and how plots will be located within the stands. You must justify the techniques that you use in terms of both efficiency and statistical rigor. Secondly, students will conduct their proposed inventory and generate a report and presentation that summarizes the current and 40 year projected forest structure, composition, and function for each of your stands as is relevant to the management objectives. You should propose actions to meet the management objectives, include projections of the stand under alternative management scenarios (i.e. thinning) compared to taking no action. This report and presentation should include details of the sampling conducted and site description.

    Course Policies

    Late Work Policy
    All late assignments will receive a 20% deduction in credit for one week, after which the late assignment will not be accepted for credit. Students must notify the instructors at least 1 week before missing an assignment, report, quiz, or exam, or they will not be allowed to make it up.

    Extra Credit Policy
    Extra credit will be available through in class example questions, questions related to assigned readings, and an extra credit problem set that will be made available after spring break. You may earn a maximum of 75 points extra credit, but it will only count toward your overall course grade if you earn a passing grade in the course. Meaning you can use it to improve your grade but not to simply pass the class, this is because you must first demonstrate a certain level of mastery of the material.

    Library & Research Help
    The CSU Libraries Help Desk provides basic research and technical assistance either in person at Morgan Library or by phone at 970-491-1841. Virtual assistance is also available via the Libraries’ Ask Us chat and email services (http://lib.colostate.edu/help/ask-us). Jocelyn Boice is the librarian supporting the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department and this course. Contact her for in-depth assistance at:  jocelyn.boice@colostate.edu / 970-491-3882.

    Grades of “Incomplete”
    Per university policy, an instructor may assign temporary grade of Incomplete to a student who demonstrates that he or she could not complete the requirements of the course due to circumstances beyond the student’s control and not reasonably foreseeable. A student must be passing a course at the time that an Incomplete is requested unless the instructor determines that there are extenuating circumstances to assign an Incomplete to a student who is not passing the course. When an instructor assigns an Incomplete, he or she shall specify in writing using the Department Incomplete Grade Form the requirements the student shall fulfill to complete the course as well as the reasons for granting an Incomplete when the student is not passing the course. The instructor shall retain a copy of this statement in his or her grade records and provide copies to the student and the department head or his or her designee. (Section I.6 of the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual)

    Disability Access
    Colorado State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities. Students with disabilities who need accommodations must first contact Resources for Disabled Students before requesting accommodations from the professor. Resources for Disabled Students (RDS; http://rds.colostate.edu/home) is located in room 100 of the General Services Building. Their phone is (970) 491-6385 (V/TDD). Students who need accommodations in this course must contact the professor at the beginning of the semester to discuss needed accommodations.

    Attendance Policy
    Students must inform the instructors prior to any anticipated absence and take the initiative to make up missed work in a timely fashion. In the event of a conflict in regard to this policy, individuals may appeal using established University procedures. University-sanctioned activities include competitions, events and professional meetings in which students are officially representing the institution. Appropriate sanctioned activities include:

    • Intercollegiate athletics;
    • Collegiate club sports and competitions;
    • Conferences and workshops recognized by the University not related to academics;
    • Commitments on behalf of the University (ASCSU, band, etc.); and
    • Professional activities recognized by the University related to academics.

    Department heads or their designated representatives must approve sanctioned professional and departmental activities. Other sanctioned activities must be approved by the appropriate program director on record with the Division of Student Affairs offices or the Department of Athletics.

    Religious Accommodation
    Participation in official University activities, e.g., an out-of-town athletic event, or special religious observances may provide a legitimate reason for an excused absence. The student is responsible for discussing this with the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

    Final Exam Policy
    Final examination week is part of the regular semester. Student attendance shall be consistent with University policy. If a student has three or more final examinations (not classes) scheduled for the same day or if conflicts of examination times occur, the student may negotiate a time change with the instructors involved. If the parties involved cannot find a mutually agreeable time, the Registrar’s Office indicates which courses must be changed. Note: The Registrar’s Office must be notified at least one week prior to Final Examination Week to allow instructors time to make appropriate accommodations.  It is the student’s responsibility to initiate negotiations.

    Any student who has a conflict with the examination schedule must inform the instructor as soon as possible before the examination. If an agreement cannot be reached between the instructor and student as to the appropriateness of a make-up examination the student should appeal to the department head.


    Professionalism Policy
    Per university policy and classroom etiquette; mobile phones and electronic devices must be silenced during all classroom and lab sessions. Those not heeding this rule will be asked to leave the classroom/lab immediately so as to not disrupt the learning environment. Please arrive on time for all class meetings. Students who habitually disturb the class by talking, arriving late, etc., and have been warned may suffer a reduction in their final class grade. When emailing the instructor or TA, please do so in a professional manner by including a salutation, complete sentences, and your full name, CSU ID, and the course number in your email.

    Academic Integrity
    The Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship takes academic integrity seriously. At minimum, academic integrity means that no one will use another’s work as their own. The CSU writing center defines plagiarism this way:

    Plagiarism is the unauthorized or unacknowledged use of another person’s academic or scholarly work. Done on purpose, it is cheating. Done accidentally, it is no less serious. Regardless of how it occurs, plagiarism is a theft of intellectual property and a violation of an ironclad rule demanding “credit be given where credit is due.”
    Source: (Writing Guides: Understanding Plagiarism. http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=17)

    If you plagiarize in your work you could lose credit for the plagiarized work, fail the assignment, or fail the course. Each instance of plagiarism, classroom cheating, and other types of academic dishonesty will be addressed according to the principles published in the CSU General Catalog (under “Academic Integrity/Misconduct: http://catalog.colostate.edu/general-catalog/policies/students-responsibilities/).

    Of course, academic integrity means more than just avoiding plagiarism. It also involves doing your own reading and studying. It includes regular class attendance, careful consideration of all class materials, and engagement with the class and your fellow students. Academic integrity lies at the core of our common goal: to create an intellectually honest and rigorous community. Because academic integrity, and the personal and social integrity of which academic integrity is an integral part, is so central to our mission as students, teachers, scholars, and citizens, we will ask to you sign the CSU Honor Pledge as part of completing all of our major assignments. While you will not be required to sign the honor pledge, we will ask each of you to write and sign the following statement on your papers and exams:

    “I have not given, received, or used any unauthorized assistance.”

    Title IX Information
    CSU’s Student Sexual Harassment and Violence policy, following national guidance from the Office of Civil Rights, requires that faculty follow CSU policy as a “mandatory reporter” of any personal disclosure of sexual harassment, abuse, and/or violence related experiences or incidents shared with the faculty member in person, via email, and/or in classroom papers or homework exercises. These disclosures include but are not limited to reports of personal relational abuse, relational/domestic violence, and stalking. While faculty are often able to help students locate appropriate channels of assistance on campus (e.g., see the CSU Health Network link below), disclosure by the student to the faculty member requires that the faculty member inform appropriate CSU channels to help ensure that the student’s safety and welfare is being addressed, even if the student requests that the disclosure not be shared.
    For counseling support and assistance, please see the CSU Health Network, which includes a variety of counseling services that can be accessed at: http://www.health.colostate.edu/.  And, the Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team is a confidential resource for students that does not have a reporting requirement and that can be of great help to students who have experienced sexual assault. The web address is http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/need-help-support. Source: http://oeo.colostate.edu/title-ix-sexual-assault

    Non-Discrimination Statement
    Colorado State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. The University complies with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, related Executive Orders 11246 and 11375, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and all civil rights laws of the State of Colorado. Accordingly, equal opportunity of employment and admission shall be extended to all persons. The University shall promote equal opportunity and treatment in employment through a positive and continuing affirmative action program for ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services. Source: http://oeo.colostate.edu/non-discrimination-statement