Glenville State College in partnership with the West Virginia Division of Forestry is offering forestry certifications as part of the school's expanding Forest Technology program.
Aside from earning an Associate of Science in Forest Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management with a major in Forest Technology, students in those programs are also earning certifications in wildland fire-fighting, timber harvesting, and herbicide application.
The specific certifications students can earn include the WV Certified Logger Program, which includes instruction on Best Management Practices for Loggers and Tree Felling Safety and Personal Safety Equipment, and Fire Fighting Certifications, including Western Wildland Fire Fighting Certification (S130/S190), Pack Test or Red Card Certification, and Certification in Wildland Observation, and Origin Scene Protection for First Responders (F-110).
Jesse King, a forester with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, leads the certifications and has an office within the Department of Land Resources at the college's Waco Center.
The partnership was first formalized in 2016, and since then both institutions have successfully carried out internships, training, and seminars involving Glenville faculty, students, and state foresters.
Dr. Rico Gazal, head of the Department of Land Resources, praised the partnership.
“The Land Resources Department, particularly its faculty, staff, and students, are fortunate to have a W.Va. Division of Forestry presence right in our department office suite," Gazal said.
"The partnerships between GSC and the WVDOF have created significant impact in enhancing the field learning experience of our students through various forms of certifications, training, lectures, and field demonstrations in forestry operations."
Regional Forester WVDOF Vern Stephens underscored the importance of having an experienced forester in place.
“Having a service forester helping set curriculum requirements is an asset to all state agencies who hire GSC graduates," Stephens said.
"Individuals pursuing a degree in forestry have the benefit of a professional forester on site to ask questions and get advice.”
Students in the Forest Technology program also have the option to take the WV Pesticide Applicator Exam as part of the Silviculture and Vegetation Management (FRST 209) course.
After passing the exam, students receive a Registered Pesticide Technician license that is limited to Right-of-Way/Industrial Weed – Hardwood Tree Release and under direct supervision of a Certified Applicator. The Pesticide Applicator License exam is administered by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
“Nothing is more important to our future and the preservation of needed ecosystems – including forests – than education. The West Virginia Division of Forestry is very happy to have Glenville State College as a partner in educating the future of forestry,” said King.
For more information about WVDOF programs in Gilmer and Calhoun Counties, contact King at Jesse.L.King@wv.gov or 304-488-9157. For information about the Land Resource academic programs at Glenville State College, contact the Department of Land Resources at Land.Resources@glenville.edu or 304-462-6370.