Fredericton Bathurst

Forest Technology Program

All students attending the Maritime College of Forest Technology are enrolled into the two-year Forest Technology Diploma program.  The program focuses on developing a student’s proficiency in the use of various tools and technologies used in gathering data across forested environments, as well as developing knowledge of forestry dynamics, wildlife, management, and current issues.  As a forest technologist, you will be doing field work in ever-changing forested locations, and applying the skills you’ve learned to research, management, and natural resource conservation tasks.  Upon successful completion of the Forest Technology program students receive a diploma in Forest Technology.  Unlike traditional high schools and universities, students enrolling at MCFT all receive the same class schedule each semester.  

September to December
  • Botany
  • Communications
  • Computer Applications
  • Dendrology & Silvics
  • Fish & Wildlife Ecology
  • Forest Ecology
  • Forest Fire Management I
  • Forest Measurements I
  • Forest Navigation
  • Introduction to Forestry Operations
  • Mathematics
January to April
  • Biostatistics for Natural Resource Technicians
  • Fish & Wildlife Biology
  • Forest Fire Management II
  • Forest Measurements II
  • Geomatics I
  • Ground Vegetation Identification
  • Land Measurements
  • Photogrammetry
  • Silviculture
  • Supervisory Development
September to December
  • Advanced Silviculture
  • Entomology & Pathology
  • Forest Harvesting
  • Forest Roads
  • Geomatics II
  • Non-Timber Forest Products I
  • Outdoor Survival
January to April
  • Ethics & Environmental Issues
  • Fish & Wildlife Management
  • Forest Business
  • Forest Management 
  • Non-Timber Forest Products II
  • Public Speaking
  • Scaling
  • Urban Forestry
  • Wood Technology

An essential piece of any Forest Technologist's equipment is their Field Book. Field books are used to log information related to dates, times, activities, crews, and surroundings while in the field.  Through the information catologued in a field book a technologist should be able to account for their location and activities on any given day.  It should also act as a resource that can be referred to when key bits of past information need to be reviewed.  Throughout the duration of the Forest Technology program students will be required to log field book entries for all outdoor labs and activities.

Work Practicum

April to September

All MCFT students are required to complete a 10 week work practicum in the summer between their first and second  year of study, with the only requirement is that a student's position to be forestry or wildlife related.  Many students use this opportunity to travel to experience work in other provinces for the first time.  Students are required to secure their own positions and negotiate their employment directly with the employer.  However, MCFT will forward job postings for summer positions directly to students beginning as early as November.  In certain cases interviews and physical testing required for certain positions are held on campus.  Students will be evaluated by their most imediate supervisor on a pass fail basis.  A passing summer work practicum evaluation is required in order for a student to graduate from the program.  MCFT will also have students evaluate their employers.  Students enrolled in the Advanced Fish & Wildlife program are encouraged to obtain wildlife related work experience during this work term, although this is not mandatory.  Prospective students are encouraged to begin thinking of possible work placement options prior to enrolling at the college.  

Note: Special provisions and arrangements for the summer practicum may be made for students who are members of family owned companies who wish to continue work with the family firm.


Advanced Fish & Wildlife Technology Program 

The Advanced Fish & Wildlife Technology Program is offered as an optional addition to the Forest Technology Program. Any student who feels they would like to pursue wildlife management as a career path are strongly encouraged to consider the program.  Students who wish to pursue this program may register for the program prior to the beginning of the second semester and complete it either concurrently together with the Forest Technology Diploma program, or by itself in a third year of study.  A Fish & Wildlife Technologist is skilled in the use of technologies, and knowledgeable of the various techniques, associated with the management of wildlife species and their habitats.  Students who take the Advanced Fish & Wildlife program graduate with an Advanced Diploma in Forest and Fish & Wildlife Technology.  By the commencement of the first semester of their second year of study, all students interested in enrolling in the Advanced Fish & Wildlife Technology program must meet the following criteria.  

1. Must have satisfied all academic requirements of the core Forest Technology program, as outlined in the MCFT academic policy manual.  

2. Must have achieved a course average of no less than 65% in the following courses: 

  • Fish & Wildlife Ecology
  • Fish & Wildlife Biology
  • Biostatistics for Natural Resource Technologists
  • Fish & Wildlife Management

3. Must have successfully completed a summer work practicum.  

4. Must have completed all summer collection assignments as outlined by their course instructor. 

In order for an Advanced Fish & Wildlife student to graduate they must maintain current and valid certification in the following Professional Certifications.  Every MCFT student will have the opportunity to complete these courses during their time at MCFT.  Should a student already maintain certification in any of these courses they are not required to take them again.  Such students are asked to bring any certification cards or certificates they have received to MCFT to be added to their file.  

  • Firearm Safety
  • Restricted Firearm Safety
  • Hunter Education
  • Trapper Education
  • Bowhunter Education
  • Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator 
  • CSC ATV Rider 
  • CSC Snowmobile Operator 
  • Backpack and Boat Electrofishing
  • Tandem Flatwater Canoe
  • Pleasurecraft Operator
  • Helicopter Safety
  • Wilderness & Remote First Aid

The Advanced Fish & Wildlife Program is divided into 4 courses; Wildlife Techniques I - IV.  Each course focuses on a different aspect of wildlife management, and in each course students will learn a variety of different field techniques.  

Fish & Wildlife Techniques I

An eel caught during one of the netting exercises at Indian Lake, NB is measured.    

This course is an intensive, two-week module which takes place during the last two weeks of August.  It is a “hands-on,” field-focused course wherein students are transported daily to the Acadia Research Forest and/or Indian Lake, near Noonan, NB.  The focus of the camp is directed towards fisheries techniques: electrofishing [back-pack and boat], cold-water stream surveys, lake surveys, boat and outboard motor operation and maintenance, fish necropsy, and drainage basin delineation and assessment.  Students are introduced to a variety of wildlife techniques including: mist-net capture, grouse noose capture, cannon netting, nest duck box construction and placement, waterfowl, transect surveys [King Census] and wetland ecology/habitat evaluation.  Concurrently, students establish and monitor several waterfowl trapping sites in the Saint John River valley near Fredericton.  Collections of aquatic [marsh] plants, animal sign [scat], and freshwater stream invertebrates are also required.  Activities begin early [< 08:00 hours] and often finish late in the afternoon/evening [>19:00 hrs].  The overlapping weekend is reserved for course activities if there is inclement weather during the week, and a full technical report of stream survey findings is required in the weeks following completion of the course.

Fish & Wildlife Techniques II

A beaver skull prepared by an Advanced FIsh & Wildlife student for their Large Mammal Skull assignment in 2015.  

Lecture topics in this course focus primarily on methods for marking and handling fish and wildlife.  Labs focus on operating biological check stations, live-trapping and tagging small mammals, radio-telemetry and radio collaring techniques, capturing and handling Canada geese, estimating deer herd demographics using trail cameras by conducting a deer survey, setting and deploying a drop net for deer, establishing bait and scent stations, identifying, processing, and preparing mammal skulls and skeletons, and pelt identification.

Fish & Wildlife Techniques III

MCFT students will learn the proper technique for assembling different types of tranquilizer darts, and the types of chemicals they contain. 

Lecture topics in this course cover aerial survey techniques and standards, fish and wildlife techniques for estimating population size [pellet group surveys, mark-recapture, transect counts], wildlife tracking and track identification, trapping and furbearer management, aging/sexing fish and wildlife, wildlife immobilization techniques and drug pharmacology and dosage estimation. Labs focus on mammal necropsy methods, aging deer and moose using tooth replacement and wear patterns, aging and sexing upland game birds using plumage characteristics, aging and monitoring fish populations, drug delivery systems, safety, and handling of dart guns, and winter track transects.  Lab projects include preparing jaw rings for moose and deer, mammal/bird/fish skeleton preparation and articulation, microtine skull preparation, and bird study skin preparation.  Term project is development of a fish and/or wildlife research/management funding proposal for submission to the NB Wildlife Trust Fund.

Fish & Wildlife Techniques IV

An MCFT student looks outside the window of the helicopter, trying to spot moose, or tracks to follow.  

This course focuses on applying practical skills that have been developed in previous courses [F&W Techniques 1, 2, and 3] as well as survival and snowmobile use and safety.  Like Fish & Wildlife Techniques I, this course is a "hands-om," field-focused course that takes place outside of the classroom.  Students spend 5 days at a remote field camp on the perimeter of Fundy National Park, and are responsible for the organization and successful operation of the camp as a whole.  This includes developing a menu and cooking meals for the entire student/faculty crew, organizing and itemizing all the gear that needs to be transported throughout the camp (including snowmobiles and fuel), and ensuring that all activities are implemented according to schedule.  The camp where students are stationed has individual large cabins for sleeping and a cookhouse/lodge for food preparation and meeting.  Activities that take place during the camp include deer eviscerations, canvas tent and wood stove setup, predator bait camera station setup, aerial moose surveying, predator track surveys, moose browse surveys, and more.