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The Center for Agroforestry

UMCA News Release

With Good Job Market, MU Center for Agroforestry
Offers Online Master's Program in Agroforestry

January 5, 2012

Source: Shibu Jose, Ph.D., 573-882-0240

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The job outlook for graduates with degrees in forestry and agroforestry are pretty good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in this area will grow by 12 percent during the 2008-18 decade. And the pay isn't bad, either. According to the bureau, the average annual salary for a forester is $53,750. An average conservation scientist position nets $58,720.

To help put more trained professionals in agroforestry, the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri has added an agroforestry focus option to an existing master of science forestry degree. The course is offered through MU Direct Online and designed to help non-traditional students get a forestry education.

The master's curriculum is a 30-credit, non-thesis degree with a 16-credit required core including a professional paper, optional 3-credit field internship and elective course work. In addition to the students admitted to the agroforestry focus program, which must be done through the MU Graduate School, both graduate and undergraduate students from other disciplines are welcome to enroll in individual online courses for credit.

Getting an online education in this area is an easy way for people who already have a job, other commitments or are overseas to attend MU.

"Hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers, for example, work every year on agroforestry-related projects," said Shibu Jose, UMCA director. "This program could provide them with an opportunity to pursue a degree or certificate in agroforestry while working abroad. We are not aware of any similar program in agroforestry elsewhere in the country."

Jose said the master's in forestry with a focus in agroforestry is designed to be a flexible degree to meet the advanced educational goals of a wide range of students, such as professionals working in natural resources who already have an undergraduate degree in a related field. The online master's is open to individuals holding accredited bachelor's degrees who wish to expand their breadth and depth of knowledge in agroforestry.

"We hope to increase enrollment of graduate students in courses related to agroforestry," Jose said. "The ultimate outcome of this project will be 'society-ready graduates' who are capable of making positive changes in the agriculture, natural resources and environmental sectors in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world."

Course options include a core of four courses: Agroforestry Theory, Practice and Adoption; Agroforestry Economics and Policy; Ecological Principles of Agroforestry; and Agroforestry for Watershed Restoration.

For more information about the program or individual courses, go to

Randy Mertens
Coordinator of Media Relations
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
214 Gentry Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri 65211
Phone: 573 882 3237

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