Forest and Nature Conservation (BBN) / BSc


The BSc programme Forest and Nature Conservation aims at understanding of aspects of ecology, management, policy and society in forest and nature. Central are the objects forest and nature as complex, often multi-functional land use systems in the context of an increasing pressure of society and economy on natural resources.
The objects forest and nature are rather similar in their functioning (long term processes, (semi) natural ecosystems) and in their problems (increasing areas for agriculture and cities, environmental pollution, forest and nature products). Ecological and social - economic processes are important at different spatial and temporal scales. Spatially processes range from local (cutting of trees, hunting, changes in ground water table) to global (CO2-emission, deforestation, extinction of species).
Processes in ecosystems, are generally very long-term. Use of forest and nature is ever increasing and is threatening the sustainability by fragmentation, decrease in area and pollution, leading to decrease in biodiversity and productivity. Functions of forest and nature are however increasing: biodiversity, forest and nature products, conditions for food production around these areas, giving landscape ecological values, environmental protection and regeneration, and recreation.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this BSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- explain the functioning of forests and natural areas as social-ecological systems at different temporal and spatial scales;
- analyse the major biotic and abiotic components of terrestrial ecosystems and identify the most important dominant and indicator species from North-Western Europe;
- analyse the different actors and institutions related to forests and natural areas;
- analyse the process of decision-making and the effects of actions and interventions on the main ecosystem processes and components;
- analyse concepts, approaches and methods and reflect upon scientific literature, with special reference to the resource use of natural and semi-natural ecosystems;
- analyse a problem in the field of forest and nature conservation by applying elementary skills in research planning, collecting, processing and interpreting data and scientific literature and putting results in a wider context;
- evaluate management decisions incorporating ecological, economic and social aspects in resource use;
- present results of scientific analyses to experts and non-experts both orally and in writing and demonstrate ability to work in a multidisciplinary team;
- explain the relationships between science and practice and reflect on the role of science in society, including a reflection upon own thinking and work;
- design and plan their own learning path (under supervision);
- (Major Policy and Society) assess the key components of social systems in relation to forests and natural areas;
- (Major Ecology and Conservation) assess and apply ecological theories, using understanding of plant and animal biology, and environmental interactions.
The BSc is a good preparation for an MSc in Forest and Nature Conservation and other MSc programmes, where students are learned to deal in an innovative and academic way.


- Policy and Society;
- Ecology and Conservation.

Programme Director

Dr G.F. Epema
Phone: 0317-(4)80063

Study Adviser(s)

Ir C.M. van Hulten
Phone: 0317-(4)82796

Programme Committee

Chair: Dr ir J. den Ouden
Secretary: B. van Beek


Study Association

WSBV De Wageningse Studenten Bos- en Natuurbeheer Vereniging

Unconditional Admission to the MSc

MAM Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MCL Climate Studies
MDR Development and Rural Innovation
MFN Forest and Nature Conservation
MGI Geo-information Science
MLE Leisure Tourism and Environment
MLP Landscape Architecture and Planning