Educational Programs

Learning the names of the trees. Timber cruising. Logging. Sawmilling. Boiling Sugarbush sap. Cataloguing insects. Evaluating wildlife habitat. Analyzing forest health. Creating strong leaders. Ford Center and Research Forest is a living lab that provides educational opportunities for all ages. It is a vital component of our undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

Student studying leaves in the forest.

Academic Field Courses

Michigan Tech foresters, applied ecologists, and wildlife ecologists participate in a semester-long undergraduate integrated field practicum (IFP). Additional credited courses, such as FW 3765 Maple Syrup Management and Culture and the Forestry and Environmental Resource Management Program (FERM), take place in the Center’s surrounding forests and wetlands. Nearly one-eighth of the CFRES undergraduate curriculum is taught at the Ford Center and Forest.

Students at the LeaderShape program.


The goal is simple, but intense: show bright young leaders how to step forward with strength and integrity. To find out who they are, so they can actively determine who they will be. The week-long interactive institute is hosted at the Ford Center.

Student working with young children extracting syrup from a maple tree.

Outreach Programs

Outdoor and environmental education: Boy Scouts, youth camps, and other community groups come to the center for learning and play.

Forestry-related skill development: We help industry and individuals learn chain saw safety, log scaling and grading, logging safety, logging, and sawmilling.

Natural resource workshops: Our maple syrup production draws an appreciative crowd, and trains producers in techniques from tapping to marketing. Other Department of Natural Resources sessions help educate faraway visitors and local residents about the environment around us.

Instructor with a group of K-12 teachers walking on a trail.

Professional Education

The Center specializes in facilitating classes, seminars, camps, and training sessions offered by fellow educational organizations. Talk to us about programs for both professional educators and natural resource professionals.