Understanding Forest Science Course

The Understanding Forest Science Course is usually held every second year, in a rotating sequence with the Understanding Wood Science Course. In 2023 the course was held in July at lovely Coffs Harbour, on the NSW mid-north coast.

Plans are afoot for the next course to be staged on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Course objectives

The five and half day course essentially offers a grounding in:

  • the basic science relating to forests,current Australian research and development,
  • forest management practices for a range of forest types,
  • biodiversity and ecology,
  • some indigenous land management practices,
  • third party certification of sustainable forest management,
  • biosecurity,
  • carbon equation of working forests (grown, harvested, regrown),
  • hydrology, and other…

Forests are where one of humanity’s core materials comes from and the course also provides some grounding around how forests link with the value chain for timber. 

Course program

The 2023 program lived up to the promise and was very interesting. It featured a truly exceptional line-up of speakers delivering presentations plus two separate field trips. There was also a guided Aboriginal Interpretative Talk. The 2023 program can be viewed here

Make a booking

Once the date for the next course is released it will be listed on this page. So please come back and check. The Understanding Forest Science Course runs from a Sunday afternoon through to the afternoon of the following Friday.

Course registrations can only be made via the online form. Please note that registration is not complete until an invoice is sent and the course fee has been paid in full. 

If the course is over-subscribed: If the number of registration forms submitted exceeds the number of available places, then invoices will not be raised. Instead, the overflow will be offered the option of being placed on either a cancellation list for the current course or placed on an expression of interest list for notification about the next course.

Expression of interest 

If you are interested in attending the course - please let us know. Fill in a contact form and we can add you to the expression of interest group and advise you by email once the next course opens for registrations. Course registrations can only be made via the online form.

 Who should attend

The course is aimed at a 'broad church'. It is open to current and potential managers, people working in non-forestry roles, personnel from forests related organisations, executives, board directors, researchers, communications professionals, university students, capital and other service providers (such as banks, investment houses, insurers), industry associations, government and consultants to the forest industry. 

The course generally attracts a very interesting mix of people including some in professional forestry roles.

Why attend?

If you work in, are interested in, or are associated with the timber and forestry products sector in some way, this unique course will bring you up to date on core aspects of forest science and how these are core to the management of the nation's public and private estates. You will also gain a better understanding of the national and international forces impacting upon forests.

In order to facilitate exchange and discussion, the course is limited to a maximum of 35 participants. Early booking is always advisable to avoid disappointment.

Quality Speakers

The course always features prominent guest speakers with very extensive experience in forest science and other relevant specialities. Speakers include professional forest science practitioners, academics and researchers. 

The Gottstein Trust values the generous donation of time made by each speaker, in order to enable other people to learn.


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