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. 

The 2024 course will be held in winter at Mooloolaba in the heart of Queensland's Sunshine Coast and close to the large southern Qld softwood plantation estates, and other types of forests. The dates are: Sunday 28th July to Friday 2nd August 2024.

Course objectives

Forests are not only providers of vital ecological systems, they are where timber - one of humanity’s most important fibre materials - comes from. With such a comprehensive role played by forests, both natural and planted, naturally many people want to know more about forest science.

The five and half day course essentially offers grounding in:

  • the basic science relating to forests, current Australian research and development
  • forest management practices for a range of forest types
  • forest hydrology and soils 
  • biodiversity and ecology associated with forests
  • the evolving integration of indigenous land management practices in Australia's forests
  • third party certification of sustainable forest management
  • the crucial role of biosecurity
  • latest research findings on carbon sequestration and and storage of Australian forests and timber derived products
  • other contemporary issues.

The course also provides insight into the necessity for our nation's production forests to be cared for so they are strong and healthy. Plantations (planted forests) and natural forests are both needed as a source of Australia's home-grown timber supply. That timber is the greenest material on earth and is needed to construct homes, schools, offices and other buildings and to make other items that our people need. Less and less of our domestic timber needs are homegrown as production forest areas are shrinking, and so Australia is more vulnerable and reliant on rising imports - we have a challenge on our hands  -  you will come away from the course with much deeper understanding about this.

Course program

The draft 2024 program will be ready later in April and we can guarantee it will be very interesting.  Gottstein courses feature an exceptional speaker line-up. You will experience true experts delivering presentations plus two field trips.

The networking opportunities are enjoyable whether you are shy or outgoing -  because you'll be with people from across Australia (sometimes also overseas) who have something in common with you.

The 2023 program can be viewed here.  Remember once it's ready the 2024 program will be available with a link from this page.

Make a booking

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 no further invoices will be raised once its fully subscribed. 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 - but aren't able to go ahead and register your place right now - please let us know. Fill in a contact form and we can add you to the expression of interest group. This does not guarantee you a place and course registrations can only be made via the online form.

Who should attend

The course attracts a 'broad church'. It is open to everyone including current and potential managers, policy people, people working in non-forestry roles, personnel from forest or forest product 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 who work 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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