Major in Applied Fire Science & Management

Students build a strong foundation in the science, management, and policy of fire. They conduct research that is timely, relevant, and takes into consideration multiple perspectives.

Exacerbated by drought, fire suppression policies, and climate change, wildfires are becoming more frequent, larger, and more destructive. The Applied Fire Science & Management bachelor’s degree program meets this challenge head-on by exploring the science and management of fire from multiple disciplines and perspectives, including local indigenous knowledge. Exploring and learning from a dynamic and varied set of practices provides students with a strong background in fire science, management, and policy in a rapidly changing world.

Practical Experience

Students take their learning beyond the classroom to conduct research, which local partners use to inform fire management learning techniques. First-year, first-time students will automatically be enrolled in the Klamath Connection. One of several place-based learning communities, the free year-long program of science and general education (GE) courses and activities focus on one theme: the Klamath River. Students have access to the campus Fire Lab, which is among the most well-equipped fire research facilities in any university in the country.

Location for Learning

The region has 680,000 acres of state and national parks and 1.5 million acres of forest, making Cal Poly Humboldt the perfect place to live and learn. We are only 45 minutes west of a set of large, recent wildfires to study. There are many prescribed burns and indigenous cultural burns nearby as well.

Fieldwork & Forests

  • The Arcata Community Forest: Just behind campus, the 790-acre redwood forest is a nationally recognized model of excellent forestry and land stewardship.
  • Jacoby Creek Forest: The nearly 900-acre property acquired by the University is a major destination for field trips, capstone projects, and student research.
    • L.W. Schatz Demonstration Tree Farm: This 385-acre property serves as a field experiment station for student and faculty research, an outdoor classroom for educators, and a demonstration area for forestry professionals.


    Cal Poly Humboldt is located in the heart of the coastal redwood forest. The surrounding environment is perfect for hands-on experience beyond the classroom.

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