Date Dissertation Completed

4-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education

Department

Education Studies

Dissertation Advisor

Barbara D. Holmes

Dissertation Committee Members

DeJuanna M. Parker, Dennis A. Westbrooks

City

Winona, Minnesota

Abstract

This qualitative phenomenological study explored forestry career readiness from the perspective of forestry employers and early career forestry professionals. A virtual focus group interview, individual online interviews, and a review of forestry education documents produced study data. Participants were selected through snowball sampling. Data were analyzed through open and axial coding. Salient themes emerging from this inquiry centered on the dynamic complexity of forestry, field competence, interpersonal skills, and situated learning. Study findings concluded that sustainable forest management required field skills to conduct remote forestry activities and interpersonal skills to negotiate diverse stakeholder interests. Implications for educational practice and recommendations for future research include re-engineering forestry courses to provide situated interpersonal and field-based learning experiences and exploring forestry educator perspectives on integrating situated learning pedagogies to improve the career readiness of new forestry professionals.

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