MPB outbreak

Forestry FRST 307 – Biotic Disturbances (Forest Health)
Summer Session 1 – May / June 2017

Course Outline

Instructor: Dr. Jordan Burke
3616 Forest Sciences Centre

TA: Mr. Stan Pokorny
3219 Forest Sciences Centre

The objective of this course is to provide students with a biological basis for recognizing, diagnosing, and managing diseases and insects affecting forests and forest resources. Students will become familiar with the roles that insects and diseases play in natural ecosystem processes such as gap formation, nutrient cycling, and succession, as well as the challenges these biotic agents pose to sustainable management. The general principles of plant pathology, entomology, and pest management are introduced, followed by descriptions of the specific insects and disease agents involved.

Specifically, students will learn to:
1) recognize and identify the major tree diseases and insects of the forests of the Pacific Northwest and to assess their actual or potential impacts on various forest resources;
2) recognize and interpret insect and disease signs and symptoms of forest and shade trees around the world, with emphasis on boreal and temperate forests;
3) understand the biology of some of the important forest insects and diseases of western North America, and consider the potential for climate change to affect pest biology and impacts;
4) integrate forest pathology and entomology considerations appropriately into forest management plans.

Class begins Monday, May 15 and runs until Friday, June 23.

Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, Friday – 1000 – 1200, FSC 1221
Labs: Monday, Wednesday – 1400-1600, FSC 1310


Midterm Exam: 20%
Final Lecture Exam: 40%
Forest Management Plan Project: 15%
Lab Quizzes: 5%
Lab Final Exam: 20%

The midterm exam will be a 1 hour multiple choice exam covering the first half of the material. The Final will be a 3 hour cumulative exam. The FMP Project will be a 5 page written report, which we will assign at the beginning of class. Note, that we do not accept late work at all, unless you are cleared by UBC Access and Diversity. A brief and relatively easy quiz on the previous lab’s material will be conducted at each lab. The final Lab exam will be a 1 hour identification exam.

Lecture Outline:

Lecture materials will follow this structure; 1) Forest Health definitions and concepts, 2) Root and lower stem syndromes and management, 3) Main stem and branch syndromes and management, 4) Foliage and young stand syndromes and management, 5) Effects of climate change on forest health and management regimes. Lecture notes will be provided before class with two important caveats: 1) Lecture notes provided to students will be incomplete, to be filled out in class (don’t skip unless you have no choice), 2) some information may be provided verbally by the instructor, and anything he says is subject to testing (don’t skip class).

Lab Outline:

The first few labs will be introductory, fun (hopefully), and light on material. Then, we will show you specimens and pictures and you will have to learn to identify them to species, much like other labs. We will provide lab guides before lab. Each identification lab will begin with a brief and easy quiz on the previous lab’s material, designed so that anyone who spent the appropriate amount of time in the previous lab will get full marks. If you do not show up, you get a 0 and there will be no make up quiz, unless you are cleared by UBC Access and Diversity. The lab exam will cover all the material presented for identification. We encourage you to make note cards, and will give you 5 points towards your lab final grade if you can show them to us and they are complete.

1) Is this on the test? A: yes
2) Why do we need to know this? A: because misdiagnosis can mean failure at your future job, and because its on the test.
3) This is too much material, can we skip some? A: no, back in my day we had to do it blindfolded.
4) Can we eat this? A: please don’t, we need it for next year and you might die.

Online Resources:

We know you hate Blackboard Connect, but due to liability and other factors we will need to use it for communications and providing materials. All announcements, schedule changes, and communications will be done through Connect, and you will be responsible for checking it and your email (usually it sends one) once a day. If you can check Snapchat 100 times a day, you can check Connect ONCE. We will also provide lecture and lab guides, and additional materials through the class website, sometimes, but these will be supplementary.

Office Hours:

Summer is an exceptionally busy time for us, so office hours will be by appointment. The vast majority of questions students have can be quickly answered via email, so we will require that you outline what exactly you want help with and what specific questions you have via email first, before we will schedule office hours.

LAB SCHEDULE: this is tentative and subject to change but hopefully won’t.


MAY 17 – FARM WALK – distribute plates

MAY 22 – LAB PROJECT and writing and citation guide. (interior douglas-fir system management plan, due JUNE 19) and overall taxonomy of insects and fungi

MAY 24 – no lab

MAY 29 – Rots, root feeding weevils

MAY 31 – ROOT diseases

JUNE 5 – Saprophytes (wood borers and ambrosia beetles, fungi)

JUNE 7 – bark beetles and cankers and rusts

JUNE 12 – Foilage diseases, leader and tip feeders

JUNE 14 – defoliators