Forestry Department nursery, taken from Hilgard Hall, 1920.Photo: Uncredited, Metcalf-Fritz Collection


Forestry education at UC Berkeley began in 1914 with the “Division of Forestry” in the Department of Agriculture. The Department of Forestry was established in 1939 and the School of Forestry in 1946. Forest Summer Camp, the hallmark of the undergraduate program, began at Quincy, California, in 1915 and moved to Meadow Valley in 1917.


Today, alumni of Cal’s forestry program hold critical positions for the management of 95% of the industrial forestlands in California. The research of our alumni and faculty has grown knowledge in the areas of fire, remote sensing and GIS, ecology, climate change, forest economics, the social sciences, and numerous others.

Over the past 100 years, the Cal Forestry program has had an impact on every dimension of the field, and has produced the profession’s most influential thinkers and doers.

History of The Cal Forestry Program

Below are some historic photos of the Cal Forestry Program. A special thanks goes out to Matt Strausser who found the large collection in the Forestry Club closet. He also thought of digitizing the photographs so they could be posted on the club website.

If you have photos you would to contribute to the Forestry Club history page, please contact the webmaster (jaysullivan@berkeley.edu). We would like to digitize the images and post them here where everyone has access to them.


Cal Forestry Song:

Tune: Tavern in the Town Words: Metcalf & Allen 1932

I came to Berkeley by the Bay - by the Bay,
For I was tired making hay - making hay,
A "Doc" or "Law" I don't intend to be,
I'm going to study Forestry.

I can cruise pine timber neatly, make a working plan completely,
And the art of grading lumber is not strange to me
I know diseases of the pines - of the pines;
I'm good at running compass lines - compass lines.
And the names of trees will never bother me,
For I have studied Forestry.

I went to Califorest Camp - forest camp,
And cruised in timber dark and damp - dark and damp,
Found Section comers in the Chaparral;
Each week I had a different gal.

I can classify the xylem, place each insect in its phylum,
And the different kinds of fires I can fight with glee
I know the grazing animules - animules,
The saw and axe and other tools - other tools,
And with different woods you cannot fool me,
For I have studied Forestry.

One day I met a lumber jack - lumber jack,
He up and slaps me on the back - on the back, .
And says, "Young man, if you want to wear my pants,
You'll have to get experience."

Logging methods I will master, fight erosion's dire disaster,
Know improvement of the watersheds from A to z.
I'll utilize each pine and fir - pine and fir,
Then grow some others where they were, where they were,
And at research work a whizz I'm going to be,
For I have studied Forestry.