WOOD 465–Syllabus

Instructors: Chris Gaston (

Teaching Assistant:  Jennifer DeBoer (

Office Hours:


Class Meeting Times:

Tutorial / Guest Lecture Meeting Times:

Course Objectives: WOOD 465 is an introduction to fundamental business management practices used in the wood industry. Students will be exposed to a wide range of important business management concepts, most notably marketing, business plan development, strategic management, sustainability, innovation and new product development. To complement the theories and principles introduced in this course, a special emphasis is placed on bringing industry examples to the classroom through case studies, guest speakers, and applied assignments.

Selected readings will be made available on the course website throughout the term.  There is no required textbook.

Draft lecture schedule:


Stay tuned for Winter, 2018






Lecturer / teaching assistant bios:

Chris Gaston is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia and a Senior Scientist in Markets & Economics at FPInnovations in Vancouver, British Columbia.  He has degrees in Forestry Economics (Ph.D.) and Agricultural Economics & Business (B.Sc., M.Sc.) from the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Chris has worked in both academics (teaching and research) and industry (management, consulting, research), with over 35 years’ experience in agribusiness and forestry.  His research and consulting have focused on price risk management strategies, market research, econometrics, and trade modeling.  Recent research efforts have included value chain optimization and product development for Canada, the United States, Japan, China, and Europe, including for Aboriginal communities.

Chris has co-supervised over a dozen M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, as well as managing a national staff of markets and economics researchers for nearly two decades.  He is also past Chairperson and active member of the “Team of Specialists for Forest Products Marketing” for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.  He has published widely, and has spoken at conferences throughout the world.


Jennifer DeBoer is a Ph.D. student studying sustainable management at the Faculty of Forestry, UBC.  Her research bridges strategic management and forestry to investigate the environmental orientations of managers in the US forest industry.  Her background includes an MBA in Sustainability from Humboldt State University and a BA in Business Management Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Her professional background includes administrative positions in two US national parks, Yosemite NP and Yellowstone NP, as well as two international wineries, E&J Gallo Winery and Fetzer Vineyards.