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Spring 2022 Newsletter

Carolyn Copenheaver, an associate professor in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, teaches many outdoor field courses. Photo by Photo courtesy of Copenheaver.

Carolyn Copenheaver and three students look on as another student inspects a wildflower.

From the Department Head

Dr. Jay Sullivan, Professor and Department Head

Dr. Jay Sullivan, Professor and Department Head

Dr. Jay Sullivan
Professor and
Department Head

Needless to say, our students are coming through school and preparing to launch their careers in unprecedented times as we emerge from an era-defining pandemic, as they come to grips with issues of justice and fierce civil discourse, as they seek to establish lives and careers under inflation rates unseen for more than 40 years, and as they (like all of us) wonder how war might play out in Europe with far-reaching consequences, as if the usual stresses of getting through school aren’t enough.  Many are entering the workforce facing uncertainty over their future and how best to prepare. Of course, employers, too, may be wondering what to expect of recent graduates, and whether their organization will be able to maintain a workforce sufficient to meet the demand for their products and services. In FREC, we stand in the middle of much of this uncertainty surrounding the future workforce in our field. I want to assure you that through these times, as always, our faculty and staff are committed to a continuing tradition of providing the best critical thinking, problem solving, hands-on education possible for preparing our students for critically vital careers in forestry and environmental resources, including an increased emphasis on professional skills. Above all, though, we are all in this together, and sticking together and working together is the most important thing we can do.

Jay

Highlights: teaching, research, and extension

  • Video Item
    Students excel through achieving a loftier perspective , video

    Students in Eric Wiseman's Arboriculture Field Skills course at Virginia Tech are learning how to care for and manage trees in urban communities through a skills course in climbing. An arborist may need to climb a tall tree to diagnose a disease or safely remove limbs that cannot be reached from below. Students are exposed to key skills and safety practices while climbing trees on the Virginia Tech campus, skills that will help them properly plan and manage urban forests in their future career.

Spotlight: faculty, staff, and students

Funding Received for Research on Robotics Applications in Forestry

Funding Received for Research on Robotics Applications in Forestry

Funding Received for Research on Robotics Applications in Forestry
Photo courtesy of Kumar Lab, University of Pennsylvania. Click photo to enlarge.

A collaborative proposal titled “Robotics Science and Technology for Forestry,” developed by the University of Pennsylvania Robotics group and the Forest Modeling Research Cooperative at Virginia Tech, has been awarded $1 million for a four-year project funded through the National Robotics Initiative. UPenn will do fundamental research on robotics and artificial intelligence; Virginia Tech’s research on applications of robotics in forestry settings will be led by Drs. Harold Burkhart and Corey Green.

Funding Received for Research on Robotics Applications in Forestry

Funding Received for Research on Robotics Applications in Forestry

Congratulations and welcome to our graduating and new students!

2022 graduating students:

  • Ethan Apisa
  • Jill Derwin
  • Cora Every
  • Austin Garren
  • Brent Hawks
  • Eric Hawks
  • Jackson Helling
  • Nick Link
  • Ben Miller
  • Malia Pownall
  • Caroline Sharpe
  • Nilesh Shinde
  • Emily Thorpe
  • Carley Knight

Fall 2022 new graduate students:

  • Brittany Christensen
  • Daniel Cross
  • Poulomi Dey
  • Olivia Deane
  • Sarah Dishman
  • David Enemo
  • Daniel Hong
  • Sarah Juster
  • Drake Lynn
  • Daria Maslyukova
  • John Morgan
  • Jesse Owen
  • Kamana Parajuli
  • Erik Platt-MF
  • Aaron Price
  • Madelyn Stone
  • Sujan Subedi
  • Rose Wetzel

Alumni News

Finding paths and breaking down barriers: Stories celebrating women in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment

Finding paths and breaking down barriers: Stories celebrating women in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment

Kylie Campbell said that the biggest adjustment to working in the high Rocky Mountains is finding the right gear to match conditions in the field.

“Working in Colorado or Wyoming is so different than Virginia,” said Campbell, who graduated from the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation with a degree in water: resources, policy, and management in 2018. “In my first year on the job, I was really put to the test, from just getting dressed for the field to driving four-wheelers and learning how to use augers and other power tools.”

Campbell is currently a hydrologic technician for the Grand Junction field office of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Colorado Water Science Center, where she is tasked with monitoring water data at a dozen sites along the western slope of the Rockies.

Additional alumni news

Gifts from our clients and friends have a direct impact on the quality of learning, discovery, and engagement programs that the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation offers. We invite you to become part of our team! To make a tax-deductible contribution, visit cnre.vt.edu/give or send your check, payable to the Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc., to: Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, 313 Cheatham Hall (0324), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

For further information on memorial giving, endowed professorships, gifts of securities, planned or deferred giving opportunities, or other contributions, please contact the CNRE Advancement Officer, 540-231-5525, or send an e-mail to CNREAdvancement@vt.edu.

Sections in this newsletter


Newsletter designer and coordinator: Tracey Sherman. Special layouts and designs: Will Pfeil

Newsletter editor: Kathryn Hollandsworth

Newsletter photos and core stories: FREC faculty and CNRE / VT / Public news releases

Please send information for future issues to tracey@vt.edu