Spring 2022 Newsletter
From the 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.
Highlights: teaching, research, and extension
Article ItemSmall gifts lead to big impacts: Unique effort supports learning and spurs classroom innovation , article
Faculty Instructional Grants in the College of Natural Resources and Environment incorporate donor support to provide tools and technologies that enhance hands-on learning experiences across all departments.
Article ItemThe 'championship' of forestry education , article
Three seniors in the Integrated Forest Practicum course spent their final semester creating a forest management plan for the family farm owned by Athletic Director Whit Babcock.
Article ItemWildfire season heats up; expert offers advice for community preparedness , article
Wildfires in recent years have increased in size and severity putting many communities across the country at risk. Adam Coates, a wildland fire ecology expert at Virginia Tech, says that community preparedness is essential.
Article ItemVirginia Tech to host Forest Landowner Extravaganza on May 5 , article
Virginia forest landowners are invited to attend a networking and educational event held concurrently with the Virginia Forestry Summit.
Article ItemImmersive and annotated study tour videos filmed using a full-hemispherical camera , article
Faculty and research scientists led the fourth and final module of the National Advanced Silviculture Program (NASP) for federal agency foresters.
Video ItemStudents 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
Article ItemFewer ticks, cleaner water, and more carbon intake: Fellowship recipient Quinn Thomas plans to use data to predict our environment , article
Thomas, an associate professor of forest resources and environmental conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment and an associate professor of biology in the College of Science, was awarded a Data Science Faculty Fellowship by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
Article ItemVirginia Master Naturalists receive award for expanding diversity , article
The group, composed of master naturalists from numerous chapters of the organization, was tasked with developing a list of action items that would serve to increase diversity and inclusion across all of the organization’s programs.
Article ItemVirginia Tech earns 2021 Tree Campus USA recognition, strives toward Bee Campus USA , article
This is the 14th year in a row Virginia Tech has received the Tree Campus USA Higher Education recognition for its commitment to tree preservation, community engagement, and experiential learning opportunities on the Blacksburg campus.
Funding Received for Research on Robotics Applications in Forestry
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.
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
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
Article ItemVirginia Tech alumni fuel a burning desire to fight wildfires , article
Several Virginia Tech alumni from the College of Natural Resources and Environment are dedicating their knowledge and skills to tackling one of the hottest issues in the nation: limiting and managing the often harmful effects of wildfires.
Article ItemChris Stubbs named new Supervisor for Los Padres National Forest , article
U.S. Forest Service officials announced the selection of Chris Stubbs as the new forest supervisor for Los Padres National Forest. Stubbs succeeds Kevin Elliott, who retired last October following a 42-year career with the Agency.
How to donate
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
- Featured stories
- From the Department Head
- Highlights: teaching, research, extension
- Spotlight: faculty, staff, and students
- Graduating and new students
- Alumni news
- How to donate
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
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