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Graduate Student Resources

Dr. Brian Strahm and graduate students.

Dr. Brian Strahm and graduate students.
Dr. Brian Strahm and graduate students.

Audio-Visual Equipment and Access: AV equipment, laptop computers, and computer projectors for teaching and research presentations are available on loan from the Department and from CNRE-IT. Work with your graduate advisor and their assigned administrative assistant to check out equipment as needed. Technology Enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) is an on-campus unit that provide media collections, classroom support, production services, testing and measurement, and educational technologies that may be accessed through your graduate advisor.

Comprehensive Fees: Comprehensive fees are established by the university. Graduate students are responsible for these fees, which must be paid at the beginning of each fall and spring semester in residence. Fees can be paid using a payroll deduction by completing an application for the Graduate Comprehensive Fee Payment Plan. A new application is required each semester. Additional information, such as how to file for an absentia waiver, is available through the Bursar’s Office. Out-of-state graduate students are charged a mandatory, non-refundable “capital and equipment fee.” To obtain a waiver for this fee, eligible graduate students may apply for in-state residency by completing the In-state Tuition Request Form.

Employment Paperwork: Upon arrival, work with Mary Williams to complete required employment paperwork, including payroll forms (I-9, W-4, VA-4), the Selective Service form, and additional paperwork required for international students.

FREC Graduate Student Association (FGSA): The FGSA has been established to enrich FREC graduate students' formal education through extracurricular activities promoting the exchange of information, ideas, and experience, as well as to welcome new graduate students into the Virginia Tech community.

Information Technology: For procedures and access to printers, plotters, network storage, and other computing needs, visit CNRE-IT.

Keys: For Cheatham Hall keys, see Mary Williams to obtain a Key Request Form and associated signatures. There is a $5 refundable deposit per key. Keys must be returned upon completion of your graduate program.

Listservs: The college and department maintain graduate student listservs that you will be added to automatically. You can send announcements to FREC graduate students at

Mail: Mailboxes are maintained by the administrative assistant assigned to your graduate advisor (see Support Staff, below).

Meeting Rooms: Space for meetings may be reserved in Cheatham and Latham Halls. To reserve 136B Cheatham, 315 Cheatham, 311 Latham, or 535 Latham, please see the administrative assistant assigned to your graduate advisor. If these rooms are not available, see Mary Williams for additional options. 

Office: Shared office space will be provided for graduate students as available. Contact Mary Williams upon arrival for your desk assignment.

Printing, Copying, Scanning, and Fax: The Department maintains printers located in each office suite and a fax machine in 310 Cheatham. For access, please see Mary Williams.

Support StaffMary Williams is the Graduate Coordinator. Please see Mary in 313 Cheatham for administrative questions related to your graduate program. For all other administrative needs (e.g., travel reimbursements, room reservations), see the administrative assistant assigned to work with your graduate advisor.

  • If you work with Aust, Barrett, Bolding, Carter, Coates, Copenheaver, McLaughlin, Schons, Seiler, or Wiseman, please see Kathie Hollandsworth in 228 Cheatham.

  • If you work with Brunner, Burkhart, Gannon, Holliday, McGee, Radtke, Q. Thomas, V. Thomas, or Wynne, please see Stacey Kuhar in 319 Cheatham.

  • If you work with Amacher, Cobourn, Hull, Marion, Sorice, Stern, or Strahm, please see Tracey Sherman in 310 Cheatham.

  • If you work with Schoenholtz or McGuire, please see Inga Solberg in 210 Cheatham.

  • If you work with Munsell, please see Tiffany Brown in 242 Cheatham.

Travel Authorization and Reimbursement: Prior to travel, see your graduate advisor and their assigned administrative assistant (see Support Staff, above). For international travel, formal authorization must be obtained at least two weeks in advance. The university administers travel loans that may be used by graduate students for university-related travel. To obtain a travel loan, a formal trip request must be made by the traveler and approved by the department head. See your graduate advisor and their assigned administrative assistant for more details. 

Work-Life Grant Program: The work-life grant program, coordinated through the Graduate School, offers financial assistance for graduate assistants that are expecting or adopting children. Departments may request financial assistance equivalent to a graduate assistantship stipend for 6 weeks. For more information please speak with your graduate advisor and Mary Williams.

Cheatham Hall (JCH): The College of Natural Resources and Environment administrative and advising offices are located in Cheatham Hall, which houses the Departments of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Sustainable Biomaterials, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center. Teaching classrooms, laboratories, and faculty and graduate offices are located in Cheatham Hall.

Latham Hall: The Latham Agriculture and Natural Resources Building houses several faculty offices and laboratories in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. For information on analytical lab spaces and equipment in Latham, please contact Dave Mitchem at

Center for Environmental Analytics and Remote Sensing (CEARS): CEARS has a mission to provide interdisciplinary leadership in environmental analytics and remote sensing through formal instruction, outreach, cooperative research, and consulting. The Center contributes to applications of the science and technology necessary to better understand effects of both natural and human-induced variability and change within the Earth system. CEARS is located in 217 Cheatham Hall and houses 22 networked precision workstations; a high-end, large-format printer; specialized software for image processing, GIS, statistical analysis, and programming; as well as field equipment to support in situ measurements. The lab has a flexible room layout designed for collaborative, team-based research. For access, please see Les Fuller in 216 Cheatham to request and complete an account request form.

Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center: The Reynolds Center is a 710-acre research and education center located in the Virginia Piedmont 70 miles southeast of Blacksburg in Critz, Virginia. The Center houses laboratory space, greenhouses, and a continuing education center that support research and education in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.

Fishburn School Forest: The Fishburn is a 1,353-acre demonstration forest, located 10 minutes from campus. The forest is comprised of Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood and supports field research, teaching, and demonstration projects in the Ridge and Valley physiographic region.

Equipment Room: The Department maintains a supply of field equipment for use in teaching and research. For checkout procedures and access, contact Tal Roberts at or Kathie Hollandsworth in 228 Cheatham.

Sample Preparation and Storage Facilities: The Department maintains multiple facilities for equipment storage and processing and storage of field samples. For use procedures and access, contact Dave Mitchem at

Forest Harvesting Laboratory: The 2,400-square foot Forest Harvesting Lab is located in Blacksburg adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus. The lab has a fully equipped machine shop used to fabricate new machine designs and support equipment used in field research in the Department. For procedures and access, contact Tal Roberts at

FREC Vehicles: The Department owns and maintains a fleet of four-wheel-drive vehicles that may be checked out for work-related travel, field research, and teaching. Please refer to the Department Vehicle Use Policy for vehicle use expectations and procedures.

Fleet Vehicles: Fleet Services is an on-campus facility where state-owned cars can be reserved for official business. Refer to the Fleet Services website for specific policies and procedures. To reserve Fleet Services vehicles, please work with the administrative assistant assigned to your graduate advisor (see Support Staff, above). Alternatively, students may reserve Fleet Services vehicles though the Fleet Commander online reservation system. Please see Mary Williams for more information regarding this option.

Below are the general requirements for all FREC graduate students, followed by specific requirements by degree program: Master of Forestry (M.F.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). 

Students are also expected to review and adhere to the Graduate School Policies.

Download a printable version of these requirements.


Jay Sullivan - Department Head and Professor,

Mary Williams - Department Administrative Assistant and Graduate Student Coordinator,

Student Organizations

Current graduate students