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From the Dean's Perspective


LandsatBanner of landsat image installed in the first floor of Cheatham Hall. Banner of landsat image installed in the first floor of Cheatham Hall.

Aug. 15, 2013 – We are continuing to move the college forward. These past few years have brought a wave of change to the college as we deliberately position ourselves and our students for the future. We are proud and enthusiastic about what we have accomplished. On this page is a summary of our accomplishments as well as a glimpse of how we intend to continue our forward momentum.

We must not ignore the mounting global and local challenges that we face in managing and using our natural resources for a growing world population. The work we do is important. The students we train will have the future in their hands soon enough. The university will continue to evolve, and we must be relevant to the larger mission of Virginia Tech — the premier land-grant institution in the commonwealth.

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous role President Charles Steger has had in shaping the future of Virginia Tech, and his steadfast support of all that we do in our college. He has announced his plans to retire soon, and a search for his replacement is ongoing. Thanks, Dr. Steger, for all you have done for our college!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support and belief in us and in the work that we do. The future is here and we are ready!

Warm regards,


Paul M. Winistorfer

Four Years of Accomplishments

  • Renamed the college as the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Renamed the forestry department as the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
  • Renamed the fisheries and wildlife sciences department as the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • Renamed the wood science and forest products department as the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials
  • Created 10 new tenure-track faculty positions
  • Implemented a new degree in Meteorology — the very first in Virginia
  • Approved a new degree in Sustainable Biomaterials*
  • Approved a new degree in Packaging Systems and Design*
  • Approved a new degree in Fish and Wildlife Conservation*
  • Approved a new major in Environmental Informatics — the big data, STEM-oriented, modeling and quantitative tools and techniques of studying the environment and our natural resources today
  • Created a new major in Environmental Resources Management
  • Created a new degree option in Marine Fisheries
  • Approved a new minor in Sustainable Natural Resources and Environment
  • Initiated and completed a branding/perception study to rebrand the college and developed new language around the theme “Advancing the Science of Sustainability”
  • Led a cluster hire of seven faculty whose disciplines pertain to water; the campus-wide initiative includes five colleges and 10 academic departments. A new B.S. degree titled Water: Resources, Policy, and Management, currently in governance, will be administered and reside in our college.
  • Approved through governance more than 25 new or revised undergraduate courses
  • Established the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability in the National Capital Region
  • Established the Executive Master of Natural Resources program in the National Capital Region
  • Established a college-wide Leadership Institute — a two-semester course sequence for 12 select rising juniors and seniors
  • Established the Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support to develop a landscape-scale assessment of Virginia’s natural resources
  • Developed several new programs associated with our Extension efforts, such as Real Forestry for Real Estate Professionals, and Focusing on Land Transfer to Generation Next
  • With donor support, created a dozen new named annual scholarships to recruit and retain the best students
  • Developed a new strategic plan for the college titled “The Position of Greatest Potential” that dovetails with the new university strategic plan titled “A Plan for a New Horizon”

*Pending State Council for Higher Education in Virginia approval

    CNRE Newsmagazine Summer 2013 Cover

Summer 2013

College Profile

  • More than 150 faculty and staff
  • 710 undergraduate students
  • 300 graduate students
  • Four academic departments and 22 college and departmental research centers and cooperatives, including the federal- and state-funded Virginia Water Resources Research Center
  • $15 million in sponsored research per year
  • Federal scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and CIA who serve adjunct roles
  • More than 130,000 sq. ft. of infrastructure encompassing multiple locations on campus, at the Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center, and in the National Capital Region
  • More than 2,000 acres of forestry field station land at Fishburn Forest and the Reynolds Homestead

2012-18 Strategic Plan

  • Grow the college to 1,000 undergraduate students and 300-500 graduate students
  • Increase the size, quality, and diversity of the college faculty
  • Support university strategic initiatives in climate, water, environment, materials, and STEM-oriented degree programs
  • Address a strategy to elevate the college to global recognition as a world-class program
  • Address the college’s aging and at-capacity infrastructure

In the Near Future

  • Opening a new research aviary in our Center Woods Complex on the edge of campus (completion expected in late fall 2013)
  • Developing a degree in Geospatial and Information Sciences
  • Moving our Master of Natural Resources degree to a 100-percent online format
  • Creating a professional doctorate degree in the National Capital Region
  • Realistic assessment of aging infrastructure and constraints to physical growth
  • Succession planning for our faculty in light of upcoming retirements (more than 25 college faculty members will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years)

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

    1992 through 2017, 25 years

Join us Sept. 15-16 to visit campus and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

Celebrate with Us

Read the Summer Newsmagazine

    CNRE Newsmagazine Spring 2017

Select a Major

We have 11 majors for you to choose from with over 10 options to specialize in. Select yours now and join us in bringing the future to nature.