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From the Dean's Perspective


Dean Paul Winistorfer (center) with Shep Zedaker (left) and Don Orth. Dean Paul Winistorfer (center) with Shep Zedaker (left) and Don Orth.

Feb. 15, 2014 – We continue to innovate while building on our exceptionally strong learning, discovery, and engagement foundation across the college. The work of our newly created Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support (see cover story) will be vital to decision making and policy setting in Virginia and beyond, and will be a major contributor to advancing the science of sustainability. With strong involvement from the Virginia Department of Forestry, the private sector, nongovernment organizations, and the U.S. Forest Service, the center has embarked on a long-term effort to model and project the future sustainability of our natural resources while taking into consideration biodiversity and the economic vitality of our resource base.

In January, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia approved several new bachelor of science degree programs in the college. Our packaging program is one of only a handful offered in the U.S., and student response to the new packaging systems and design degree has been very strong. Our sustainable biomaterials degree is the first in North America named as such. And, after many years, we have officially separated the forestry and wildlife degree into two separate degrees: forest resources and environmental conservation and fish and wildlife conservation. These recent changes bring to a close a marathon of course, curricular, and degree actions in the college that were initiated four years ago to set the stage for moving our academic programs into the future.

Our common first-year experience course, led by Don Orth, was honored as one of three exemplary programs on campus (see article), and we celebrated with a reception and awards program in December. Now in its third year, the course is helping to provide our entering students with a strong foundation and skill set in problem solving, inquiry, and integration of learning skills.

Lastly, Shep Zedaker and his wife, Debra, have set sail for retirement in Florida. Shep shared 32 years of his life and his passion with us and made enormous contributions in the fields of forestry and fire ecology to our students, the research environment, and the culture of the college. Thank you, Shep, for your steadfast contributions and commitment to the college and our students. We are proud of and thankful for you. You have made a difference.

We continue to move forward. Thank you for your interest in and support of what we do in the college.

Warm regards on behalf of our faculty, staff, and students,


Paul M. Winistorfer

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

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    CNRE Newsmagazine Spring 2017

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