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Summer 2015

    CNRE Newsmagazine Summer 2015 Cover

CNRE Newsmagazine Summer 2015 (PDF | 3MB)

Table of Contents: Summer 2015

College News

New approach to student projects promotes passion, learning for its own sake

For two years, Assistant Professor Tim Baird has instructed his students to “skip class, do anything you want, and give yourself a grade.”

MWV gift continues support for natural resources assessments

International packaging leader MWV (formerly MeadWestvaco), a long-time college partner, continued its support with a gift to the Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support.

Growth in Virginia’s forests exceeds harvest but demand for younger trees grows

Which is good for carbon sequestration and forest sustainability, according to the college’s Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support.

Sullivan named interim department head

Jay Sullivan, professor of forestry economics and management, has been named interim head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.

Sue Snow retires

Sue Snow, a guiding presence in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation for over three decades, retired on July 1.

Congressman Griffith visits mussel center

Congressman Morgan Griffith toured the college’s Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center this spring to see firsthand the research.

DGIF winter meeting held at Virginia Tech

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Board held one of its quarterly public meetings, traditionally held in Richmond, at Virginia Tech for the first time in March.

Research uncovers virtual treasure trove

Research led by Associate Professor Phil Radtke has “rediscovered” a virtual treasure trove of historical measurements of standing and felled trees.

Alumni Corner

Schooled in fish: Jason Henderson head chef for Captain D’s

Jason Henderson creates recipes, supervises a test kitchen, and travels around the country demonstrating fish cookery for the media — all part of his job as vice president of product innovation and head chef for Captain D’s, a regional seafood restaurant chain.

Greene named dean of Georgia’s forestry school

W. Dale Greene has been named dean of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Warren receives Cross Alumni Leadership Award

Robert J. “Bob” Warren received the Gerald H. Cross Alumni Leadership Award from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and the college’s Leadership Institute.

Alumnus creates water endowments

The new water degree is already garnering philanthropic support from the alumni community. Alumnus Jeff Rudd is funding two endowments specifically for the interdisciplinary program.

Additional alumni news

We love hearing about all the great things going on with our alumni — awards, promotions, retirements, etc. Regrettably, we don’t have enough space in the newsmagazine to print them all. You can now catch up with former classmates and fellow Hokies online.


Water for the future

Competition for clean water around the world intensifies year after year as stressors on water resources call for a scientific understanding of the water cycle.

Graduate student’s research reveals new, troubling threats to Madagascar’s wildlife

Habitat degradation and deforestation, recognized as principal threats to wildlife globally, have especially destructive implications on the island nation of Madagascar — four out of five of its plant and animal species are found nowhere else in the world.

Student Notes

Student chapter hosts Southeastern Wildlife Conclave

Members of The Virginia Tech Wildlife Society hosted teams from 22 regional colleges and universities for the Southeastern Wildlife Conclave March 12-15 at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Education Center at Smith Mountain Lake.

Two geography majors earn NOAA scholarships

Sophomores Christopher "C.A.M." Gerlach of Alexandria, Virginia, and Gina Li of Herndon, Virginia, each received a two-year scholarship and a 10-week summer internship at a NOAA facility.

Nelson captures writing award

Freshman wildlife conservation major Christina Nelson won first place in the annual VOWA (Virginia Outdoor Writers Association)/Dominion Collegiate Undergraduate Writing Contest.

Wildlife students win Steger Poetry Prizes

Gretchen Goeke Dee and Michelle Wright, wildlife conservation major students, placed in Virginia Tech’s 10th annual Steger Poetry Prize.  

Howey takes first place for poster

Geography master’s student Catherine Howey, an intern for Blacksburg Transit and the New River Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (NRV-MPO), earned the first place poster award at the annual Virginia GIS Conference last fall.

Reed takes command of Corps of Cadets

Junior meteorology major Samantha Reed of Manassas, Virginia, accepted command of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets at the Pass in Review on the Drillfield in May.

Research Spotlight

Popular wilderness area requires intensive management to remain natural

Approximately 250,000 annual visitors to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters have a significant impact on the campsites along the area’s 1,000 lakes in America’s most visited wilderness area.

Vacuum-steam treatment for pests more efficient, less costly

Current treatment methods to kill invasive pests in wood and wood products use either chemicals or extreme heat. Chen and White have developed a vacuum-contained steam method that is just as effective.

Patches of groundwater responsible for nitrogen loss from forests

Researchers found that even during summer dry spells, isolated patches of soil in forested watersheds remain waterlogged at depth and act as hot spots of microbial activity.

Are cellulose nanocrystals harmful to human health?

The answer might depend on the route of exposure, according to a review of the literature by Associate Professor Maren Roman.

Awards and Honors

Outstanding graduates

Congratulations to our outstanding graduates: graduating senior, Ashley Lohr; master’s student, Ashley Athey; and doctoral student, Wei Zhang.

Outstanding recent alumnus

Matthew Brinckman received this year’s Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award – Graduate Degree in recognition of his early career accomplishments.

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

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