Janaki R. R. Alavalapati was appointed as head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation in August 2008. Before coming to Virginia Tech, he was a professor of resource economics and policy in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida. As a 2007-08 Jefferson Science Fellow, he served as a senior advisor for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He also served as a forest officer in Andhra Pradesh, India, and a resource economist at the Canadian Forest Service, Edmonton, Alberta.
As department head, Alavalapati is providing vision and leadership to advance the learning, discovery, and engagement mission of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. In order to position the department to harness emerging opportunities, he successfully guided the department’s name change, the addition of an undergraduate major in environmental resource management, curriculum reforms, the development of transfer guidelines for two-year forestry community colleges, the institution of a forestry graduate symposium series, and joint faculty recruitment in urban forestry and forest hydrology.
Alavalapti’s research focuses on market solutions to forest resources, environment, and energy problems at local, national, and international levels. He has published over 185 articles and reports, and seven edited books/journals. He currently serves on the editorial board of Forest Policy and Economics and as a Senior Fellow of the U.S. State Department’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. He also serves as policy chair for the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs.
Alavalapati has M.Sc. degrees in both botany and forestry from universities in India, as well as an M.S. in rural sociology and a Ph.D. in forest resource economics from the University of Alberta. His recent awards and honors include a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ Scientific Achievement Award, and a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State for policy guidance and coordination of the 2008 Washington International Renewable Energy Conference.
Alavalapati and his wife, Renuka, live in Blacksburg. Their grown sons, Kishore and Rahul, live in Austin, Texas, and New York City, N.Y., respectively.