Stephen H. Schoenholtz came to the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech in 2006 upon his appointment as director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center and professor of forest hydrology and soils. Schoenholtz previously served on the faculties in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University (2001-06) and in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University (1990-2001).
In his capacity as director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Schoenholtz oversees a federally and state-funded research center employing seven faculty and staff. The Water Center, established within the Office of the Vice President for Research at Virginia Tech in 1965, became an affiliate of the College of Natural Resources and Environment in 2005. The mission of the Water Center is to provide research and educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in water resources, to promote interdisciplinary research on practical solutions to water-resources challenges, and to facilitate timely transfer of water-science information to citizens, government leaders, and water specialists. Schoenholtz currently serves on the board of directors for the National Institutes for Water Resources.
Schoenholtz has an active research program focusing on interactions between land management and water and soil resources, in which he has supervised 34 graduate students, garnered more than $4.5 million in research funding, and published approximately 90 papers and book chapters to date. He has also taught 14 different undergraduate and graduate courses, ranging from wetland ecology and management to silviculture. While at Oregon State University, Schoenholtz was honored as the 2005 outstanding mentor in the College of Forestry.
Schoenholtz has active international collaborations involving research and student exchange with colleagues in New Zealand and Chile. In 1998, he was a visiting senior research Fellow at the Forest Research Institute in New Zealand, where he conducted research on criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management.
Schoenholtz holds B.S. degrees in forest science and biology from The Pennsylvania State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in forest soil science from Virginia Tech. He was raised in the anthracite coalfield region of northeastern Pennsylvania, where he first fostered his lifelong interest in studying the restoration of disturbed ecosystems. He lives in Blacksburg with his wife, Gloria, and has two sons, Noah and Zack.