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Undergraduate Student

Matthew Layman

Senior, Geography


The world has always fascinated me. Our family likes to take road trips, not vacations. On several trips my Dad and I have gotten up early to take pictures at sunrise of wildlife or a landscape. I’ve always enjoyed these times of seeing and experiencing new places. In high school I traveled with our biology teacher and several other students to the western half of the country to study natural resource topics such as water, agriculture, wildlife management, and energy. This trip solidified my love of the natural world, particularly the western US, and instilled in me a desire to work in the natural resources field.

I knew I wanted to come to Virginia Tech because of its strong natural resources program. Maps have always been of particular interest to me, so I figured why not put that interest to good use! The geography program has been a great fit for me, and has allowed me to integrate my interest in mapping with my interest in natural resources. Along with studying, I’m involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and play several intramural sports.

This past summer I worked at a camp in Colorado, and used my skills in GIS and GPS to create a trail map for the camp. I also had the privilege of climbing many peaks while I was in Colorado, seven of which were over 14,000 ft. This experience was incredible, and I hope to one day work for a federal agency like the BLM or USGS doing GIS work to help ensure that our public lands will be there for the use and enjoyment of future generations.

Honors and Awards

  • Thomas H. Jones Scholarship
  • William O. Ross Scholarship
  • Dean’s List (multiple semesters)

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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