Edwin Jones (‘79 B.S. and ‘83 Ph.D. in fisheries and wildlife sciences), director of Virginia Cooperative Extension, received the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation’s Gerald H. Cross Alumni Leadership Award. For the first time, the award recipient was selected by students in the college’s Leadership Institute, who recognized Jones for his distinguished work in natural resource conservation. “Dr. Jones’ career exemplifies the qualities of exceptional leadership, and we are pleased to honor him with this award,” said Professor Steve McMullin, director of the Leadership Institute.

Jones, who had previously worked with extension programs at Mississippi State University and North Carolina State University, took the reins at Virginia Cooperative Extension in April 2011.“Cooperative Extension is a critical aspect of the mission of land-grant universities,” McMullin said. “Dr. Jones has enthusiastically embraced the challenges of meeting the Extension needs of Virginians during these challenging times.

Professor Emeritus Gerald E. Cross significantly built up the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation during his tenure as department head from 1976 to 1989. The Gerald H. Cross Alumni Leadership Award is the only award given by the College of Natural Resources and Environment that specifically rewards demonstration of exceptional leadership in a natural resources field.