Outreach & Extension

Two people flying a drone

We believe in the land-grant mission

It’s woven into so much of what we do and leads us down paths that allow us to serve the commonwealth and our local communities. We educate landowners, create online tools for vintners, teach drone technology, and help discover the state’s champion trees.

We believe our public service work exemplifies the Virginia Tech ideal of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) and has the power to transform. Thus, we plan to remain steeped in the land-grant tradition while re-envisioning the role of the land-grant university as we become more global and more impactful than ever before.

Are you a landowner? A real estate professional? We are here to help.

A group of women and men gathered in a forest.

Whether you are just beginning to develop a management plan for your property or have many years of experience, the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program (VFLEP) offers a variety of events and resources to educate and inform.

In cooperation with federal, state, and private organizations, VFLEP helps individuals and agents manage and sell their properties while also preserving our natural resources through short courses about sustainable forestry, managing wildlife, selling timber, and more; fall forestry and wildlife field tours; the Annual Woods and Wildlife Conference; and the Real Forestry for Real Estate program.

The Center for Forest Products Business assists companies and individuals in the commonwealth with issues related to manufacturing efficiency and the sustainable use of products, finance and marketing, Lean manufacturing, and green enterprises. To locate a specialist, see the directory at the bottom of this page.

One of our greatest resources is our champion trees

As Virginians, we are proud of our big trees. In 2018, the commonwealth moved into second place nationally for the greatest number of champion and co-champion trees.

Did you know that you can be a part of the certification process? The Virginia Big Tree Program is coordinated by the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation with the goal of promoting the care and appreciation of all trees. If you are a tree enthusiast, consider getting involved by hunting, measuring, and reporting big trees in your area.

With the help of his trusty assistant, Katie Pritchard, John Boyer recorded mini lectures all over the world to broadcast to his World Regions students on campus. Here, they are atop Lion’s Head Mountain overlooking Cape Town, South Africa.

Boyer records mini lecture on Lion's Head Mountain in South Africa.

Put your knowledge to work as a Virginia Master Naturalist

Master Naturalists Adrienne Frank, left, and Gary Driscole kayak to check one of 16 Prothonotary warbler boxes installed by the Historic Rivers Chapter in the Tidewater Region. Photo courtesy of the Historic Rivers Chapter.

Measuring Package Dimensions

If you love the outdoors and are interested in helping communities learn about and manage their natural spaces, consider volunteering as part of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program. Master Naturalists are organized into chapters, and they train and serve with partner groups and institutions. Projects have included creating a wildlife habitat garden, monitoring streams, creating walking trails, and assisting with bird conservation efforts.

Master Naturalists are required to complete a basic training course and take part in volunteer service and continuing education. If you have time and enthusiasm to share, consider getting on board!

Did you know the CNRE faculty, staff, and students take part in a variety of outreach programs to teach kids about conservation and the environment? One of these groups, the Philadelphia Zoo CREW, visits Virginia Tech annually to learn about education opportunities in wildlife research. Check out the Zoo CREW video.

Additional resources for outreach and extension

Name Title Email Phone
Scott Barrett Extension Specialist, Forest Operations Coordinator, SHARP Logger Program sbarrett@vt.edu 540-231-6702
Brian Bond Extension Specialist, Wood Products bbond@vt.edu 540-231-8752
Urs Buehlmann Extension Specialist, Wood Products buehlmann@vt.edu 540-231-9759
Neil Clark Extension Agent, Natural Resources, Southeast and Tidewater area southamptonextension@vt.edu 757-653-2572
Michelle Prysby Director, Virginia Master Naturalist Program mprysby@vt.edu 434-872-4571
Adam Downing Senior Extension Agent, Natural Resources, Northern Piedmont and Northern Valley area adowning@vt.edu 540-948-6881
K. Jason Fisher Senior Extension Agent, Natural Resources, Central and Southside Virginia area jasonf@vt.edu 434-476-2147 X3389
Jennifer Gagnon Extension Associate, Forestry; Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program jgagnon@vt.edu 540-231-6391
John McGee Extension Specialist, Geospatial Technology; Coordinator, Virginia Geospatial Extension Program jmcg@vt.edu 540-231-2428
John Munsell Extension Specialist, Forest Management jfmunsel@vt.edu 540-231-1611
James Parkhurst Extension Specialist, Wildlife jparkhur@vt.edu 540-231-9283
Kyle Peer Extension Associate, Christmas Trees krpeer@vt.edu 276-694-4135
Henry Quesada Extension Specialist, Wood Products quesada@vt.edu 540-231-0978
Robert Smith Associate Dean for Engagement rsmith4@vt.edu 540-231-7679
P. Eric Wiseman Associate Professor of Urban Forestry pwiseman@vt.edu 540-231-5148
William Worrell Extension Agent, Natural Resources, Southwest Virginia bworrell@vt.edu 276-889-8056