Greetings from the College of Natural Resources and Environment! The pace quickens as we work on a structural and content overhaul of most of our college’s undergraduate degree platform and prepare the college and our students for the future. Our proposal to create an undergraduate degree in meteorology is moving through governance towards us offering the first B.S. in meteorology in the commonwealth beginning in fall 2011. We are also exploring the creation of a new B.S. in water resources. Our curriculum is the heart of our educational platform and sets the stage for program excellence and our students’ success. 

The first cohort of our new Executive Master of Natural Resources program is in house in the National Capital Region. And Professor Steve McMullin and I traveled with our Leadership Institute students to Richmond and Washington, D.C., in early January to meet with agency heads, policy makers, and elected officials. It was a fun and eye-opening four-day trip!

Our college alumni continue to do well in their careers and lives. We are very proud of our college alumni who have served in the military, and in this issue we feature Brande Goracke Reeves, who started her training in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets while enrolled in our college. She surely has a unique set of credentials — B.S. in forestry, member of the corps of cadets, and a former Apache helicopter pilot with service in Iraq. There is not likely another woman in the world with this pedigree. 

Our degrees and departments in natural resources and environment can lead you to many career paths — but at the root is a problem-solving, science-based, quantitative-oriented, comprehensive, experiential education. Not a bad skill set for tackling yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s problems! The article on Reeves is the first in a series we will run saluting our college alumni from the corps. Check out the story on another outstanding student in this issue — ACC undergraduate Research Scholar Sarah Webster.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to the college’s annual fund during the phonathon. I visited the calling center one evening to charge up the students and was able to talk in person to several of you. Thank you for your generous support.

We will host a new college career fair in October of this year under a big top tent on the drillfield. Watch for details as we roll out the largest university-sponsored career fair in natural resources and environment for students and employers. Connecting our students to career paths is an important part of our mission.

Please stop in if you are near to Blacksburg or let us hear from you via e-mail. Thank you for your continued support and interest in the college. Best wishes for an enjoyable spring. From all of us ...

Warm regards,






Paul M. Winistorfer