The new year began with a weeklong trip with our Leadership Institute students and codirectors Steve McMullin and Brian Bond to Richmond and Washington, D.C. You would be proud of the 12 students in this year’s cohort: smart, articulate, interested, and able to represent the college at the highest level of professionalism in some of the highest offices of state and federal government. It was a great week of travel with a great group of students. Thank you to those of you who support the Leadership Institute; your investment in these students is an investment in our future.

2012-13 Leadership Institute Cohort
The Leadership Institute students met with Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech (’78 B.S. forestry and wildlife) during the Richmond stop of their weeklong trip. Front row (L-R): Doug Domenech, Ally Rodgers, Claire Helmke, Lisa Trapp, Keegan Mobley, Ryne Noska, Carol Anne Nichols, Brian Bond. Back row (L-R): Paul Winistorfer, Morgan Brizendine, J. Turner Crawford IV, Josh Hertzler, Stephen Perkins, Matt Layman, Katie Abelt, Steve McMullin.

Harold Burkhart, University Distinguished Professor of forestry, was recognized by the Science Museum of Virginia at a special event in Richmond in January as Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist for the year 2013. With a career at Virginia Tech spanning four decades, Harold has made foundational contributions to the field of modeling forest stand dynamics, growth and yield, and applying quantitative analysis techniques to forestry problems. Harold represents the college and Virginia Tech at the highest level of professional accomplishment. Congratulations, Harold, for your lifelong contributions to forestry, our students, the college, and the university.

Professor Randy Wynne has been selected as a member of the Landsat Science Team by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA. Randy and other college faculty form the center of geospatial sciences expertise on our campus and bring the very latest in satellite imagery and remote sensing technologies to forestry, natural resource management, ecological modeling, and earth system science.

And who could have imagined even just 10 years ago that a handheld device could hold the world of dendrology at your fingertips. Our cover story on the newly developed and wildly successful tree identification app is perhaps the most current example of creativity and leadership of our faculty and the work they do. Our faculty and students are involved with technology development and application in our work, pushing the boundaries to new limits. Computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing equipment recently installed in the Student Innovation Lab at the Brooks Forest Products Center is helping our students become proficient in the latest technologies in advanced manufacturing.

Advancing the Science of Sustainability

The college has been changing to remain current, but we hold our traditional disciplines firm in hand. The year 2013 promises to be a year of growth and increased relevancy and recognition of our work. Be sure to look for our recently published college prospectus to get a glimpse of how we look today and how we are moving forward.

Spring is just around the corner and that means we will soon have an excellent group of graduates ready for employment. Please let us know if we can help connect you with our students, who are well educated, well trained, well versed in their disciplines, and ready to work.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.


Paul M. Winistorfer