We are continuing to move the college forward. These past few years have brought a wave of change to the college as we deliberately position ourselves and our students for the future. We are proud and enthusiastic about what we have accomplished. On this page is a summary of our accomplishments as well as a glimpse of how we intend to continue our forward momentum.

We must not ignore the mounting global and local challenges that we face in managing and using our natural resources for a growing world population. The work we do is important. The students we train will have the future in their hands soon enough. The university will continue to evolve, and we must be relevant to the larger mission of Virginia Tech — the premier land-grant institution in the commonwealth.

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous role President Charles Steger has had in shaping the future of Virginia Tech, and his steadfast support of all that we do in our college. He has announced his plans to retire soon, and a search for his replacement is ongoing. Thanks, Dr. Steger, for all you have done for our college!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support and belief in us and in the work that we do. The future is here and we are ready!

Warm regards,


Paul M. Winistorfer


Four Years of Accomplishments





  • Renamed the college as the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Renamed the forestry department as the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
  • Renamed the fisheries and wildlife sciences department as the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • Renamed the wood science and forest products department as the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials
  • Created 10 new tenure-track faculty positions
  • Implemented a new degree in Meteorology — the very first in Virginia
  • Approved a new degree in Sustainable Biomaterials*
  • Approved a new degree in Packaging Systems and Design*
  • Approved a new degree in Fish and Wildlife Conservation*
  • Approved a new major in Environmental Informatics — the big data, STEM-oriented, modeling and quantitative tools and techniques of studying the environment and our natural resources today
  • Created a new major in Environmental Resources Management
  • Created a new degree option in Marine Fisheries
  • Approved a new minor in Sustainable Natural Resources and Environment
  • Initiated and completed a branding/perception study to rebrand the college and developed new language around the theme “Advancing the Science of Sustainability”





  • Led a cluster hire of seven faculty whose disciplines pertain to water; the campus-wide initiative includes five colleges and 10 academic departments. A new B.S. degree titled Water: Resources, Policy, and Management, currently in governance, will be administered and reside in our college.
  • Approved through governance more than 25 new or revised undergraduate courses
  • Established the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability in the National Capital Region
  • Established the Executive Master of Natural Resources program in the National Capital Region
  • Established a college-wide Leadership Institute — a two-semester course sequence for 12 select rising juniors and seniors
  • Established the Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support to develop a landscape-scale assessment of Virginia’s natural resources
  • Developed several new programs associated with our Extension efforts, such as Real Forestry for Real Estate Professionals, and Focusing on Land Transfer to Generation Next
  • With donor support, created a dozen new named annual scholarships to recruit and retain the best students
  • Developed a new strategic plan for the college titled “The Position of Greatest Potential” that dovetails with the new university strategic plan titled “A Plan for a New Horizon”







*Pending State Council for Higher Education in Virginia approval