Research is built upon the thrill of discovery, the joy of curiosity, and the need to address a problem or an issue. It begins with a well thought out proposal and results in a thorough and defensible body of work. Research is demanding of talent, time, and resources but stands as a major tenant of a leading land-grant university like Virginia Tech and, hence, the college. In this issue, you will read about some remarkable researchers and the exciting work that is taking them around the globe.

Faculty in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation are making exceptional contributions and impacts through their ongoing research programs. For the last fiscal year, departmental research expenditures approached the $9 million mark (as measured and reported to the National Science Foundation). This level of external research funding is an impressive achievement at the university and leads our academic units in the college.

Across all departments and centers in the college, the portfolio of funding agencies has continued to evolve and diversify, reflecting the broader interests and importance of our work. The emergence of the global One Health movement exemplifies the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment, bringing additional focus and significance to our research efforts.

Sponsored research earned through the work of our faculty supports the majority of graduate students in the college. Successful research proposals typically include funding for graduate student tuition and stipends, laboratory or fieldwork support, paid undergraduate positions,supplies and equipment, and travel. They lead to presentations at professional meetings and scholarly publications in high-impact journals for both faculty and graduate students.

Thank you to our faculty, who must often balance research, teaching, and outreach responsibilities, while also contributing to service activities of the department, college, university, and professional organizations.

Also making an impact are CNRE alumni, and I had the wonderful opportunity to get out this fall to visit with alumni across the U.S. Seeing a working forest at the Kennedy Tree Farm in Virginia and learning about making wine with alumni vintners in Napa, California made me appreciate the work of our college more than I might in a typical day in the office. Managing, stewarding, and sustaining our natural resources for the benefit of all is a high calling and a rewarding career.

Whether you are new on the job or a seasoned CEO, we’d like to hear from you. Your experiences and stories help us gain insight into recruiting the next generation of natural resources professionals, stay current with our evolving disciplines and the needs of employers,frame research questions, and create Extension programming. Contact us and tell us what you do; it will help us be better and create the future of the college.

Warm regards from our faculty, staff, and students,

Paul Winistorfer

Paul Winistorfer