Like forests and natural systems, we are resilient — we made it through the spring with our faculty, staff, and students stepping up into a virtual world of learning and engagement. We’ve brought the tools of the virtual world into our toolbox and learned new things. I am proud of our faculty for their response to the global pandemic — and an uncertain world — and the outstanding job they did in working with our students for a positive outcome. Virtual commencement exercises were successful and appreciated throughout the CNRE community.

As we continue to absorb the impacts of the global pandemic, I reflect on our security at the most basic level and know that the work of the college remains vitally important for a secure, sustainable, human ecosystem. To that end, we continue to craft our vision for an expanded presence in Washington, D.C., in the realm of environmental security and on the continued success of our professional degree programs in the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability. Thank you to Mike (’79 B.S.) and Kathy Melo for your generous support and the gift you’ve made to help us achieve our vision for additional graduate programming in the D.C. area.

I also want to call out Jim Youngblood (’77 B.S.). In a conversation with me about six months ago, Jim suggested that we tell the carbon story from our perspective — and we’ve done that in this issue. A significant amount of the work happening in the college places us at the center of efforts to understand the carbon cycle. Knowing that trees are critical to carbon cycling and storage means we are critical to adapting to and mitigating a changing climate. Carbon management is more important every day. Our deep understanding of carbon continues to grow, and we are working to provide answers needed by society to address our changing climate. You’ve heard it before — trees and wood are the answer, and wood is carbon. A sustainable future depends on a plentiful supply of renewable materials for the products and services we need.

Our fall enrollment numbers are currently looking very strong, and we have the potential to welcome one of the largest classes of first-year and transfer students in the history of the college — a testament to the interest in and value of our disciplines. We are working hard to ensure a successful fall semester, with instructional delivery likely in person, online, or a hybrid of the two. Please reach out to John Freeborn (, our director of employer relations, if we can help you fill your organization’s talent needs with our outstanding students and recent graduates.

Best wishes for the fall ahead. We hope you and your families are well and staying safe, and that your businesses and organizations will continue to return to prosperity.

Paul Winistorfer

Paul M. Winistorfer