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Faculty & Research

Our faculty are researching what matters

Wherever there are big, sticky problems that involve natural resources and the environment, you’ll find CNRE faculty. We’re bringing all our disciplines to bear in order to understand the challenges we face and pave the way for practical solutions to preserve our resources and build capacity for the future.

Daniel McLaughlin

And they are world-renowned experts in their fields

Our faculty are observers at world climate talks, winners of National Science Foundation grants, and pioneering women in STEM. They are saving mussels in our streams, sending drones into our skies, and putting their boots on the ground in Bangladesh and Botswana.

They are scholars, researchers, innovators, and change agents. They are leaders who take on the problems of the world and look for solutions, and then teach those who will follow them to ensure that their work will continue.

They are the world’s experts and they are right here at Virginia Tech.

Three young adults sit at a picnic table under a pavilion, with several flowers and papers on the table between them. Carolyn Copenheaver leans over them, pointing out a particular flower.

Associate Professor Carolyn Copenheaver has been recognized nationally by the Society of American Foresters for her dedication and skill in forestry instruction, and she was named CNRE’s Outstanding Teacher for 2020. She emphasizes incorporating activities into her classroom that provide students with opportunities to practice and perfect their communication and professional skills.

CNRE faculty are researching what matters

You’ll find that your professors have a wealth of information to pass on both inside and outside of the classroom because they, too, are scholars and learners. Their research is continually adding knowledge to their fields of study and paving the way for practical solutions involving natural resources and the environment.

An expert in bioplastics, smart packaging, biosensors, and the minute structure of packaging materials, Associate Professor Young-Teck Kim is the future of packaging. Kim’s research focuses on developing new packaging materials and hybrid plastics that will improve food transportation and safety and provide an alternative to disposable plastic bags.