We’re bringing all our knowledge and resources to the table
There are more pressures and demands being placed on our planet’s resources than ever before, and, thus, there is also a greater need to preserve and build capacity for the future. Our faculty are tackling these challenges as they engage in applied and practical research that seeks to help us understand and solve some of our most complex global problems.
To be successful, we must find ways to meet society’s and industry’s ever-expanding need for resources. We must also train the next generation of leaders and policymakers who will carry on this legacy.
Stephanie Zick’s work takes on some of the largest and most impactful weather phenomena in the world—tropical cyclones. Through the use of spatial methods, she focuses on the physical mechanisms that fuel storms to understand how they interact with large-scale environments and how precipitation evolves prior to and during landfall.
We’re taking on the big issues—and we won’t give up
As a society, the environmental challenges we are facing can seem overwhelming. That’s why a sense of optimism is critical and drives our faculty-led research projects. The work that is happening in the college impacts management and policy decisions related to every aspect of the natural environment, from the atmosphere to what’s on the ground to what’s in the soil.
Here are just a few of the critical research areas in which CNRE faculty are working:
- Climate change
- Coastal erosion
- Clean water
- Biofuels and bioplastics
- Biological conservation
- Interaction between humans and natural resources
- Targeted drug delivery methods
- Energy-efficient homes
- Applications of geospatial technology
CNRE has two of the top 10 departments at Virginia Tech in terms of research funding. Research expenditures per tenure-track faculty member across the college are second only to those of the College of Engineering.
Each tree’s growth rings contain a storehouse of information, but for Brian Strahm, it’s the layers of soil below the surface that are a gateway to discovery. Strahm studies the soils that are the hub of biological and chemical activity in forest ecosystems—and the key to understanding, predicting, and regulating forest productivity and environmental quality.
Looking for an expert?
If you are looking for a faculty member who is an expert in a particular area of research, visit our online directories. You can search for a faculty expert by department or area of research.
Are you a student who wants to conduct research?
There are many ways to get involved in a research project in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Consider talking with a faculty member who is working in an area of interest to you, as there may be opportunities to work on faculty-led projects through volunteer or paid positions.
If you want to lead your own research project, you can also seek out a faculty mentor or apply for a research grant through the Conservation Management Institute or other organization.
Faculty research in the news
Nov 13, 2019
Using data to predict the future of ecosystems
Quinn Thomas is a quantitative ecosystem ecologist who focuses on understanding how forests and other ecosystems will respond to global environmental change.
Nov 06, 2019
Using data to ensure your package arrives safely, every time
The Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design tests packaging to ensure that it meets the demands of the shipping and delivery process.
Oct 23, 2019
Using data to protect the lakes we love
Kelly Cobourn has been exploring the ecological impact of humans on lakes, as well as how these bodies of water can impact people, with a goal of producing a new model for use in protecting and maintaining lakes.