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.
Assistant Professor 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.
Below are just a few of the critical research areas in which CNRE faculty are working. Click on each to read more about the research:
- Glycomaterials (uses range from energy supplements to the development of wound-healing gels and life-saving vaccines)
- Carbon and climate
- Infectious diseases
- Water quality
- Solutions for packaging problems
- Land management
- Coastal flooding
- Wildlife conservation
- Ecological forecasting and modeling
- Sustainable logging
- Weather monitoring
CNRE has two of the top 10 departments at Virginia Tech in terms of research funding. CNRE faculty members received more than $24 million in research funding for 2020-2021.
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, you can browse our lists of faculty by department.
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
Article ItemThe hard challenges of a soft material: Developing a circular economy for polyurethane foams , article
A collaborative grant will help researchers investigate the challenges of recycling polyurethane foams as part of a circular economy.Date: Nov 19, 2021
Article ItemA new map reconstructs the social landscapes of Southwest Virginia prior to European arrival , article
The map was a collaborative project, bringing together the mapping skills of College of Natural Resources and Environment advanced instructor Stewart Scales with knowledge and input from professors, historians, and members of Virginia tribal communities.Date: Nov 15, 2021
Article ItemBear’s-eye view: Cameras on black bears provide research and outreach opportunities , article
Researchers in the College of Natural Resources and Environment are gaining a closer look at our elusive neighbors by putting collars mounted with small video cameras on bears to record their day-to-day activities.Date: Jul 22, 2021