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Our faculty are researching what matters

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

Daniel McLaughlin

CNRE student researchers are making an impact

A student wearing a white lab coat, glasses, and gloves sits in front of  stirring hot plates, beakers, and tubes inside a fume hood.

Both graduate and undergraduate students in the College of Natural Resources and Environment are contributing to and advancing knowledge in their fields by collaborating with faculty members on ongoing research projects or developing and implementing their own independent studies.

Along the way, students are getting valuable hands-on experience in the lab or in the field, as well as the chance to delve deeply into topics that interest them. They’re also learning and practicing the skills of scientific inquiry that can help them land a job or continue their studies in graduate school.

Find funding to get a research project off the ground

If you’ve got a great idea for a research project, the next step may be to investigate funding sources. Whether you are a faculty member investigating seed funding or substantive federal grant opportunities, a graduate student seeking funding to support advanced degree work, or an undergrad looking to launch your first research project, resources are available.

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.

CNRE faculty build strong partnerships through research centers

Both the College of Natural Resources and Environment and Virginia Tech are home to a variety of centers and institutes that serve as productive mediums for establishing research relationships and germinating impactful ideas. Through these collaborative ventures and venues, CNRE faculty are tackling regional and global challenges in sustainability, geospatial technology, conservation, packaging, coastal studies, water, and more.

A professor analyzes satellite imagery on a laptop and monitor in an office.

Professor Korine Kolivras of the Department of Geography specializes in the field of medical geography, which seeks to understand the correlations between human health concerns and the places where they occur.

Kolivras has translated her passion for studying people and places into her research, incorporating geospatial technologies such as geographic information systems to study the rise in tick-borne illnesses in Virginia and the southeastern United States