Student Spotlight

From Forest Fire to MNR to Urban Forester
June 18, 2018 —
BY LINDSAY KEY – JUNE 18, 2018.  Colorado’s Waldo Canyon fire, which burned in June 2012 and caused major flooding, elimination of trees, soil erosion, and the evacuation of more than 32,000 Colorado Springs residents, had a major impact on the career of Virginia Tech Master of Natural Resources (MNR) graduate Rebecca Lamphear. “It changed my perspective on the natural landscape indefinitely, both personally and professionally,” said Lamphear, who was working as an Urban Forester for the City of Colorado… Read More
A Disappearing Act? The Reefs of Vieques
May 24, 2018 — Alexandra Novotny

The coral reefs surrounding Vieques have been subject to many destructive activities over the past few decades. After years of military exercises, large swaths of coral have been destroyed and are trying to recover. Current issues such as warming waters, strong hurricanes, and human impact are hindering progress and making matters worse. Without a plan for conservation and restoration, the reefs of Vieques may face a dim future. Similar to Puerto Rico, Vieques has extensive reef coverage offshore. Locals in… Read More
Humanity’s Plastic Footprint (II)
April 30, 2018 — Gail Kulisch

[As a graduate student in Virginia Tech's Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR), Gail Kulisch has applied her 28 years of experience in the US Coast Guard protecting the maritime environment from harmful materials that degrade the health of our waters. In Part I of this four-part series, Kulisch introduced the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its impact on the aquatic food chain. In this installment, she'll discuss why plastics are a such a persistent waste problem.] Plastics – Engineered to Last An important… Read More
Humanity’s Plastic Footprint (I)
April 23, 2018 — Gail Kulisch

[As a graduate student in Virginia Tech's Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR), Gail Kulisch has applied her 28 years of experience in the US Coast Guard protecting the maritime environment from harmful materials that degrade the health of our waters. In Part I of this four-part series, Kulisch will introduce us to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its impact on marine food chains.] In 1968, Garrett Hardin, a biology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, noted that not every problem… Read More
Transboundary Elephant Conservation
April 9, 2018 — Neil Dampier

As a photographic safari guide I am fortunate to travel to unique and interesting wilderness locations. In January this year I had the opportunity to guide a safari to Zakouma National Park in Chad. Established as a national park in 1963, Zakouma is home to an abundance of diverse fauna and flora. However, Zakouma is also a place of great tragedy as well as hope. Between 2002 and 2010, intensive poaching reduced the park’s elephant population by 90%, to only… Read More