Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Forestry
College of Natural Resources and Environment
The first phase of Cheatham Hall was built in 1972, to provide new classroom, laboratory, and office space for Forestry and Wildlife Resources, then a division of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Constructed at a cost of $1,670,000, the building offered 56,010 square feet of spacious classrooms and offices, all of which boasted paneled walls of different species donated by forest industry companies. The building was dedicated on May 5, 1972.
313 Cheatham Hall, 310 West Campus Drive Blacksburg VA 24061
Cheatham Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MS
MS Degree in Forestry
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
• PhD
PhD Degree in Forestry
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Website
Phone Number(s):
540/231-5483
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 15
Spring: Oct 15
Summer I: Jan 15
Summer II: Jan 15
Directions
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The Graduate School
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Cheatham Hall

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Department Head : Bradley Sullivan
Professors: Gregory Amacher; Wallace Aust; Harold Burkhart; Robert Hull; Stephen Schoenholtz; John Seiler; Bradley Sullivan; Randolph Wynne
Associate Professors: Michael Bolding; Amy Brunner; Carolyn Copenheaver; Jason Holliday; Kevin McGuire; John Munsell; Philip Radtke; Marc Stern; Brian Strahm; Valerie Thomas; Phillip Wiseman
Assistant Professors: Scott Barrett; David Carter; Thomas Coates; Kelly Cobourn; Daniel McLaughlin; Stella Schons Do Valle; Michael Sorice; Robert Thomas
Affiliated Faculty: Jeffrey Marion
Julian N. Cheatham Professor of Forestry: Gregory Amacher
University Distinguished Professor: Harold Burkhart
Shelton H. Short, Jr., Professor of Forestry: John Seiler

Introduction

Virginia Tech's Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation is one of the leading programs in natural resource management in the United States.  Our teaching and research focus on the latest applications to uncover the science needed to manage forests and other natural resources.  Our programs are diverse and approach critical natural resource issues from many disciplinary perspectives.  From protected areas management and economic policy to forest soil productivity, urbanization, and genomics, we seek to discover new knowledge and technology to address the global challenges to come.
Offered In ()

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :

The department offers three degrees: Master of Forestry (M.F.), Master of Science (M.S.) in Forestry and Forest Products, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Forestry and Forest Products. The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees require students to prepare a thesis or dissertation, and considerable time spent working for these degrees is devoted to research. The M.F. degree is a professional, non-research degree for those who wish to expand their post-baccalaureate education.

Master of Forestry

The M.F. is a non-research degree intended to serve the needs of (1) those who have a prior forestry degree and who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills or (2) those who have no previous degree in forestry.

In addition to formal course work at the graduate and senior undergraduate levels that is commensurate with the objectives of the student's degree program, a substantive paper worth three to six hours of academic credit is required. A minimum of 30 credit hours in formal course work, inclusive of hours credited towards the degree paper, must be passed with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for courses in the program of study.

Students entering the M.F. program without prior forestry education must demonstrate competency in appropriate topics such as forest biology, dendrology, or forest ecology in addition to completing the usual M.F. requirements.  At the discretion of their graduate committees, these students must either take undergraduate forestry courses to meet these competency requirements or demonstrate knowledge through alternate means such as experience or prior coursework.

The M.F. student must pass a comprehensive oral examination covering his/her course work and the degree paper.  All Graduate School requirements apply as to the nature and timing of the candidate's final examination.

Master of Science

The M.S. is a research-based degree. Students work closely with a faculty advisor and graduate committee on original research. Advanced coursework is expected in the areas of expertise required to complete the research project. Students complete a thesis and are expected to publish their research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals at the completion of their degree. Graduates are prepared to continue their professional careers or undertake further study through a Ph.D. program.

All Graduate School requirements apply regarding the number of credits and level of courses required on a student's Plan of Study. M.S. students must complete a research working plan by the end of the second academic semester. Guidelines for the preparation and submittal of the working plan are listed in the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) Graduate Program Procedures.

M.S. students must pass a final exam. The examination will be a defense of the thesis and an assessment of the student's understanding of appropriate forestry-related subjects.

Offered In ()

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :

The department offers three degrees: Master of Forestry (M.F.), Master of Science (M.S.) in Forestry and Forest Products, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Forestry and Forest Products. The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees require students to prepare a thesis or dissertation, and considerable time spent working for these degrees is devoted to research. The M.F. degree is a professional, non-research degree for those who wish to expand their post-baccalaureate education.

Doctor of Philosophy

Each Ph.D. student must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours of graduate study and a dissertation. The Plan of Study must meet minimum Graduate School requirements; in addition, a student's advisory committee may add specific requirements needed for an individual student's academic development. Ph.D. students must complete a research working plan by the end of the third academic semester. Guidelines for the preparation and submittal of the working plan are listed in the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) Graduate Program Procedures.

All Ph.D. students in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation must demonstrate minimum competency in statistics (see CNRE Graduate Program Procedures for requirements).

Doctoral students may be required to take a qualifying exam.  The exact nature of the exam is determined by faculty within the student's chosen discipline.  The purposes of this examination or assessment are to (1) evaluate the student's comprehensive knowledge in his/her field or study, (2) identify any deficiencies in the student's background and recommend supplementary course work or self-study improvements, and (3) evaluate the student's ability to successfully complete the doctoral degree.

A required preliminary exam, oral and/or written, is conducted by the student's advisory committee.  This exam is comprehensive in nature and is intended to test a student's ability to integrate, synthesize, and apply concepts, facts, and techniques in solving new and complex problems associated with forest management and use.  The student may be tested on any aspect of forest science, the philosophy of science, and research methodology.

The final exam is primarily a defense of the dissertation, but other areas of science may be included. Ph.D. students are expected to publish their research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals at the completion of their degree.

FREC Facilities

Cheatham Hall (JCH): The College of Natural Resources and Environment administrative and advising offices are located in Cheatham Hall, which houses the Departments of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Sustainable Biomaterials, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center. Teaching classrooms, laboratories, and faculty and graduate offices are located in Cheatham Hall.


Latham Hall: The Latham Agriculture and Natural Resources Building houses several faculty offices and laboratories in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. For information on analytical lab spaces and equipment in Latham, please contact Dave Mitchem at dmitchem@vt.edu.


Center for Environmental Analytics and Remote Sensing (CEARS): CEARS is located in 217 Cheatham Hall. The laboratory houses 22 networked precision workstations, a high-end large-format printer, and field equipment to support in situ measurements. The Center also provides access to an extensive archive of Landsat and MODIS scenes as well as software for image processing, compiling, statistical analysis, and GIS. For access to the CEARS Lab, please see Les Fuller in 216 Cheatham to request and complete an account request form.


Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center: The Reynolds Center is a 710-acre research and education center located in the Virginia Piedmont 70 miles southeast of Blacksburg in Critz, Virginia. The Center houses laboratory space, greenhouses, and a continuing education center that support research and education in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.


Fishburn School Forest: The Fishburn is a 1,353-acre demonstration forest, located 10 minutes from campus. The forest is comprised of Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood and supports field research, teaching, and demonstration projects in the Ridge and Valley physiographic region.


Equipment Room: The Department maintains a supply of field equipment for use in teaching and research. For checkout procedures and access, contact Tal Roberts at talr@vt.edu or Kathie Hollandsworth in 228 Cheatham.


Sample Preparation and Storage Facilities: The Department maintains multiple facilities for equipment storage and processing and storage of field samples. For use procedures and access, contact Dave Mitchem at dmitchem@vt.edu.


Forest Harvesting Laboratory: The 2,400-square foot Forest Harvesting Lab is located in Blacksburg adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus. The lab has a fully equipped machine shop used to fabricate new machine designs and support equipment used in field research in the Department. For procedures and access, contact Tal Roberts at talr@vt.edu.

FREC Facilities

 

Cheatham Hall (JCH): The College of Natural Resources and Environment administrative and advising offices are located in Cheatham Hall, which houses the Departments of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Sustainable Biomaterials, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center. Teaching classrooms, laboratories, and faculty and graduate offices are located in Cheatham Hall.


Latham Hall: The Latham Agriculture and Natural Resources Building houses several faculty offices and laboratories in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. For information on analytical lab spaces and equipment in Latham, please contact Dave Mitchem at dmitchem@vt.edu.


Center for Environmental Analytics and Remote Sensing (CEARS): CEARS is located in 217 Cheatham Hall. The laboratory houses 22 networked precision workstations, a high-end large-format printer, and field equipment to support in situ measurements. The Center also provides access to an extensive archive of Landsat and MODIS scenes as well as software for image processing, compiling, statistical analysis, and GIS. For access to the CEARS Lab, please see Les Fuller in 216 Cheatham to request and complete an account request form.


Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center: The Reynolds Center is a 710-acre research and education center located in the Virginia Piedmont 70 miles southeast of Blacksburg in Critz, Virginia. The Center houses laboratory space, greenhouses, and a continuing education center that support research and education in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.


Fishburn School Forest: The Fishburn is a 1,353-acre demonstration forest, located 10 minutes from campus. The forest is comprised of Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood and supports field research, teaching, and demonstration projects in the Ridge and Valley physiographic region.


Equipment Room: The Department maintains a supply of field equipment for use in teaching and research. For checkout procedures and access, contact Tal Roberts at talr@vt.edu or Kathie Hollandsworth in 228 Cheatham.


Sample Preparation and Storage Facilities: The Department maintains multiple facilities for equipment storage and processing and storage of field samples. For use procedures and access, contact Dave Mitchem at dmitchem@vt.edu.


Forest Harvesting Laboratory: The 2,400-square foot Forest Harvesting Lab is located in Blacksburg adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus. The lab has a fully equipped machine shop used to fabricate new machine designs and support equipment used in field research in the Department. For procedures and access, contact Tal Roberts at talr@vt.edu.


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