About Us

Our Program

The Virginia Tech Urban Forestry Program is part of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. We are a group of faculty, staff, and students who are passionate about the study, conservation, and management of urban forests. Our program is rooted in the legacy of forestry and natural resource management at Virginia Tech that spans over 60 years, and our undergraduate program is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

We are engaged in urban forestry at the local, state, and national level. From service-learning projects on the Virginia Tech campus to involvement with organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture and the Society of American Foresters, our program is at the forefront of academic and professional initiatives that advance urban forestry and create opportunities for our students and collaborators. Alumni of our program have gone on to successful careers in commercial tree care, municipal forestry, utility forestry, and state agency service.

What we do

We integrate research, teaching, and outreach in our shared pursuit of making the world a better place through urban forestry. Our research focuses on answering questions and solving problems that challenge urban forest sustainability. Our teaching offers an experiential education that develops both critical thinking and professional skills so that students are well-prepared for careers in urban forestry. Our outreach serves urban forestry stakeholders by providing consultation, technical assistance, and continuing education for resource professionals, government agencies, citizen groups, and landowners.

Why we do it

Our world is rapidly urbanizing. And urban forests are critical to the sustainability of an urban world. But it is not as simple as planting more trees in cities. Urban forests are complex ecosystems that require specialized skills for their study, conservation, and management. We believe that our program is well positioned through our talents, resources, and partnerships to help lead worldwide efforts bringing urban forestry to the forefront of the people–nature nexus.

What we value

We value curiosity, creativity, and commitment to excellence in our research, teaching, and outreach. Our faculty, staff, and students embrace our university motto Ut prosim (“that I may serve”) and our land-grant university mission of improving the lives of people in Virginia. We believe that the characteristics of a healthy ecosystem–diversity, interdependency, resiliency–are also key to a vibrant urban forestry program. Therefore we welcome all people and support their pursuit of personal goals as students, colleagues, and collaborators. Finally, we value ethical and responsible use of natural resources. We will pursue our program goals with honesty, integrity, and respect for both people and nature.