School of Natural Resources

Joseph McNeel, Division Director of Forestry and Natural Resources

Gerard D'Souza, Division Director of Resource Management

Degrees Offered

  • Master of Science in Forestry with a major in Forestry
  • Master of Science with a major in Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Master of Science with a major in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources
  • Master of Science with a major in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Forest Resources Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Human and Community Development
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Natural Resource Economics
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Resource Management

The School of Natural Resources offers master of science degree programs in four areas: agricultural and resource economics; forestry; recreation, parks and tourism resources; and wildlife and fisheries resources. Students wishing to pursue a master of science emphasizing forest resources management or wood science and technology should apply for admission to the master of science in forestry. 

A student seeking admission to work toward the degree of doctor of philosophy in forest resources science in the School of Natural Resources may choose from one of the following Areas of Emphasis as their major field of study: forest resources management; recreation, parks, and tourism resources; wood science and technology; or wildlife and fisheries resources. Within these major fields of study, specialization is limited only by the range of competencies in the graduate faculty.

A limited number of graduate research assistantships are available to highly qualified students on a competitive basis.


Prerequisite requirements are similar to those in other biological sciences or applied social sciences. The student should have completed basic courses in the physical and biological sciences, including genetics, nutrition, and physiology. Deficiencies may prolong the time needed to complete degree programs.  Meeting the above requirements shall not guarantee the applicant admission because each professor will accept only the number of students that can be supervised adequately with available facilities, time, and funds.

Graduate Certificate in GIS and Spatial Analysis

Certificate code - cg37

Complete 4 of the following courses:12
Spatial Econometrics
Spatial Econometrics
Geospatial Modeling
Spatial Analysis for Resource Management
RESM 625
Watershed Analysis and Hydrological Modeling
Geographic Information Systems for Aquatic Resource Management
Geographic Information Science: Technical Issues
Environmental Geographic Information Systems Modeling
Remote Sensing Principles
Advanced Geographic and Information Science
Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis
Advanced Remote Sensing
Independent Study Requirement (Select one of the following):3
RESM 599
Project for GIS and Spatial Analysis
GEOG 599
Project for GIS and Spatial Analysis
Total Hours15



  • Joseph F. McNeel - Ph.D. (Virginia Polytechnic University)
    Director, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Gerard E. D'Souza - Ph.D. (Mississippi State University)
    Director, Division of Resource Management


  • James T. Anderson - Ph.D. (Texas Tech University)
    Wildlife ecology and management
  • Robert C. Burns - Ph.D. (The Pennsylvania University)
    Understanding recreational behavior, motivations, and satisfaction levels
  • Alan R. Collins - Ph.D. (Oregon State University)
    Resource economics
  • Benjamin E. Dawson-Andoh - Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)
    Wood chemistry and preservation
  • Gerard E. D’Souza - Ph.D. (Mississippi State University)
    Production economics, Finance
  • John W. Edwards - Ph.D. (Clemson University)
    Endangered Species Ecology and Management, Forest Wildlife/Habitat Relationships
  • Jerald J. Fletcher - Ph.D. (University of California, Davis)
    Energy, environmental and resource economics
  • Tesfa Gebremedhin - Ph.D. (Oklahoma State University)
    Farm management, Agribusiness
  • Kyle J. Hartman - Ph.D. (University of Maryland)
    Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology, Fish Management, Trophic Ecology
  • David W. McGill - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Extension Specialist, Forest Resources, Non-industrial Private Forestry
  • Joseph F. McNeel - Ph.D. (Virginia Tech)
    Forest harvest and operations
  • J. Todd Petty - Ph.D. (University of Georgia)
    Stream and Watershed Ecology
  • Tim T. Phipps - Ph.D. (University of California, Davis)
    Resource economics, Agricultural policy
  • Chad Pierskala - Ph.D. (University of Minnesota)
    Wildland recreation management and policy
  • Peter V. Schaeffer - Ph.D. (University of Southern California)
    Regional science, Applied microeconomics
  • Steven Selin - Ph.D. (University of Oregon)
    Human dimensions and Natural resources management
  • Dennis K. Smith - - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Rural development, Agribusiness management
  • Jingxin Wang - Ph.D. (University of Georgia)
    Biomass logistics, utilization and bioenergy, forest BMPs

Associate Professors

  • Cheryl Brown - Ph.D. (University of California, Berkley)
    Agricultural and food policy and economics, Agribusiness
  • Jinyang Deng - Ph.D. (University of Alberta)
    Recreation, Parks, and Tourism; Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • David DeVallance - Ph.D. (Oregon State University)
    Biomaterial processing, manufacturing, and development
  • Kathryn Gazal - Ph.D. (Mississippi State University)
    Forest Economics
  • Donald J. Lacombe - Ph.D. (Florida State University)
    Spatial econometrics, Public choice and industrial organization
  • Dave Smaldone - Ph.D. (University of Idaho)
    Environmental and Cultural Interpretation, Nature-based tourism
  • Mark Sperow - Ph.D. (Colorado State University)
    Production and resource economics
  • Ben D. Spong - Ph.D. (Oregon State University)
    Forest operations, roads, and harvesting
  • Michael P. Strager - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Spatial analysis, Decision support
  • Nicholas P. Zegre - Ph.D. (Oregon State University)
    Forest and watershed hydrology

Assistant Professors

  • Donald Brown - Ph.D. (Texas State University)
    Herpetology, wildlife ecology
  • Gregory A. Dahle - Ph.D. (Rutgers University)
    Arboriculture and urban forestry
  • Levan Elbakidze - Ph.D. (Texas A&M)
    Shale gas; water and energy economics
  • Xiaoli Etienne - Ph.D. (University of Illinois)
    Econometric methods in agriculture and energy
  • Jingjing Liang - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Forest ecology
  • Christopher Lituma - Ph.D. (University of Tennessee)
    Ornithology and bird ecology
  • Kudzayi Maumbe - Ph.D. (Michigan State University)
    Tourism Marketing
  • Gloria S. Oporto - Ph.D. (University of Maine - Orono)
    Wood-based Composites and Bioproducts
  • James S. Rentch - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Forest ecology
  • Jamie Schuler - Ph.D. (North Carolina State University)
    Forest regeneration and restoration
  • Kaushlendra Singh - Ph.D. (University of Georgia)
    Thermo-chemical conversion)
  • Doolarie Singh-Knights - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Agribusiness and entrepreneurship
  • Heather Stephens - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
    Resource and energy economics; regional development
  • Amy B. Welsh - Ph.D. (University of California - Davis)
    Conservation genetics, Conservation ecology
  • Mo Zhou - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin)
    Forest Economics

Adjunct Professors

  • Shawn Grushecky - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Appalachian Hardwood Center, Energy land management
  • Patricia M. Mazik - – Ph.D. (Memphis State University)
    Aquatic toxicology, fish physiology
  • Sheldon Owen - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Extension wildlife specialist
  • Stuart A. Welsh - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
  • Petra B. Wood - Ph.D. (University of Florida)
    Avian ecology

Visiting Assistant Professors

  • Charlene Kelly - Ph.D. (Virginia Tech)
    Watershed biogeochemistry
  • Kirsten Stephan - Ph.D. (University of Idaho)
    Soil and vegetation management