Joseph L. Scarpaci, a professor in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and long time expert on Cuba, has been nominated for the Virginia Social Science Association Scholar Award in Geography. The award is given for expanding knowledge in the field of geography.

The plenary awards session, where scholars discuss how their careers developed, will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2008, at Virginia Military Institute at 11 a.m. Scarpaci and recipients of other awards will speak briefly about what they do as scholars.

Additionally, Scarpaci, who was also named to the editorial board of the Southeastern Geographer in late 2007, has accepted the position of regional editor for the Library of Congress’s distinguished Handbook of Latin American Studies. The publication is an annotated bibliography in print and electronic format that includes citations from a network of scholars throughout the country. Scarpaci is the new contributing editor for the section on Geography: Caribbean Area. Eleven of his publications are included in the handbook.

Renowned internationally for his expertise and research in Latin American affairs, especially Cuba, Scarpaci’s research interests include Latin America, urban and social geography, comparative social policy, historic preservation, and international development.

In addition to these recent accomplishments and recognition, Scarpaci studied public-private water and waste partnerships in Haiti and the Dominican Republic this past year. Thanks to generous donations from the Free Clinic of the New River Valley in Christiansburg, Va., Scarpaci was able to donate 80 pounds of anti-diarrheal medication to the Portland, Maine, based nongovernmental organization, Konbit Sante, which operates the primary medical clinic in Cap Haitien, Haiti.

Scarpaci received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, N.J., a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

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