The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech announced today that Scott Klopfer has assumed the role of director of the Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support (CeNRADS), succeeding Stephen Prisley.

Prisley, a faculty member in the college’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, recently accepted a position with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement. Prisley will be the council’s representative to the center and will share office space with the center and the college’s Conservation Management Institute in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

Klopfer, a researcher and research administrator for 18 years, has had leadership roles with the Conservation Management Institute for more than 10 years and has served as its director for the past eight years. The institute is an active partner in the management of natural resources in Virginia, across North America, and around the world, with more than $40 million in external research projects since its creation in 1999.

Klopfer said he is excited for the opportunity to work with the center staff and partners to expand the great work done to date and leverage it for broader applications and impact.

“CeNRADS was established as a visionary effort to work with external stakeholders in leading an assessment and modeling effort to provide better data and better predictions of our forest resource inventories in Virginia and beyond,” said Paul Winistorfer, dean of the college.

In announcing the change in the center’s leadership, Winistorfer pointed out that “Steve Prisley accomplished what many of us could only envision, pulling together a research team and data to invoke an entirely new modeling effort in forest inventory geared towards predictions of future conditions. We have a tool that is extremely important for the current and future management of our forest resource in Virginia and beyond.

“Steve was most effective in working with many private sector partners, as well as the Virginia Department of Forestry and numerous nongovernmental organizations, to build a research center and product that is of value to many,” Winistorfer explained. “We have every intention of continuing this pioneering effort under Scott’s direction.”

As the center continues to refine and improve its model, it will begin to look at other attributes, such as water and carbon, as well as management techniques, which are important in forest harvest operations.

“This work is critically important for the future sustainability of our forest and natural resources, and we are excited to embark on the future under Scott’s leadership,” Winistorfer said.

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