Audrey Zink-Sharp, of Blacksburg, associate professor of wood science and forest products in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, is the incoming president of the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST).

She coordinates the college's highly successful Wood Magic Program that has taught more than 9,000 elementary school children the value of wood in a fun way.

Zink-Sharp teaches undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education classes in wood anatomy, wood properties, and wood processing. Her classes focus on the fine anatomical structure of wood and its relationship to properties. She is a member of the Wood-Based Composite Center and the Sustainable Engineered Materials Institute.

Her primary research emphasis is wood cell wall architecture, but many of her research projects also involve wood anatomy and development of improved wood-based composites. She is presently initiating research on quantitative wood anatomy and creating three-dimensional models of a wood cell that incorporate the most recent knowledge of cell wall architecture.

SWST is an internationally recognized professional organization of wood scientists, engineers, marketing specialists, and other professionals concerned with wood. "Members are dedicated to the wise use of one of our most environmentally sound resources -- wood," Zink-Sharp said.

Committed to protecting our forests through the development of new ideas and procedures, policies and products for the wood industry, SWST serves as a bridge linking academia, community, industry, and government. It establishes a forum for the exchange of ideas, the communication of knowledge, and the development of high standards and policies for wood research and the wood industry.

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.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.

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