Virginia Tech’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences will now be called the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, a step taken to emphasize the department’s focus on sustainability. The College of Natural Resources was changed to the College of Natural Resources and Environment last year. Here is a press release from Tech:
College of Natural Resources and Environment department renamed Fish and Wildlife Conservation
To reflect the growing emphasis on sustainability, Virginia Tech’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences has changed its name to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. The name change, which went through the university’s governance system, became effective March 15.
The new name is one of a number of steps the College of Natural Resources and Environment is taking to position itself as a leader in the area of sustainability.
“We are refocusing our efforts to address the most critical and pressing problems facing the global community,” said Dean Paul Winistorfer. “We must position the college to be relevant to the broader campus and a growing and diverse group of stakeholders.
“The programs of the college are central to nearly every conversation you wish to have about sustainability, natural resources, or the environment,” he added, “and renaming the department helps set the stage for the future — as we are doing across the college.”
The decision also intends to correct misconceptions stemming from the former department name.
“The old name conjured up images of bass fishing and deer hunting,” Department Head Eric Hallerman explained. “Students interested in environmental sciences were not realizing that our program is so much broader than that and actually affords them a wider range of opportunities. Many of our courses and much of our research deal with conservation of biological diversity, protection of imperiled species, and activities such as aquaculture.”
Hallerman recalled how he had progressed as far as graduate school before he understood that the academic area of fish and wildlife afforded him opportunities to do the conservation work he was interested in.
“We now have a name that reflects more of what we are about, one that should not only capture students who have conservation and environmental science interests but also attract a wider range of research collaborators,” Hallerman added.