Awards and Highlights


As we embark on a new academic year, we take some time to reflect on all of the outstanding accomplishments from last year. Check out a few big College highlights, and congratulate our faculty and staff for their continued success. We look forward to sharing the many more successes that are sure to come this academic year.

For a full list of awards and recognitions, read the 2015-2016 Natural Resources Annual Report to the Chancellor.

College Highlights

  • The College of Natural Resources received donor funding for a Student Experience Enrichment Fund to support undergraduate participation in high-impact learning experiences. In addition to providing direct student support, the fund also supported Jumpstart, a student-led incentive-based professional development program.
  • The Environmental Sciences B.S. degree program moved from the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) to the College of Natural Resources in July, where many co-curricular and support services are available to the approximately 225 program students.
  • Submitted $31 million in sponsored research proposals and received $9.8 million in awards to date.
  • Tom Gower, Forestry and Environmental Resources Department Head, successfully collaborated with Drs. David Shafer and Miriam Ferzli at the NC State Graduate School to bring NC State into the National Science Education Organization Center for Integrated Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). Membership in CIRTL facilitates better science education training for graduate students and post-doc, making them more competitive for faculty positions, and better science education training for faculty, which translates into improved learning outcomes for undergraduates.
  • The Center for Advanced Forestry Systems is one of two NSF I/UCRC’s led by NC State. CAFS bridges nine leading universities’ forestry research programs with forest industry to solve complex, industry-wide problems. In 2016, CAFS was encouraged to submit a Phase III proposal for five additional years.
  • Elizabeth Nichols and colleagues received one of ten USDA NIFA Water for Agriculture Challenge Area grants. The Challenge works with universities to develop regional systems for sustainable use, reuse, flow and management of water.
  • Aaron Hipp, Associate Professor of Community Health and Sustainability, was awarded the College’s first NIH grant. He will use an archive of 23,000 publically-available, online, outdoor webcams and crowdsourcing to develop reliable and valid tools to improve the capture of global physical activity patterns and built-environment characteristics.
  • Myron Floyd is one of four members of a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional team that was recently awarded a $2.9 million research grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC).
  • Working with NC State’s Poole College of Management and Duke University, the College completed “An Economic and Environmental Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry.” To date, this report has over 144,000 downloads and 165 million media impressions. This project and report was undertaken as part of USDA’s BioPreferred Program.
  • Duarte Morais, along with colleagues from CHASS and COS, launched People-First Tourism Inc. (P1T), the first entrepreneurship venture originating in PRTM. P1T software is enabling small tourism business owners to reach a larger market for their goods and services.

Faculty Awards and Nominations

Center for Geospatial Analytics (CGA)

  • Dr. Ross K. Meentemeyer (CGA Director and FER Professor) was elected President of the US – International Association of Landscape Ecology for 2016-2018.
  • As part of the Ecological Society of America’s 2015 Centennial celebration, ESA cited Ross Meentemeyer’s 2011 Ecospherearticle, “Epidemiological modeling of invasion in heterogeneous landscapes: Spread of sudden oak death in California (1990-2030),” among top 10 most notable papers impacting the science of ecology.
  • Helena Mitasova (CGA Associate Director of Geovisualization and CGA Faculty Fellow) was elected to the Open Source Geospatial Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Stacy Supak (Teaching Assistant Professor with CGA) mentored the winning team of hackers at the 2nd annual Bayes Hack in San Francisco, developing software to make Federal lands easier to access and explore by all citizens.

Forest Biomaterials (FB)

  • Dr. Hasan Jameel (FB Professor) was named the Jordan Family Distinguished Professor for 2016-2020 and the Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professor for 2016.
  • Dr. Ilona Peszlen (Director of the FB Graduate Program and Associate Professor) was awarded the Society of Wood Science and Technology Distinguished Educator Award, 2016. She was one recipient of only two given globally each year.

Forestry and Environmental Resources (FER)

  • Dr. Gary Blank (Undergraduate Programs Director and Associate Professor) received the 2016 Fred Fletcher Outstanding Project Volunteer Award for the contributions his classes have made to improving Raleigh Parks and Greenways.
  • Dr. Fred Cubbage (Professor) was elected Vice President of the Society of American Foresters and received the Forest Science Award in November 2015.
  • Dr. Jason Delborne (Associate Professor) was invited to serve on the National Academy of Sciences committee on gene drives. Their report, “Gene drive research in non-human organisms: Recommendations for responsible conduct,” was released in June.
  • Dr. Ryan Emanuel (Associate Professor) received the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Community Service Award in recognition of his commitment, service and dedication to AISES.
  • Steve McKeand (Cooperative Tree Improvement Program Director and Professor) is NC State’s nominee for the Governor Holshouser Award of Excellence in Public Service.
  • Susan Moore (Forestry and Environmental Outreach Program Director and Extension Associate Professor) and Mark Megalos (Extension Associate Professor) won the 2015 Southern Regional Extension Forestry Award for Excellence for their Sentinel Landscapes publication, “Conserving Working Lands: A land legacy handbook.” The publication provides accessible, understandable land conservation resources, information and activities for forest and farm owners.
  • Lara Pacifici (Assistant Teaching Professor) was awarded the Certificate of Merit in the category of Outstanding New Faculty Advisor by the National Academic Advising Association.
  • Dr. Ron Sederoff (Co-Director of the Forest Biotechnology Group and Professor) received the 2016 Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award and was selected as a member of the Inaugural Class of the NC State Research Leadership Academy.

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

  • Kathy Gore (Teaching Associate Professor) received the 2015 Ernest T. Attwell Award from the National Recreation and Park Association Ethnic Minority Society for contributions “to the development of new professionals through teaching, mentoring and programming for over 10 years and professional service activities for more than 20 years at local, state, and national levels.”
  • Dr. Ed Lindsay (Teaching Assistant Professor) received the 2015 Innovation in Teaching Award from the Academy of Leisure Sciences at the 2015 National Recreation and Park Association Congress. Dr. Lindsay also was named a DELTA Faculty Fellow in recognition of his innovations in teaching.