Wildlife Specialist Cites Benefits of Eco-Intelligent Communities

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 18, 2003 – How urban landscape design, from small to large scales, affects wildlife distributions was the focus of a recent talk by Extension wildlife specialist Mark Hostetler at Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources. An expert on the development of eco-intelligent communities, Hostetler is a professor at the University of Florida.

He is known for his extensive experience in working with homeowners, developers and policymakers on ways to manage and design "green" developments. Hostetler is developing educational programs that will help homeowners manage their yards and neighborhoods to conserve natural resources.

He is working with several developers to establish natural resource management in Florida communities. Communities that are sustainably developed, or "green," connect human development with wildlife and resource management. With help from such organizations as the Audubon Society, Florida Green Building Coalition and the United States Green Building Council, Hostetler has been encouraging homeowners to form eco-intelligent communities for long-term planning. Additional information is available by contacting Hostetler at hotetlerm@wec.ufl.edu.

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.

Written by Hilary Fussell, Public Affairs Assistant