Bent Mountain resident and student receives Virginia Chapters of the Wildlife Society Student Scholarship

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 24, 2004 – Michael Nichols of Bent Mountain, Va., a senior majoring in wildlife science in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, was awarded the Virginia Chapters of the Wildlife Society Student Scholarship.

"Nichols is a solid ambassador of Virginia Tech's wildlife program and has been successful in maintaining a very high caliber of academic performance," said Don Orth, head of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. Nichols has worked summers at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and has spent a semester abroad taking a full suite of coursework at the University of New Zealand.

The active student monitored piping plover reproductive success, radio tracked, fox squirrels, banded geese, and educated the public about beach use and wildlife protection. He had developed Global Imaging Satellite (GIS) skills and a broad knowledge of international issues in marine ecology. "His breadth of work and educational experience is outstanding for an undergraduate student," said Orth.

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 the largest university 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 30 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.