Wild Virginia’s Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) is composed of individuals with expertise in a variety of fields that are pertinent to the ecological health and preservation of Virginia’s National Forests. The Committee members serve as valuable sources of timely and current knowledge in their fields.

Committee members agree to periodically consult with the Wild Virginia staff and Board to provide information, guidance and perspective on organizational strategies and programs. Such consultation may focus on specific cases or on the broader focus of the organization and priority-setting.

Current Stac Members

Paul Angermeier
Paul Angermeier holds MS and PhD degrees in Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution from the University of Illinois. He has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech for 32 years and serves as a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. His teaching and research focus on population and community ecology of stream fishes, ecosystem services provided by watersheds, and use of biotic communities to assess aquatic ecosystem health. He has authored or coauthored 130 peer-reviewed articles in more than 40 different scientific journals. He has taught 8 university courses focusing on ecology, conservation, and management of ecosystems. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the scientific journals Conservation Biology and Freshwater Biology.

Shannon Bell
Shannon E. Bell is an associate professor of Sociology and a faculty affiliate of the Appalachian Studies Program, Women’s & Gender Studies Program, and the Center for Coastal Studies at Virginia Tech. Her research is broadly focused on issues of environmental and climate justice, with a particular interest in energy transitions and the Central Appalachian region. She is author of two award-winning books: Fighting King Coal: The Challenges to Micromobilization in Central Appalachia (The MIT press, 2016) and Our Roots Run Deep as Ironweed: Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice (University of Illinois Press, 2013). Her current research focuses on the quality-of-life and mental health effects of natural gas infrastructure development in rural communities.

Chris Bowlen
Chris Bowlen received a BS in Chemistry from WVU, then worked as a chemist at Eastman Kodak in Rochester NY, University of Washington in Seattle, WA and Schering Plough in Bloomfield NJ. After moving to VA in 1996, Chris retired from chemistry to raise her two daughters and work on restoring their house. She is currently stewarding 10 acres in the Shenandoah Valley, which involves restoring a damaged woodland area and running a small, sustainable organic farm. Chris and her husband, Gene, have been committed to environmental issues and to living as close to green as possible since the early ’80s. Chris is a member of the Virginia Native Plant Society and a Virginia Master Naturalist and enjoys being outside in all 4 seasons, especially in the George Washington National Forest.

Ray Dueser
Ray Dueser is a professor emeritus of ecology and wildlife management in Wildland Resources at Utah State University, where he served as Department Head and Associate Dean. He has served as chair of several organizations, including the ESA Western Chapter, the Section on Fish and Wildlife of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, the Research Committee of the National Association of University Fish and Wildlife Programs, and the USFWS Recovery Team for the recently delisted Delmarva fox squirrel. Ray began his career on the faculty of Environmental Sciences, where he started a long-term study of mammals, birds and plants on the Virginia barrier islands. This wilderness coastal landscape has turned out to be a benchmark system for assessing the ecosystem consequences of climate change, sea- level rise and exotic species introductions. The National Science Foundation designated the barrier islands a long-term ecological research site in 1987. The Virginia Coast Reserve LTER program now includes 30 investigators and 50 students from 9 universities. Ray recently returned to Environmental Sciences as a Visiting Scholar, where he continues research and writing and makes time for a variety of outdoor pursuits.

Ron Sutherland
Ron Sutherland has served as conservation scientist for Wildlands Network since 2010. He received his Ph.D. in environmental science and policy from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and he also earned a Masters Degree in conservation biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Wildlands Network, Dr. Sutherland has led the development of new habitat connectivity models for the southeastern United States, and is coordinating our efforts to map the entire Eastern Wildway. Ron has also initiated an extensive camera trapping project in the red wolf recovery area in North Carolina, and continues to be an enthusiastic public advocate for red wolf conservation. Between 2013-2015, Ron ran a successful and creative campaign to save 79,000-acre Hofmann Forest in eastern North Carolina from being sold to private buyers and destroyed. Dr. Sutherland lives in Durham, NC with his wife and children.

Carl Zipper
Carl E. Zipper is a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech. His activities address a variety of environmental issues with an emphasis on the interface of science with government policy. His primary research and outreach focus is restoration and management of land and water resources influenced by coal mining in Appalachia. He advises the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as a member of the agency’s Academic Advisory Committee; and serves as a member of the US Office of Surface Mining’s Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Science Team, and the Clinch-Powell Clean Rivers Initiative Executive and Science Teams