BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 27, 2008 – Janaki R.R. Alavalapati, former professor of forest resource economics and policy at the University of Florida, has been named as head of the Department of Forestry in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech.
For the past year, Alavalapati has been a senior advisor for International Energy Affairs for the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C., as a Jefferson Science Fellow, one of only eight members accepted in the country. Alavalapati has served on the faculty at the University of Florida since 1998.
“Dr. Alavalapati has a great vision for the future of forestry,” said Paul Winistorfer, head of the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products and chairperson of the search committee. “He will continue the strong leadership of America’s top-rated forestry program and maintain the long-standing tradition of cutting-edge impacts that have come from the department.” Alavalapati has over 30 years of experience dealing with forest and natural resources issues in the United States, Canada, and India.
As head of the college's Department of Forestry, his responsibilities include managing faculty and staff, assisting in the future development of the department, and contributing to the consistent success and well-being of the department. Alavalapati received a Ph.D. in forest resource economics and a master of science in rural sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada, a master of science in forestry from the State Forest Service College in India, and a master of science in botany and a bachelor of science in biological science at Sri Venkateswara University in India.
Alavalapati takes over as head of the forestry department from Harold Burkhart, University Distinguished Professor, who has served in that position since 1995.