Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Virginia People

Federal Staff

Paul Angermeier

Paul Angermeier Assistant Unit Leader Website:

Mark Ford, Unit Leader

Mark Ford Unit Leader Website: Tel: (540) 231 - 5927

I have been unit leader since August 2010. Prior to coming to USGS and Virginia Tech, I held R&D positions with the U.S. Army Engineer Research Development Center, the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station and Westvaco Forest Resources.

University Staff

Paul Angermeier

Paul Angermeier Website:

Terri 2013

Terri Waid Tel: (540) 231 - 4934

Students and Post Docs

Variegate darter (Etheostoma variatum)n Levisa Fork, Virginia

Jane Argentina

Elaine Waterfall

Elaine Barr

Jesse De La Cruz

Sabrina Deeley

I am currently researching bat communities in the national capital region, where I am identifying the impact of White Nose Syndrome and land use on the presence of 11 species of bats.

Checking Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel nest boxes on a balmy winter day at Mt. Mitchell, NC.

Cordie Diggins

B.S. Wildlife Conservation (University of Delaware, 2006)
M.S. Forestry (Northern Arizona University, 2010)

My wildlife field experience includes work with bats, bog turtles, passerine birds, Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels, American Woodcocks, Green Salamanders, riverine turtles, and white-tailed deer. My forestry field experience includes work in spruce-fir forests in Maine, ecologically restored ponderosa pine forests in Arizona, oak forests in Kentucky, and upland hardwood forests in North Carolina.

From 2010-2012, I developed and ran the NC Bat Acoustic Monitoring Program (a citizen science program to monitor bat populations using acoustic driving transects) for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

The Kanawha darter (Etheostoma kanawhae) is a rare freshwater fish species found only in the New River drainage.  Here a brightly colored male searches for a female during spawning season in Helton Creek, North Carolina.

Corey Dunn

Samuel Freeze

John about to enter a lava tube, Galapagos Islands, 2013

John Huth

After years in human resource management, it was time to realize my dream of a career in biology. Diverse research opportunities have included examining pH’s influence on Echinostoma’s ability to recognize host cues and infection; calcium oxalate crystals’ role in deciduous tree abscission; quail/songbird and bat surveys.

Nick Kalen with a northern long-eared bat

Nicholas Kalen Tel: (540) 231 - 9943

Having been with Virginia Tech's Conservation Management Institute for 8 years, I worked in applied research on a variety of topics including wildlife, plant ecology, and forestry. I am currently pursuing a master's degree in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation researching post-White-nose syndrome bat species occupancy at several Virginia National Parks.

Zach Martin Tel: (910) 232 - 3154

Map of composite risk maps for 12 major threats in 473 subwatersheds within the UTRB.  None, low, moderately low, moderately low, moderate, moderately high, and high risk rankings were assigned to each subwatershed.

Kim Mattson

Katie McBaine

Tomas Nocera

Before joining the Fish and Wildlife Department at Virginia Tech and the Cooperative Research Unit I was involved in various wildlife and forestry projects. I have worked closely with the New England Stewardship Network and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension working with various conservation organizations including land trusts and wildlife refuges. As a Land steward I assisted in developing baseline reports, establishing CFI plots, assessing conservation easements, as well as engaging in invasive species removal. I have also had experience in wildlife rehabilitation working with Macropods and wombats, as well as assisting in a damsel fish research project looking at changes in phenotypes among different generations using alarm cues in Australia.
My broad interests lie in working with different people and cultures in developing and tailoring management and conservation plans and solutions towards their needs and traditions.

Rick Odom

Rick Odom Tel: (434) 960 - 7895

I have been involved in the application of geospatial technologies in natural resource management, ecological research, teaching and consulting for almost 30 years. Prior to my work with the Coop Unit, I developed GIS-based forest site and habitat classification models for a large forest products company, consulted with federal land management agencies on the development of enterprise resource databases and helped create two business start-ups utilizing web-based resource analysis tools as key components of their service offerings. I have also manage animal health information systems for the VA Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the past 11 years.

Coring trees in Kentucky.

Alex Silvis

Prior to joining the VCFWRU, I worked for the Ohio State University and the USDA Forest Service. I have a broad background in ecology, and have been involved with projects on a variety of topics and subjects, including wood turtles, caves, and prescribed fire. I am currently pursuing my Ph.D.

Michael St. Germain

Sara Sweeten

Sara Sweeten Tel: (618) 841 - 0219

I have broad interests in measuring biological integrity of aquatic ecosystems. I have worked with stream habitat, fish, aquatic macroinvertebrates, freshwater mussels, Wood turtles, and currently amphibians.

Eastern spotted skunk telemetry project

Emily Thorne

B.S. Wildlife Conservation Biology and Applied Vertebrate Ecology; Applied Statistics (Humboldt State University, 2014)

My broad research interests include spatial ecology and animal behavior. My wildlife field research projects have included work with red-naped sapsuckers, American wigeon, Roosevelt elk, spotted hyenas and currently eastern spotted skunks.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 10

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 13

Scientific Publications: 72

Presentations: 118


Contact Us

Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Blacksburg, VA 24061 Phone: (540) 231 - 4934 Fax: (540) 231 - 7580

Unit Leader

Mark Ford
Mark Ford, Unit Leader

I have been unit leader since August 2010. Prior to coming to USGS and Virginia Tech, I held R&D positions with the U.S. Army Engineer Research Development Center, the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station and Westvaco Forest Resources.

Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  5. Wildlife Management Institute