Virginia Tech's department of geography in the College of Natural Resources is planning an inter-sessional study abroad trip to the Baltic States and Russia. The trip, which takes place from Dec. 28th to Jan.16th, is a joint venture between geography and the department of foreign languages and literatures.

John Boyer, instructor of geography, and Nyusya Milman, associate professor of Russian, will coordinate the trip. In a significant departure from last year's trip, which was focused primarily on Russia and Russian language studies, the 2003-2004 endeavor will be broadening the academic content geographically and historically, as well as expanding the physical scope of the trip to include Finland and Estonia.

"I am hoping to enhance the student's educational experiences by including such activities as visits to forestry operations, wildlife refuges, fishing enterprises, and vodka distilling plants, as well as cultural events such as music, ballet, museum visits and historic sites," says Boyer.

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