Lynn Resler, of Blacksburg, assistant professor of geography in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources, has received the J. Warren Nystrom Award from the Association of American Geographers at its annual meeting in Denver, Colo., this month.

This national award recognizes the top research paper in geography based upon a recent dissertation. “Only a handful of finalists are selected from throughout North America to present their recent dissertation research in the Nystrom competition sessions at the annual meetings each year, so this is quite an honor,” said Larry Grossman, head of the geography department.

Resler joined Virginia Tech’s faculty in 2004 after receiving her Ph.D. from Texas State University. The award-winning paper outlined the multi-scale response of alpine treeline in Glacier National Park to environmental change. In this holistic investigation, Resler explored how both geomorphic and biogeographic processes influence conifer growth at the alpine treeline.

Also, another geography faculty member, Korine Kolivras, was a finalist in the competition. Kolivras, who joined the Department of Geography in 2004 as well, presented the paper “Mosquito Habitat and Dengue Risk Potential in Hawaii: A Conceptual Framework and GIS Application.”

Grossman said: “It is very rare for one department to have two finalists in the Nystrom competition in the same year. That both were selected to participate is a reflection of the scholarship quality of our new faculty members.”

This is the 10th major award the department has received at the university, state, and national level since 2002.

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 among the largest universities 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 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.