Thomas R. Fox of Christiansburg, Va., professor of forestry in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for research and teaching at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. 

During the 2010 fall semester, Fox will work with colleagues at the Center for Climate Change at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile on a research project to compare carbon dynamics and carbon sequestration in tree plantations and native forests in Chile. He will also teach a graduate class in biogeochemistry and forest soils, as well as continue his work with members of the Forest Nutrition Cooperative in Chile to improve the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of plantation forestry throughout the Americas. 

“Dr. Fox’s Fulbright Scholarship not only enhances his research and teaching skills in a cross cultural setting but also strengthens the department’s and the college’s collaborative opportunities in teaching, discovery, and engagement with the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, the University of Concepcion, and University of Austral in Chile,” said Janaki Alavalapati, head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. 

Fox focuses his research on forest soils, silviculture, forest fertilization, tree nutrition, and the environmental sustainability of intensive forest management. Much of his work concentrates on meeting the newly-emerging needs of the forest industry in the United States and Latin America. 

Fox serves as the co-director of the Forest Nutrition Cooperative, a research partnership among Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University, and dozens of forest industry firms in the United States and South America. The cooperative integrates research, education, and technology transfer to provide innovative solutions to enhance and sustain forest productivity through the management of soil and site resources. 

He is also the Virginia Tech site director for the Center for Advanced Forestry Systems, a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center that bridges top forestry research programs with industry members to solve complex, industry-wide problems. 

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program is America’s flagship international education exchange activity and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields. Since its establishment, thousands of United States faculty and professionals have studied, taught, or conducted research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. 

Fox, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, his master’s degree from Virginia Tech, and his doctorate from the University of Florida, is the first faculty member in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation to be named a Fulbright Scholar.