The fall edition of Virginia Tech Magazine features the first installment of a two-part series that examines the university's efforts to help feed and water a global population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050.

While the fall cover story looks at the university's stateside efforts in partnership with the private sector to build Virginia's economy, the winter edition published in mid-January 2015 will explore international efforts, focusing on water and its role in worldwide food production.

Virginia Tech's agricultural heritage, research-based approach, and land-grant mission ideally position the university to be at the forefront of this ongoing work.

Described as a "farm team for the majors" for beginning entrepreneurs, Blacksburg-based NuSpark offers rent-free creative space for faculty, staff, students, and the public to suss out the next great thing and commercialize their ideas.

From canine-assisted reading programs for kids to sitting in on counseling sessions or soothing students' stress at exam time, dogs make life at Virginia Tech better. Campus researchers have even filmed puppies in 3-D to analyze how dogs move, aiming to create a visual tool to aid diagnoses in working dogs that serve their communities.

Alumna Carolyn "Lonnie" Jones Schorer, who earned a Master of Architecture degree in 1986, has searched for Amelia Earhart, designed the world's first ocean-going residential community, written four children's books, and will soon join an expedition to find an aircraft carrier off the California coast. The 73-year-old, who has no plans of slowing down, has never met an adventure she didn't take.

And the latest installment of How Tech Ticks delves beneath the surface of one of the most natural settings on the Virginia Tech campus. In reality, a great deal of engineering, landscaping, and maintenance props up the Duck Pond, which is fed by springs that are piped beneath classrooms and the Drillfield.

The Web version of Virginia Tech Magazine features online-only multimedia content. In addition, a digital app is available for free download on both the App Store and Google Play. Hard copies of the magazine can be requested by emailing Jesse Tuel, magazine editor.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.