Jennifer Gagnon, project associate in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, has received the university’s 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension is presented annually to two Virginia Cooperative Extension faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the land-grant mission of the university. One award goes to an Extension specialist and the other is given to an Extension agent. Each award winner receives $2,000.

As statewide coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program, Gagnon provides the state’s 365,000 landowners with timely, scientifically based information about forest management and related topics. Since joining the university in 2005, Gagnon has developed three new courses in the program, and 42 short courses were offered to 1,600 landowners.

In addition, Gagnon is the lead instructor for the online short course Woodland Options for Landowners. The course includes a hands-on field trip on tree identification and using forestry equipment. Gagnon has offered the course seven times to 650 landowners from across the country. She also leads forestry and wildlife field tours for forest landowners every fall, demonstrating innovative management practices on public and private land.

“Jennifer has distinguished herself as a leader in Virginia Cooperative Extension,” said Janaki Alavalapati, professor and head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. “The impacts of her programs are significant and pervasive.”

One of her newest programs, Real Forestry for Real Estate, is designed to educate real estate professionals about forest management. To date, more than 450 real estate professionals have participated in the program. In 2012, the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals recognized the program with a Silver Award. Gagnon has also received the Young Forester Leadership Award from both the Virginia and Appalachian chapters of the Society of American Foresters. She has been recognized with an Early Career Leadership Award by the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.

“Jennifer is a remarkable Extension professional with an impressive list of achievements,” said John Munsell, forest management Extension specialist and associate professor “She elevates the relevance and reach of both the department and the college. Jennifer is a tireless professional, a pleasure to work with, and a constant inspiration.”

Gagnon received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees from the University of Florida.



Written by Catherine Doss.
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