Natural science and the environment

These alumni are recognized for their work in natural science and the environment.


Barbara Knuth

Barbara Knuth (fisheries and wildlife science Ph.D. 1986) is vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at Cornell University. She is also a past president of the American Fisheries Society.

Mitchell Byrd

Mitchell Byrd (wildlife science 1949; Ph.D. 1954) is chancellor professor emeritus of biology at the College of William & Mary, where he served as chairman of the department for 13 years. More notable are his contributions to conservation. He was instrumental in the repopulation of peregrine falcons east of the Mississippi River and also is associated with the return of bald eagles to the East Coast.

Carl E. Garrison III

Carl E. Garrison III (forestry and wildlife 1978) received the American Tree Farm System’s 2010 Sustained Excellence Award, which honors state foresters who have been strong advocates and supporters for the American Tree Farm System. Garrison, who has served as Virginia state forester since 2004 and was recently reappointed by the governor, is responsible for the administrative, policy, organizational development, and operational areas associated with maintaining the value of the state’s forest resources.

Doug Domenech

Doug Domenech (forestry and wildlife management 1979) was appointed secretary of natural resources by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Domenench oversees eight agencies charged with protecting the commonwealth’s air, water, soil, and wildlife. Domenech served in a number of leadership roles in the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2001 to 2009, including deputy chief of staff to the secretary of the interior.

Sybille Klenzendorf

Sybille Klenzendorf (fisheries and wildlife M.S. 1997; Ph.D. 1902) leads conservation initiatives for various animals, including elephants, rhinos, tigers, orangutans, and leopards. Klenzendorf currently serves as the managing director for the species conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund. In her role, she oversees the training of game wardens, carnivore ecology, human-wildlife conflicts, and anti-poaching units for some of the most critical wildlife habitats on Earth.

Gary Norman

Gary Norman (M.S. fisheries and wildlife 1980) was awarded the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Henry Mosby Award, one of the highest honors a wildlife biologist can receive, for his key role in restoring wild turkeys in Virginia. The population of turkeys in Virginia climbed from approximately 51,000 to 130,000 birds in the 14 years he has worked with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Charles O. Handley Jr.

Charles O. Handley Jr. (biology 1944) was a renowned scientist, author, and teacher who worked for the Smithsonian for 53 years. As curator of mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, he was generally regarded as the world’s foremost expert on Latin American bats. In recognition of his work, several animal species were named for him: a hummingbird, long-tongued bat, mouse possum, pygmy mouse, and wingless bat fly, among others.

William Alphonso Murrill

William Alphonso Murrill (three degrees: agriculture, mechanics, and science 1886), known as "Mr. Mushroom," was a world-renowned botanist and author. His book on fungi varieties was used as a reference in nearly every country in the world. He collected more than 75,000 plant specimens, 1,700 of them new to science. He received a gold medal from the Holland Society of New York for distinguished service in the science of mycology.