Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL ecologist to join federal research panels, new scientific journal

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 8, 1997 — Virginia H. Dale of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will join the National Research Council's (NRC) Ecosystems Panel and the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Ecosystems Studies Advisory Panel. She also has been invited to be a member of the editorial board of Ecosystems, a new ecology journal.

Dale's tasks as a member of the NRC's Ecosystems Panel are to review ecosystems research being performed by federal agencies-including DOE-for the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and to provide a forum for discussion about ecosystems and various levels of biological organizations. USGCRP's mission is to examine natural and man-made changes in the environment in four areas: seasonal climate variation, climate change over time, changes in ozone, UV radiation and atmospheric chemistry, and changes in land cover and in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Her tasks on the NSF's Ecosystems Studies Advisory Panel are to review grant proposals related to ecosystem science and to help prepare panel discussions on select proposals. The Ecosystem Studies Division of the NSF looks at diverse research topics such as water processes within watersheds, nutrient dynamics and disturbances of ecosystems.

As a member of the editorial board of Ecosystems, Dale will review submitted manuscripts by federal agencies and researchers doing work in ecosystems science. Ecosystems will publish peer-reviewed papers on structure and process in ecosystems, ecosystem concepts and theory, integrated analysis of natural, social and management systems and new tools and methods.

Dale is a senior scientist in the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD). She first joined the division in 1975 as a research assistant. She returned in 1984 as a research scientist, and later became associate director of the ESD. She received a master's degree in mathematics with an ecology minor from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate in mathematical ecology from the University of Washington.

She received an Award of Excellence for a Book from the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Technical Communication in 1995, and in 1994, a Distinguished and Sustained Scientific Achievement Award from the East Tennessee Chapter of the Association for Women in Science. Her work has appeared in more than 90 publications in magazines and journals such as Ecology, BioScience and National Geographic Research and Exploration.

She and her husband, Charlie, live in Oak Ridge with their three children, Matthew, Wendy and Bradley.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.