Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

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


Dale appointed to USDA Committee of Scientists

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 9, 1998 — Dr. Virginia H. Dale of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been appointed to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Committee of Scientists by Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman.

"The members of this committee are an exceptional group of natural resource management scientists who have the diverse expertise necessary to provide an array of science-based recommendations," said Glickman. "I am looking forward to the committee's recommendations as a significant step toward developing a new and improved forest planning process, one that will be more consistent with the public's expectations of how our national forests should be managed in the 21st century."

Dale is one of 13 committee members who will evaluate the land management planning process of USDA's Forest Service and give scientific and technical advice for new forest planning regulations. Dale will address such topics as how to consider land and resource management plans of biological diversity, use of ecosystem assessment and land and resource management planning, spatial and temporal scales for planning, public participation processes, sustainable forestry, interdisciplinary analysis and other such issues.

Dale is a senior scientist in the Environmental Sciences Division at ORNL. She first joined the division in 1975 as a research assistant. After returning in 1984 as a research scientist, Dale later became associate director of the division. She received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in mathematics with a minor in ecology from the University of Tennessee. Dale holds a doctorate in mathematical ecology from the University of Washington. Her mathematical expertise is unique to the committee. She has taught biology, ecology and mathematics on the university level.

She has served five years on the Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Board, Ecological Processes and Effect Committee. She also was the member-at-large of the governing board of the Ecological Society of America from 1995-97. Dale will be a member of the National Science Foundation Panel on ecosystems until 1999 and an associate editor of Ecosystems until 2001.

She received an award of excellence for a book in 1995 from the Society of Technical Communication and a Distinguished and Sustained Scientific Achievement Award from the Association for Women in Science in 1994. Dale has been published in more than 100 works about atmospheric disturbance phenomena, ecological modeling, vegetation and landscape disturbance in magazines and journals such as Ecology, BioScience and National Geographic Research and Exploration.

Dale and her husband, Charlie Hensley, live in Oak Ridge. They have three children, Matthew and Bradley Hensley and Wendy Adams.

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