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FIW Inclusion & Diversity

Professor Karpanty and her students

Professor Karpanty and her students

FIW Diversity Statement

The faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation value diversity in all of it forms, including but not limited to race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and religion. We strive to minimize bias in our science, but fully acknowledge that science is a human endeavor and that we all carry unconscious bias that we must systematically strive to address in our policies, procedures, and processes. We also acknowledge that many groups have and continue to be marginalized or excluded from the natural resource and environmental fields, and these fields currently do not benefit from diverse professional organizations. Therefore, we hold as a central goal the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and student body through the creation and maintenance of an equitable and inclusive academic community that values all members, and where all members feel like they belong. Just as the environmental health of our planet depends on the biological diversity that it harbors, the health and success of our academic and conservation communities depend on diverse, equitable and inclusive human communities. 


  • Curricula: Include DEI education in our degree requirements
  • Outreach: Support the FIWGSA in institutionalizing their K-12 outreach to under-represented groups
  • Diversify our Dept’s Students: Establish funding for diverse student recruitment and retention
  • Faculty Hiring Procedures: Develop mechanisms to ensure hiring faculty from underrepresented groups and diversifying our Dept.
  • Policy Implementation: Ensure success in implementation of our P & T DEI policy
  • Culture: Ensure a culture of inclusivity and belonging in the Department
  • Communications: Reflect our commitment to DEIJ on the Dept website & social media

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee Members

  • Willa Chaves
  • Ashley Dayer
  • Mark Ford
  • Brogan Holcombe (grad student rep)
  • Jim Parkhurst
  • Haldre Rogers
  • Nathan Thayer (research scientist rep)

Department Promotion & Tenure Policy with DEI Integration

FWC Policy and Standards for Promotion and Tenure-05-10-21 (

Code of Conduct

We each have an obligation to ensure that the Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation is a great place to work for all. Therefore, the purpose of this code of conduct is to provide specific guidelines for conduct for all students, staff, faculty, volunteers, or other employees within the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. All members of the Department of Fish and Wildlife are expected to adhere to the Virginia Tech Principles of Community while representing the department which can include, but is not limited to, on-campus activities, conferences, field work, as well as online platforms. As such, members of this department are expected to show respect and courtesy to others at all times. Any actions, speech, writing, or behaviors that can be classified as harassment, discrimination, or bullying  or otherwise making someone feel threatened, unsafe, or unwelcome in our community will not be tolerated, are in opposition to the Virginia Tech Principles of Community, and can be subject to disciplinary action regardless of the intent (e.g., joking).  [Full Code of Conduct ]

The official Virginia Tech policy regarding harassment and discrimination can be found here.  

FIW DEI Policies for Syllabi

FIWGSA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Subcommittee (Graduate Students)