Richard Roth Director, Faculty Associate – Geospatial Science Department

Professor of Geospatial Science

Dr. Roth holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia, and from Virginia Tech, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning.  He is active in a number of conservation organizations and has research interests in watershed planning, rivers, and sustainability, particularly as it pertains to local government planning.



Theresa Burriss; Faculty Associate – Appalachian Rural Regional Studies Center

Director and Chair of Appalachian Studies Program

Theresa Burriss is the Director of the Appalachian Rural Regional Studies Center and Chair of the Appalachian Studies Program at Radford University.  With a B.A. from Emory University, M.S. from Radford University, and Ph.D. from the Union Institute and University, she teaches classes on Appalachian literature, Appalachian research, Appalachian social and environmental justice issues, and place-based education.  She guest lectures on Appalachian cultural competency for both aspiring and practicing health professionals.

Burriss serves as the Contributing Senior Editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture.  Her articles have appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Voice, and The New River Voice.  She has published several pieces of literary criticism on the Affrilachian Writers, including chapters in An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature (Ohio UP 2005) and Appalachia in the Classroom (forthcoming, Ohio UP 2011).  Currently, she’s working on two book projects, Women of Change, Women of Courage: Appalachian Activists and The Country Store on White Oak Grove, along with a dance/theater piece, Sounds of Stories Dancing.

In addition to her teaching and research, she is an environmental activist and works to combat discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.  Theresa resides in Floyd County, Virginia, with her two sons, Paul and Campbell, and her husband, Dr. James L. Werth, Jr.

Iain Clelland; Faculty Associate

Associate Professor of Management

Dr. Clelland has had an ongoing interest in environmentally sustainable businesses and practices.  His dissertation examined how government regulation could stimulate rather than suppress environmentally beneficial  innovation.  He has since published empirical research examining waste minimization practices of manufacturing companies, corporate environmental misconduct, environmental reputation building by corporations, and the effects of corporate environmental performance on managerial decision making.  He was a founding member of the former Tennessee Institute for Management and the Environment at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, is an active member of the Academy of Management’s Organizations and the Natural Environment division, and has published an environmental crisis management simulation for the World Resources Institute.   He currently is exploring interdisciplinary approaches to environmentally sustainable economic development.

Tolga Durak; Staff Associate

Director of Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management at Radford University

Dr. Durak is the Director of Environmental, Health, Safety & Risk Management at Radford University. He holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Industrial & Systems Engineering and a PhD in Building Construction / Environmental Design and Planning. He is an associate professor at Virginia Western Community College, a licensed professional engineer, a certified safety professional, certified building and fire official, certified fire protection specialist and certified fire investigator. Dr. Durak is on the boards of a number of regional sustainability and renewable energy advisory committees. He has research interests in building sciences with emphasis on performance, energy efficiency, retrofitting solutions, systems integration, integrated control strategies and smart building materials.


Andrew Foy; Web Administrator, Faculty Associate – Geospatial Science Department

Assistant Professor of Geospatial Science

Dr. Foy is an Assistant Professor of Geospatial Science at Radford University. He holds a BS and MS in Geography and a PhD in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis. He began working as a geographer with the National Park Service studying peregrine falcons and later went to Virginia Tech to work on a NGA research project on spatial data fusion. After six years as the GIS coordinator and developer for the City of Radford he started teaching at RU. His research interests are broadly focused around geospatial data fusion for environmental applications and methods to improve how people analyze and use geographic data.

Jake Fox; Faculty Associate – Anthropology

Assistant Professor

Jake Fox is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropological Sciences at Radford University. Fox is an archaeological anthropologist with broad interests in evolutionary ecology, human adaptation, subsistence strategies, human impacts on ecosystems, and the rise and collapse of complex societies. He has conducted fieldwork in the United States, the Levant, and South America. His current research focuses on long-term adaptations of early agro-pastoralists to the southern Andean highlands of Bolivia.


Bill Kovarik; Faculty Associate – School of Communication

Professor of Journalism

Bill Kovarik is a professor of journalism at Radford University.  He studies environmental history in the context of communication and is the author of Revolutions in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age (Continuum, 2011), and the Environmental History Timeline (  He is also the co-author of The Forbidden Fuel (Bison, 2010) and Mass Media and Environmental Conflict (Sage, 1997).



Mary LaLone; Faculty Associate – Sociology


Mary LaLone is a Professor in Radford University’s Sociology Department.  She blends her teaching/research role in Sociology and her background in Cultural Anthropology (Ph.D. UCLA), to teach students interdisciplinary social science perspectives for understanding the relationships between human socio-cultural systems and the environment.  She also draws horticultural knowledge, gained from many years experience as a gardener, into her broadly interdisciplinary approach to human-environmental relationships.  Her academic work has long focused on community-based research, cultural ecology, and people’s socio-economic survival strategies in relationship to the environment, especially in the Appalachian region of the U.S.  Information about her research and publications on Appalachian coal mining and farming strategies, and other community-based research projects, can be found on her web site at   Her current research interest is on the topic of community resilience to environmental disasters, especially focusing how social capital might be better incorporated into disaster planning and policy.

Jim Minick; Faculty Associate - English Department

Jim Minick has taught in the English Department at Radford University since 1989. He is the author of The Blueberry Years, A Memoir of Farm and Family, and winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. Minick has also written a collection of essays, Finding a Clear Path, two books of poetry, Her Secret Song and Burning Heaven, and he edited All There Is to Keep by Rita Riddle. In 2008, the Virginia College Bookstore Association awarded Burning Heaven the Jefferson Cup for best book of the year. His poem “I Dream a Bean” was picked by Claudia Emerson for permanent display at the new Tysons Corner/Metrorail Station. Minick’s work has appeared in many publications including Shenandoah, Orion, San Francisco Chronicle, Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Conversations with Wendell Berry, The Sun, Appalachian Journal, Bay Journal News, and Wind, and for thirteen years, he wrote a monthly column for The Roanoke Times New River Current. His website is

George Santopietro; Faculty Associate – College of Business and Economics

Professor of Economics

Dr. George D Santopietro is the Associate Dean of the College of
Business and Economics and a Professor of Economics. His field of
specialization is Natural Resource and Environmental Economics. Other areas of interest in teaching and research include Law and Economics,Teaching of Economics and Regional Growth. He has a B.S. in Economics from The George Washington University, an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota and the Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Virginia Tech. He has been at Radford University since 1987. He has served as an advisor in various capacities to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Nature Conservancy.

Julio Stephens; Associate – Facilities Management

Sustainability Coordinator for RU sustainABILITY, Facilities Administration/Operations

Julio Stephens was hired as Radford University’s first SustainABILITY Coordinator in 2008.  In this position, he is responsible for campus sustainABILITY efforts including resource conservation, policy development, and meeting the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment requirements including development of the campus Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Action Plan.  Julio received a B.S. in Biology from Radford University and is completing an M.S. in Corporate & Professional Communication.  He has spent time working with various environmentally-based positions including public and private institutions.  Most recently, he was an Architectural Designer at a Fortune 500 company.  Julio is a LEED-Accredited Professional and a member of the USGBC-SWVA Chapter (as is Radford University).

Mark Wagstaff, Faculty Associate – Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

Professor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism

Dr. Wagstaff coordinates the outdoor recreation concentration in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. He is a Master Educator for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. His field experience includes professional river guiding, North Carolina Outward Bound School field instructor, and Wilderness Education Association instructor. Mark’s passion revolves around educating outdoor users to be responsible environmental stewards. He has co-authored text books such as Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice, the Backcountry
Classroom: Lessons, Tools and Activities for Teaching Outdoor Leaders,
and Technical Skills for Adventure Programming.





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