Virginia Tech® home

Adam Downing

Extension Agent, Forestry (housed in Madison Co.), Agriculture and Natural Resources
Extension Agent, Forestry (housed in Madison Co.), Agriculture and Natural Resources
Virginia’s natural resources are varied and valuable. The Northwest District Natural
Resources Extension Program focuses on the renewable and perpetual resources related
to trees and forests. Perpetual resources, such as clean air and water, are linked to large
forest tracts as well as individual street trees. Timber and wildlife are renewable and
contribute to economic and social well-being. Extension programming enhances and
sustains these resources for all Virginians through a variety of efforts that have one or
more of the following goals: Ecosystem Integrity, Individual Capacity Building and
Industry Viability. These broad range goals are incorporated across a suite of six
programming initiatives: Community Forestry & Arboriculture Education, Natural
Resource Professionals Outreach, Private Forest Landowner Education, Natural
Resources at the Interface, 4-H Youth Education and General Public Awareness.
Since 2001 Adam has worked as a regional Forestry and Natural Resources Extension
Agent serving the people and communities of Virginia’s Northern Piedmont and
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His professional expertise is in providing informal
education regarding forestry and natural resources to address current issues in rural,
urban, and rural/urban interface areas to home & landowners, professionals, decision-
makers, and the general public. His mission is to enable people to make best decisions
regarding the forest & natural resources, within their realm of influence, resulting in
environmentally sustainable management, growth, and quality of life for that person and
that community.



M.S. Forest Resources, Penn State. 1999.

B.S. Forest Management, Purdue University. 1993.

Certified Arborist MA-4922A. 2008

Certified Pesticide Applicator Certificate # 90891-G. 2003.


2001 to present.  Extension Agent – Natural Resources, Northern District Natural Resources. Virginia Cooperative Extension

1998 – 2001.  Extension Agent - Forestry/4-H, Northwest District. Penn State Cooperative Extension

1996 – 1998.  Graduate Teaching Assistant. School of Forest Resources, Penn State.

1994 – 1996.  District Agro-Forestry Extension Specialist. United State Peace Corps.

1994 – 1994.  Assistant District Forester. Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.

Professional Associations

National Association of County Agricultural Agents, 1998-present

Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals, 1998-present

Society of American Foresters, 1996-present

Selected Awards

2021. Society of American Foresters Technology Transfer Award 

2020. Fellow. Society of AMerican Foresters

2020. Virginia Forestry Association Disinguished Service Award

2018. Fellow. Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institude 

2013. Andy Swiger Land-Grant Award. VT College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 

2012. June Sckoll Media Award. Virginia Association of Soil & Water Cons. Districts 

2011.  Gold Award:  Video/DVD/CD. ANREP.

2010.  Merit Award. Appalachian Society of American Foresters.

2009.  Extension Excellence Program Award - New Initiatives. VCE

2008.  Silver Award. Extension Publication. Southern Regional Extension Forestry.

2007.  National Winner:  Communication Award, Publication. NACAA.

2007.  Young Forester Leadership Award. Appalachian Society of American Foresters.

2006.  Gold Award:  Refereed Journal Article. ANREP.

2005.  Gold Award:  Radio. ANREP

2004.  Gold Award:  Newsletter/Series of Articles. ANREP

Selected Publications

Copenheaver, C.A., van de Gevel, S.L., Downing, A.K., and Coates, T.A. 2022.
Reducing the risk of sexual misconduct at dendrochronology conferences and workshops.
Tree-Ring Research.
Copenheaver, C.A., Coates, T.A., Downing, A.K., and van de Gevel, S.L. 2021. Best
instructional practices for outdoor laboratories: Reducing sexual harassment risk.
NACTA Journal 65:322-327.
Wilkens, P., J.F. Munsell, J.H. Fike, G.J. Pent, G.E. Frey, B.J. Addlestone, and A.K.
Downing. 2021. Thinning Forests or Planting Fields? Producer Preferences for
Establishing Silvopasture. Agroforestry Systems.
Gagnon, J., Downing, A., Mountain, T., & Santucci, M. 2020. Legacy Planning: A Guide
for Virginia Landowners (CNRE-121P). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Fike, J. H., Downing, A., Munsell, J., Daniel, J. B., Teutsch, C., Mercier, K., & Pent, G.
J. 2016. Creating silvopastures – Some considerations when thinning existing timber
stands. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication CSES-155P. Blacksburg, VA.
Stevens, G. R., R. L. Smith and A. Downing. 2014. International study abroad
experiences with agents and students: A case study in Belize. Journal of Extension.
February 2014. Volume 52. Number 1. 11pgs.
Munsell, J., R. Hamilton, A. Downing. 2010. Sustainable Forest Education Program
Seeks to Reach the Next Generation of Forest Stewards. CSA News (55)2, 47-50.
Kays, J.; A.K. Downing; J. Finley. 2009. Backyard Woodlots: Filling the Small Acreage
Service Provider Gap with the Green Industry. In: Piatek, K.B., B.D. Spong, S. Harrison,
and D.W. McGill. 2009. Seeing the Forest Beyond the Trees: New possibilities and
expectations for products and services from small-scale forestry. Proceedings of the 2009
IUFRO 3.08 Small-Scale Forestry Symposium. June 2009, Morgantown, WV, United
States: West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.].
Downing, A., J. Kays, J. Finley. 2007. Education of Backyard Woods Owners for
Management of a Neglected Resource. In: Laband, D.N., ed. Proceedings of Emerging
Issues Along Urban/Rural Interfaces 2. Atlanta, GA: Auburn University Press: 76-79.
Kays, J. J. Drohan, A. Downing, J. Finley. 2006. The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning
to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home. Ithaca, NY: Natural
Resources, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. NRAES-184.
Downing, A. 2006. Extension Forestry Serving Virginia’s Private Forest Landowners.
Virginia Forests. 62(1): 8-10.
Downing, A. and J. Finley. 2005. Private Forest Landowners: What they want in an
educational Program. Journal of Extension. 7 pp.].
Downing, A. 2005. Wildlife Neighbors: In your backyard and in your forest. Forest
Landowner. 63(3): 14-15.