Rural System's

About Us - Advisors and Participants

From conversations with students and faculty at Virginia Tech beginning in 1980, there have been many advisors for Rural System and its parts. All have been interested in the objectives communicated and have helped in many ways. Their patience and assistance have been essential and appreciated.

In 2010 the Rural System Founder joined the Virginia Tech KnowledgeWorks and Virginia Tech EarthWorks and gained access to many valued advisors.

The list of advisors continues to grow and, with their permission, we have added names of those with whom we now actively correspond and seek other advice, insights, and leads to how we may achieve our multiple objectives for rural people, their environment and resources, ... and the rest of us. We invite your participation.


Bhaskar Sen
Now of West Bengal, India, Bhaskar has been developing javascript educational units for Capper 2 and actively corresponding with ideas, making local contacts, and seeking alternative applications of the Rural System concepts in parks and wildlife areas throughout India. He has a B.Sc. (Biological Sciences) from Calcutta University in 1991, diverse computer skills, GIS experience and certification, and wildlife transect Sampling for large herbivore Populations inside Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Karnataka. He has worked with the Vasundhara Foundation, an Environmental NGO, in the capacity of Research Associate(Wildlife Ecology).(
Dale Black
Blacksburg, Virginia. Treasured general advisor; LandCare expert; participant in Grayson Land Care; chairman of Grayson Land Care watershed committee.
Britt Boucher
M.S., Forest Economist, President of Foresters, Inc., Blacksburg, national leader in developing modern approaches to forest inventory and management including the "Two Dog" forest inventory system; Smartwood certified; participant in internation Forest Stewardship efforts; member,New River Land Trust board of directors.
Ellen Brown
Three masters degrees: in German(UVA), Liberal Arts (UNC Asheville), and History;masters in history from Virginia Tech in 2003, work in Virginia frontier history (Mary Draper Ingles, et al), and in the Civil Rights Era (Christiansburg Institute, etc.); Glencoe Museum (Radford) director; Director, Reynolds Homestead (Patrick County). Authored History of the School of Forestry, Virginia Tech.
Marie Cirillo
Following requests from Dr. Charles Buffington, formerly of TVA, Project Pivotal Rig was suggested to Ms. Cirillo. Over many years we have attempted to get that project and concept started. Ms. Cirillo has been a loyal correspondent and advisor as we worked to find the economic base for the people of the Clearfork.

In the early 1960s, while living in Cincinnati as a member of the Glenmary Sisters, Marie Cirillo witnessed the consequences of the migration of people leaving Appalachia for the promise of city jobs. She decided to relocate to a rural community where she could help address the underlying causes of the migration.

In 1967 Ms. Cirillo moved to her present home of Clairfield, Tennessee, (Woodland Community Land Trust, 281 Roses Creek Road, Clairfield, TN 37715) where absentee owners had stripped the land of its best resources to sell in the global marketplace and then abandoned the local people and the land. There she co-founded Woodland Community Land Trust, which has acquired 400 acres, which support human settlement and forest restoration. To encourage further regional self-sufficiency and land reclamation work she founded the Woodland Community Development Corporation, the Mountain Women's Exchange, and Appalachian-Based Community Development Education , ABCDE. She has served as executive director of Rural American Women and has been a founding member of other national and regional organizations (e.g., Just Connections) working to give voice to the people and concerns of small rural communities.

James (Tim) Clontz,
"Clontz, James" , Small Business Administration
Dr. Andrew Dolloff
U.S. Forest Service cold water fishery and watershed advisor.
Stan Grigsby
former PhD candidate, Kansas land owner, general systems theory interest; Kanzan enterprise to assiat projects in Tanzania, Africa with a colleague there.
Dr. Hollister A. Hartman
retired Principal Systems Engineer, Tactical Systems and Solutions, SAIC, Science Applications International Corporation, 7990 Science Applications Circle, MS CV-61, Vienna, VA 22182-3925. now small farm owner, Boones Mill, Virginia;
Sarah Beth Jones,
writing Coach, the NoBS Biz Coach, PO Box 846, Floyd, VA 24091
Dr. Greg Koeln
President, MDA Federal, former PhD candidate, GIS data bases and services.
Dr. Kieran J. Lindsey
Faculty of the Northern Virginia Graduate Program of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech, Arlington, Virginia ( Coauthor of Urban Wildlife Management, Dr. Lindsey has degrees in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A and M University, College Station, Texas. She was director of a non-profit urban wildlife shelter and education center in Houston. She has done TV and newspaper work and headed a radio program in New Mexico. She's a member of the Urban Wildlife Management Working Group of The Wildlife Society.
Jon Low
financial advisor; grant administrator; US Red Cross; water well projects in Nigeria.
Russell Gregory
Philosophy department, Radford University.
Lance Morrow
Owner of Mills Arborists, Blacksburg, Virginia - advisor.
Ken Maready
corporate attorney, (see Ken worked with the Hutchison Law Group for several years before he served as General Counsel at venture-backed Integrian, Inc. and then later moved to Blacksburg where he founded his own law firm, Venture Counsel. He has now re-joined Hutchison Law Group and heads its new office in Blacksburg, Virginia. His practice focuses on representing entrepreneurial and growth companies and he has developed special expertise in working with venture capital transactions and venture-backed companies.
Mr. Wally Newton
Business Strategy and Financial Consultant working with entrepreneurs and small business. Previously CFO in Banking and Manufacturing.
Kathleen O'Hara
mathmatician, , developing Roanoke growers group for the inner city
John J. Ney, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Fisheries Ecology, formerly of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. Major interest in pond and lake fisheries.
Minong, Wisconsin
Mr. Charley Patterson
Entrepreneur with Proprietary Media Management, (1458 Brawley School Road, Mooresville, NC 28117), Charley was quick to see the Rural System potentials and has been helpful by being encouraging and suggesting contacts. (
Risa Pesapane,
PhD candidate, San Diego, CA, MS wildlife biology; disease ecology, Cabell Brand Center advisor.
Mr. Charles Putnam
Retired US Forest employee, fire control officer, involved in land use planning ( 540-382-3051)
William Sanders, Ph.D. involved with advanced topics of the Internet. Involved with the well-known Blacksburg Electronic Village, he works toward eCommunity concepts within the university. He has shared ideas and approaches, especially related to the catalog of Rural System.
Leslie Sarmiento
Master of Science, Biology , former military; biological systems; interested in garden soils, biochar, and working on a kale food plant interest
Col. Hayward B. Shepherd
Organized and then commanded the US Air Force's Space Systems School, a consortium of leading aerospace companies. The school standardized the language and concepts of the emerging science of aerospace engineering. The accomplishments of this school paved the technical road for the "man on the moon" project. His later career included being the CEO of one of the leading institutional furniture manufacturing firms, Director of Engineering of Arabian Polyfab, an Arab-owned construction and building materials manufacturing company which, at the time, was the largest of the Widdle-East oil infrastructure contractors, Director of Engineering for Timberland Industries, a major wood building materials manufacturer and now a part of Weyerhaeuser Corporation, and today, President of Shepherd Media Engineering, 111 Pheasant Lane, Summerville, SC 29485, specializing in graphic design, ebook publishing, dynamic content web sites, engineering drafting, and producing brochures and textbooks. Col. Shepherd developed one of the first ebooks in natural resource management and has contributed much time, energy, and thought to ever-changing Rural System concepts and hopes to tell the story with interactive media. He has Masters Degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Astronomy.
Laurel Sindewald, Radford, VA,;B.S. Conservation Biology, B.A. Philosophy - Warren Wilson College, blog supervisor www.; , "Toolbox" coordinator, editor.
Rob Solberg
Master of Veterinary Medicine, , interested in Rural System "sales" to land owners and general advising in area of interest (medical pumps).
Mr. Allen Sowder
Chief, Space-Based ISR Systems, Headquarters, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff,QDA,DCS, G-2, 1000 Army Pentagon, 2E383, Washington, DC 20310-1000, land owner, forester, GIS expert.
Scott E. Sink
Virginia Tech Instructor, Agricultural Business Management, 311 Hutcheson Hall, E-mail:scsink at [ ] (540) 231-3727. Scott joined the Tech faculty in 2004. His work focuses on Small Business Management, entrepreneurship, and agricultural problem solving. Scott received his MS in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech. He was born and raised on a farm in Franklin County, Virginia, and is a fifth-generation farmer whose ambitions are firmly rooted in the community. Scott has over ten years of experience in the Agricultural field. He became briefly, a Rural System advisor in 2010.
Jeff Waldon, MS Wildlife management, leader Conservatuion Management Institute, Virginias Tech, Advisor during Giles' trip to Uganda; leader in developing Natural Bridge area , Virginia, formerly with Kissito Corp.
Alan R.Wiley
Intelligence Specialist, US Army, Ft. Bragg; Ft. Benning, B.S. Business - Marketing Management from Virginia Tech in 2007, formerly with Wells Fargo, Credit Manager, marketing and sales background with interests in health and nutrition and outdoor exploration.
Dr. Tamim Younos
retired; former Interim Director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center and a Senior Research Scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Director of the Cabell Brand Center. Dr Younos completed his education in civil and environmental engineering and earned a doctorate of engineering from the University of Tokyo. His research and teaching interests include environmental hydrology, watershed assessment, and water quality standards. He has been a principal investigator for over 35 research projects and has authored more than 125 research/technical publications. He lectures internationally.
Paige Baldasarro, Diverse weekly programming and computer operation assistance, staff of ....?


September 29, 2010 2015