SAFE Grant Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Shea Tuberty

Dr. Shea Tuberty

Professor and Assistant Chair, Department of Biology
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient
Project: “The New River Symposium a Biannual Regional Multidisciplinary Forum”

Funding from a SAFE grant supported Tuberty’s efforts to compile various stakeholders for the April 2019 New River Symposium, held at the Turchin Center for Visual Arts at Appalachian State University. The event was co-sponsored by the New River Conservancy, the Departments of Biology, Geography and Planning, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Sustainable Development and the Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics (RIEEE). This symposium created opportunities to correspond with social scientists, historians, artists and community leaders within the greater New River watershed area including North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. 

This symposium provided a platform for sharing information on ongoing research projects, developments specific to the New River and opportunities to discover collaborators for future projects. Over a hundred attendees participated including six represented universities, twenty-one attended organizations and forty-three students. Over thirty five presentations from students and professionals were shared over the two days the symposium ran and can be viewed through Virginia Tech’s VTechworks Archives

The inclusive nature of the conference planning, external sponsors and free attendance for students made possible by support from Appalachian, made this the largest New River Symposium to date. The talks given at the symposium enhanced classroom topics at Appalachian by applying real world examples that have occured right on campus. 

"This was a wonderful event for learning about all things related to the watershed we all call home. The session in which I participated was one of my all-time favorites because all the presentations focused on topics dear to my heart. I thank the CAS SAFE grant program for helping this event happen free to students and I look forward to the next time we can host the symposium!" said Tuberty.


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Department of Biology
The Department of Biology is a community of teacher-scholars, with faculty representing the full breadth of biological specializations — from molecular genetics to landscape/ecosystem ecology. The department seeks to produce graduates with sound scientific knowledge, the skills to create new knowledge, and the excitement and appreciation of scientific discovery. Learn more at

Compiled and written by Barclay Ann Blankenship and Ellen Gwin Burnette
July 29, 2020

SAFE Grant Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Shea Tuberty
Published: Jul 29, 2020 9:28am