Virginia Dale is a landscape ecologist known for her work on recovery after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, quantitative definitions of progress toward sustainable energy and agriculture, and ecosystem management in the context of large disturbances and climate change. She spent 34 year at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she is a Corporate Fellow Emeritus, and in 2018 transitioned to the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee. Virginia has authored 11 books and more than 250 published articles. She has served on national scientific advisory boards for five agencies of the United States and several committees of the National Academies of Science. She was among the members of the international science community that contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Scientific Assessment that in 2007 received with Al Gore the Nobel Peace Prize. She was selected as the Distinguished Landscape Ecologist of the US chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE) in 2013. She was the 2006 Distinguished Scientist for ORNL, YWCA of Knoxville Tribute to Women Finalist in 2006, distinguished alumnae of her high school in 2004, and Top Citizen of Oak Ridge in 1999.