Virginia Dale was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, where her family roots go back to 1798. After obtaining degrees in mathematics at the University of Tennessee and mathematical ecology at the University of Washington, she taught on the west coast for a few years before returning to Tennessee where she worked for three decades in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and recently transitioned to the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee. Her research focuses on environmental decision making, sustainability of agricultural and energy systems, and plant succession (continuing to follow her 37 years of ecosystem reestablishment in the aftermath of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens).



Quantifying progress toward sustainable energy & agricultural landscapes


University of Washington

PhD Mathematical ecology

Ecosystem management in the context of large disturbances & climate change 

Successsion & ecosystem reestblishment


University of Tennessee

MS Mathematics with a minor in ecology

BA Mathematics


Vanderbilt University

Studies in mathematics, sociology &  poltical science