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WVU Davis College welcomes new faculty to School of Natural Resources, School of Design and Community Development

The West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design is pleased to welcome three new faculty members – Sophan “Steve” Chhin, Debanjan Das and Christopher Lituma – to its School of Natural Resources and School of Design and Community Development.

Steve Chhin, Natural ResourcesSteve Chhin, assistant professor in forest resources management in the School of Natural Resources, specializes in quantitative forest management. His research focuses on the sustainable management of forest resources by utilizing quantitative tools that lead to a better understanding of how forest management practices and environmental factors influence above-ground forest productivity and forest regeneration. Ensuring that forests are resilient to climate change and changes in forest disturbance agents, including fire, insects and fungal pathogens, is of particular interest to Chhin.

Prior to his WVU appointment, Chhin taught at Michigan State University. He received his doctorate degree in forest biology and management from the University of Alberta; a master’s in ecology from the University of Manitoba; and a bachelor’s in biology and biochemistry from the University of Winnipeg.

Debanjan Das, Design and Community Development, FDMDebanjan Das, assistant professor in fashion, dress and merchandising in the School of Design and Community Development, specializes in teaching sourcing, supply chain and fashion retailing. His research program investigates the apparel industry from the social and economic viewpoint, as well as apparel labor economics, international trade policies and organizational structure analysis.  

Das, whose academic career has remained centered on fashion merchandising and apparel management, earned a doctorate in human environmental sciences from the University of Missouri; a master’s in textile and apparel management from the University of Missouri; and a bachelor’s degree from the National Institute of Fashion Technology.  

Christopher LitumaChristopher Lituma, assistant professor in wildlife and fisheries resources in the School of Natural Resources, earned a doctorate in natural resources from The University of Tennessee; a master’s in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University; and a bachelor’s in biology from Millersville University. His postdoctoral research focused on impacts of patch-burn grazing management in native warm-season grass pastures on bird communities and nest success, as well as how the establishment of switchgrass monocultures can impact avian and pollinator communities.  

Lituma teaches vertebrate natural history and ornithology, and will continue to focus on applied conservation research related to bird populations. 

Pictured above, top to bottom: Sophan "Steve" Chhin, Debanjan Das and Christopher Lituma