Director's Message - T.H. DeLucaDear Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, Friends, and Colleagues:
Welcome and warm greetings from the Director’s Office of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences! My appointment as the inaugural director of the School marks a significant milestone in our transition into the College of the Environment. While we are still realizing exactly what it means to function as part of the College, the step of appointing a director is finally complete. Although the transition presented its share of challenges and obstacles, careful guidance on the part of emeritus Dean Bruce Bare and interim Directors Tom Hinckley and Steve West made this transition as smooth as possible.
Both natural ecosystems and human constructs constantly experience change. The recent fire at Pack Forest reminds us that nothing is static and that change yields new opportunities. Immediately following the fire several of us began discussing research and teaching opportunities availed by the fire. Our inclusion into the College of the Environment represents a significant change and also an incredible opportunity to increase our breadth and capacity for the type of interdisciplinary research and teaching needed to tackle the complexities of problems we will face in the 21st Century.
In our role as a School, I want to emphasize our need to embrace our past and build upon the knowledge created by generations of graduates and their mentors. Throughout our history, we provided our students with the most current approaches to natural resource management and timber production and utilization. From their efforts and from our ever expanding understanding of natural and managed landscapes, our approach and emphasis has evolved, but our objectives to provide students with the best possible education in natural resource sciences remain unchanged.
The students that graduate from our degree programs today leave the School with a unique and functional set of tools that equip them to take on a broad array of applied questions and challenges in a diversity of areas including conservation, forest management, bioengineering, and ecological restoration. Their education is dependent upon the free exchange of ideas between individuals and groups that continues well beyond the granting of the degree. In that spirit, I invite our alumni to contribute to the education of our current students as well as continue their own education by engaging with the School regularly.
I look forward to meeting each of you over the coming year. Here is to our history and our future!
Director Tom DeLuca
September 24, 2012