Van Waddill Named Senior Director Of UF Everglades And Fort Lauderdale Research And Education Centers
BELLE GLADE—Van Waddill, director of the University of Florida’s Everglades Research and Education Center (REC), has been named senior director of the Belle Glade center and the Fort Lauderdale REC. Both facilities are part of the UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
In announcing Waddill’s appointment, Mike Martin, UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said Waddill would assume the new administrative position for both centers in mid-June.
“Van Waddill has an outstanding administrative record at Belle Glade, and we are pleased that he will be able to provide additional leadership for our faculty and staff in Fort Lauderdale,” Martin said. “He will maintain offices at both locations.”
Martin said the two UF research and education centers have a total of 40 faculty and a support staff of 100.
Waddill, a professor of entomology, replaces Joan Dusky who served as interim director of the Fort Lauderdale center prior to her June 1 appointment as assistant dean of the UF’s Cooperative Extension Service in Gainesville.
Research and education at the Belle Glade center focuses on rice, sugarcane, turfgrass and vegetable production as well as environmental protection. Work at the Fort Lauderdale center is aimed at solving problems unique to the urban area, including pest control, environmental horticulture, aquatic weeds and natural resource issues such as water quality.
The Fort Lauderdale REC also offers course work for students through the UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. State universities and community colleges in the area cooperate in center education programs.
Waddill earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas A&M University in College Station, and he completed his Ph.D. in entomology at Clemson University. He joined the UF faculty in 1975, working on pest problems at the Sub-Tropical REC in Homestead. He became director of the Everglades REC in 1985.
His major accomplishments at the Everglades REC include funding for the Wedgworth laboratory building, a new soils laboratory and auditorium, and renovation of the old administration building.
During his tenure at the Everglades REC, he also served as interim district extension director for district five and interim director of the Southwest Florida REC in Immokalee.