Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday that University of Florida scientist Tom Frazer will be the state’s first Chief Science Officer.
Frazer will lead efforts to address some of Florida’s most critical environmental challenges, including red tide and harmful algal blooms, which have impacted millions of Floridians, said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and head of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
A respected researcher and leader in the scientific community, Frazer is well positioned to make a positive impact on Florida, Payne said.
“Dr. Frazer will bring the breadth and depth of research and expertise from UF/IFAS to this new assignment,” Payne said. “As a land-grant institution, this is what we’ve been doing for more than 100 years — using our knowledge to partner with state and local governments to improve the lives of all Floridians.”
Working with the governor’s staff, state agencies and a state-wide task force, Frazer will work to find science-based solutions to environmental issues important to Florida residents, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
“It’s a great honor to be asked to serve in this role, and I’m ready to start working with state leaders and our best researchers to protect our water and our environment,” Frazer said.
This won’t be the first time Frazer has headed a diverse team to tackle complex problems. As director of the UF/IFAS School of Natural Resources and Environment, Frazer led faculty members from 56 departments across 12 colleges, who worked on issues ranging from transitioning to renewable energy systems, preventing pollution, protecting biodiversity and climate change.
Frazer will retain his faculty appointment at UF while serving as Chief Science Officer.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.