Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Dr. Thomas K. Frazer as Chief Science Officer

photo of Tom Frazer in the field with blue skies and palm trees in the background
Thomas K. Frazer (photo credit: Florida Climate Institute)

Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of University of Florida’s Dr. Thomas K. Frazer as Florida’s first “Chief Science Officer.”

Creation of the position is part of Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment) signed by Governor DeSantis in January.

“As one of Florida’s leading environmental researchers, Dr. Frazer understands the unique water issues facing our state and the actions we must take to solve them. Since day one, my administration has been laser focused on addressing our pressing environmental challenges and commitment to science-based solutions. With science at the center, Florida can lead the world in environmental innovation and water quality improvement.”

Governor Ron DeSantis
Dr. Tom Frazer collects seagrass along Florida’s Gulf coast in an effort to better understand the effects of excess nutrients and other contaminants on their health. ( 2010 Annual Research Report Photo. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones)

The choice of Dr. Frazer has met with praise from Florida’s leading environmentalists.

Yesterday’s announcement reflects Dr. Frazer’s impressive credentials and an equally impressive priority for science. Dr. Frazer is one of the nation’s premiere researchers, one who is well acquainted with the unique water challenges facing Florida. Governor DeSantis’ appointment of a Chief Science Officer is itself a historic occasion, one that signals that sound science will be at the core of Florida policy affecting the environment.

Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation

With our solid foundation in science as our guiding conservation principle, we thank Governor DeSantis for his bold hiring of Dr. Frazer to the position of Chief Science Officer for the state of Florida. In our long partnership with Secretary Valenstein and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and now more broadly with Dr. Frazer, we look forward to additional opportunities to serve the citizens of and visitors to Florida.

Temperince Morgan, Executive Director of the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy
Thomas K Frazer (photo credit: University of Florida)

Thomas K. Frazer is a Professor and the Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries Biology, a Master’s Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. According to his resume, Dr. Frazer’s research “addresses contemporary and emerging environmental issues, and it is, by nature, interdisciplinary” and “has authored and/or co-authored more than 175 peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and book chapters.”