SEES-ing the moment

The new School of Earth and Environmental Science (SEES), created by the merger of the former Department of Geology and the Program in Environmental Science and Regional Planning, recently announced its new leadership. Serving as interim director is Steve Bollens, professor and director of Science Programs at Washington State University Vancouver.

“The timing is perfect for the creation of SEES,” said Bollens. “We are very excited about how the dynamic at WSU is building in concert with national and international trends.

“Geology had strengths in physical sciences, and Environmental Sciences had strengths in biological and social sciences. By bringing the two together, we can create connections, integration and collaboration between the two and beyond.

“Earth, oceanic and atmospheric research questions are being thought of in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary ways. SEES should be very well positioned to step into new research and funding opportunities.”

Bollens will maintain his office in Vancouver and establish a second office in Webster 1228, in the former geology department offices. Two associate directors will assist with administrative duties. Professor David Gaylord, a geologist, will assist with research and graduate studies issues, and Richard Gill, assistant professor and environmental scientist, will handle undergraduate studies. Karen Libey, located in Webster, heads the office staff in the areas of finance and personnel, while Elaine O’Fallon, located in Troy 308, is in charge of student services.

SEES is housed in the College of Sciences and was approved on May 5 by the WSU Board of Regents. The school will continue to offer a full range of degrees in geology and environmental sciences.

“We look to expand curricula and to strengthen existing opportunities to collaborate within these degrees and with other units,” said Bollens.
SEES has 13 faculty members and instructors on the Pullman campus, three professors at WSU Vancouver and two adjunct professors at WSU Tri-Cities.