The School of Forest Resources and Conservation changed its name to the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences to better represent the school’s programs and work, Terrell “Red” Baker, the school’s director, said.
A name change was suggested after the School of Forest Resources and Conservation absorbed two programs. In 2004, the geomatics program from the College of Engineering joined the school, and the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences joined it four years later, Baker said.
The former vice president of IFAS, Jack Payne, put Baker in charge of moving forward with the name change process, said Scott Sager, forester, assistant director of the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences and UF graduate.
“The first reason we wanted to change our name was to provide the appropriate visibility and recognition of those other programs,” Baker said.
The last time a college changed its name was in May 2014, when the UF College of Fine Arts changed its name to the College of the Arts.
Baker said he and his colleagues began the process of officially renaming the school about three years ago, when they formed a committee of faculty, staff and representatives from the school’s outside stakeholders. The committee reached out to students, partner programs at UF, stakeholders, alumni, its funding agencies and state and federal agencies it’s partnered with to get a variety of input for the process.
Sager believes the new name better represents the school’s mission. The old name was forest-focused, he said, but the new one recognizes the work done in the areas of fisheries and geomatics.
“It broadens us,” Sager said. “It recognizes these other groups and their critical role in what we do.”
Because of the name change, Sager said, he plans to get new business cards and help change signs in the school. But more importantly, he said, the school’s outreach will change.
“I think this will make it easier for folks out there to find us, folks who have questions, folks that need help,” Sager said.
Contact J.P. Oprison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @joprison.
J.P. is a third year UF journalism student. He is currently a university news assistant for The Alligator.