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DeSantis Taps UF's Thomas K. Frazer as Florida's First Chief Science Officer

April 1, 2019 - 3:15pm
DeSantis names Frazer Monday in West Palm Beach
DeSantis names Frazer Monday in West Palm Beach

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday the appointment of Thomas K. Frazer, Ph.D., as Florida’s first chief science officer. Joining DeSantis at the announcement in West Palm Beach were Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein and state environmental organization leaders.

On Jan. 10, DeSantis announced major water policy reforms for the state by signing Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment). Among many other initiatives, the executive order called for the appointment of a chief science officer to coordinate and prioritize scientific data, research, monitoring and analysis needs to ensure alignment with current and emerging environmental concerns most pressing to Floridians. 

Thomas K. Frazer
Thomas K. Frazer
“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,” said the governor. “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.”

“We are excited to have Dr. Frazer join our team and lead the effort to ensure sound science is at the forefront of our mission to achieving more now for Florida’s environment,” said DEP Secretary Valenstein. “Dr. Frazer’s impressive background and connection to our state’s leading research institutions will be the perfect addition. Through collaboration and science as our foundation, we are on the path to meaningful improvement for Florida’s water quality.”

Responded Frazer, “I am incredibly honored by this appointment and I thank Governor DeSantis for naming me Florida’s first chief science officer. Our environment and waterways make Florida unique. I look forward to working with the governor and the Department of Environmental Protection on ways we can use sound science and research to improve our state’s water quality and protect the environment.”

Since 2012, Frazer has served as the director of the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and previously served as acting director of the UF Water Institute. Prior to this position, he served as associate director of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the leader of the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program. 

At UF, his research has focused on the effects of anthropogenic activities on the ecology of both freshwater and marine ecosystems. He currently serves as chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. He received his B.S. in marine fisheries from Humboldt State University, his M.S. in fisheries and aquatic sciences from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of California Santa Barbara.


Never heard of this guy. Were did he come from and why did Governor Desantis appoint him?

Dr Frazer is a homerun appointment

Then why is Rick Scott’s own leader of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection still in place? Come on Governor.

Ty Gov DeSantis for taking care of our environment. Florida needs clean water!!!!

Prior to this appointment the only Chief Science Officer was a Mr. Spock who proudly served on The USS Enterprise under Captian James Tiberius Kirk.

They work for me

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