Michael Blazier has been tapped to serve as the new dean for the University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources. He has also been named director of the Arkansas Forest Resources Center.
Blazier is only the second dean for the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources. He will be succeeding Dr. Philip Tappe, who retired in December 2020; Dr. Robert Ficklin has served as interim dean. Blazier is set to begin the role on July 1, 2021.
“Dr. Blazier is bringing a wealth of experience in research, extension and teaching, which will be an asset to the college and the Arkansas Forest Resources Center,” Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture, for the University of Arkansas System, said in a statement. “He has already worked with the faculty and our stakeholders in the state. He is also very familiar with the management issues of our southern forests. We are very excited about the leadership that he will provide to the programs in forestry, wildlife and agriculture.”
He joins the UA System and UAM from Louisiana State University, where he served as a forestry project leader in the LSU AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station, in addition to serving as a professor. In this role, he oversaw forest research, extension programs and managed 500 acres of Louisiana timber.
In his new role, Blazier will oversee the UAM college and the Arkansas Forest Resources Center, which has projects on forest health, climate, watershed protection and more.
“Since early in my career, I’ve collaborated regularly with UAM faculty, and I’ve always been impressed with their teamwork, perseverance in getting research funding and implementing the projects, and the resources they had available to conduct the research. I also have family ties to the area, so I look at this position as a chance to work with a great group of faculty and staff with the added benefit of doing so on my ‘home turf.’ Add to that the natural and agricultural resources Arkansas offers – and the opportunities to help the College and Center achieve high impacts in their mission seem endless,” Blazier said.
Blazier holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Louisiana Tech University, and he has both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in forestry from Oklahoma State University.