Fall classes are rolling, and the department is looking forward to the Harvest Festival in Hensel Park starting at 5:30 on October 16. We have a lot of excitement for the implementation of our new curriculum and are still working to make sure all the classes are covered for this spring. Our clubs seem to really be stepping forward this year. Kudos to the mentors and students.
I have had some great conversations with some of our former students about the opportunities for linking with our department more in their current positions. Joann Meyers-Cox will be President of SAF this year. Joel Hambright continues to play a critical role in providing internships for our students. Several with the USFS have expressed interest in intern programs and hiring our students. Dr. Urs Kreuter is hosting Barrett Durst from the Big Bend Ranch State Park this weekend for the football game. Thanks to Judith Turlington, Diana Joan-Crider, and Chris Wilson for facilitating these meetings.
We wish Dr. Krutovsky and his family the best as they transition to his new position in Germany. The new position is a tremendous opportunity for him and we look forward to ongoing interaction. Dr. Mark Tjoelker from the University of Western Sydney was back in town last week and his visit really brings out how much ESSM and A&M has contributed to world leadership in our science.
For those who missed the Dean's award ceremony we were well represented with David Briske receiving the Research award and a special thanks to those that nominated me for the administration award. The Fall Convocation took a different approach this year, with an opportunity to interact with our leadership in an informal setting. I encourage you all to put it on your calendar next fall.
A special thanks to Andy Crane for getting the building ready for our retreat, to Jim Gan for leading and to all of you and our administration for participation. While only a start to developing our strategy as a department and preparing for our Forestry reaccreditation it was a very good meeting. A special shout to those that provided the logistics, lunch and interspersed a farewell reception.
I need to express my appreciation to Cheryl Yeager and her team, Dr. Tom Boutton and Dr. Mort Kothmann for keeping me on target and providing valuable advice and to Dr. Robert Lyons for stepping in to assist with leadership of Extension. We meet regularly and if you don't catch me share your ideas or concerns with them. Thanks to all the faculty for stepping up and creating a vision for moving forward. We had great discussions with Geography on spatial science programs thanks to this kind of leadership.
I attended the advanced leadership training kick-off for the fall and was pleased to see us represented by both our Department and the Texas State Forest Service. I look forward to seeing many of you at the COADC event Saturday at 8 am.
As I write this I am returning from Arkansas where I participated in a regional department heads meeting. Seem to be a lot of Arkansas fans on the plane.
Gig 'em! Dr. David Baltensperger