Tuesday,  3/30/2021

On March 30th, Governor DeSantis announced that School of Geosciences Director Mark Rains would be the new Chief Science Officer for the State of Florida. Governor DeSantis established the position in January 2019, envisioning that the Chief Science Officer would serve a two-year term as the chief expert on the environment statewide and lead the newly established Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency. Dr. Rains follows Tom Frazer, USF’s Dean of Marine Sciences, who resigned earlier this month. Dr. Rains will be at the center of ongoing conversations about important statewide challenges, including sea level rise and coastal flooding, water quality and harmful algal blooms, and sustainable water-resources management. He is a Professor of Geology and the Associate Editor for Wetland and Watershed Hydrology for the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. His research is focused on hydrological connectivity, the role that hydrological connectivity plays in governing ecosystem structure and function, and the role that science plays in informing water-related law, policy, and decision-making.