College of Natural Resources announces new dean

Metro Wire Staff

The College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point has selected its next dean.

Brian Sloss, associate dean of Outreach, Extension, and Extramural Funds, will become dean of the college, effective July 1. He succeeds Christine Thomas, who has served as dean since 2005.

As associate dean since 2014, Sloss has been involved in many UW-Extension, outreach, and community engagement collaborations. He joined UW-Stevens Point in 2002 as assistant unit leader of the Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and UWSP.

While with the fishery research unit, he established the college’s Molecular Conservation Genetics Laboratory focused on applied genetic research in fisheries, wildlife, and other resources. The laboratory continues to be a key partner with state, regional, and national agencies in Great Lakes and freshwater fisheries management efforts.

“For 50 years, the CNR has consistently produced natural resources, paper science, and chemical engineering leaders, known for their ability to understand, enhance, protect, and manage the world’s resources,” Sloss said in a news release. “Our interdisciplinary, talented faculty and staff educate dedicated and passionate students.”

A native of Monmouth, Ill., he earned his bachelor’s degree in ecology, theology, and evolution at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, master’s in biology from Western Illinois University and his Ph.D. in zoology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

“As we congratulate Brian on his new role, I want to acknowledge the remarkable, steady leadership provided by Christine Thomas,” said Greg Summers, provost, and vice-chancellor of Academic Affairs. “To say we will miss her wisdom and guidance is a profound understatement.”

Thomas has served as a professor of resource management for nearly 40 years. She developed the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, designed to teach women outdoor skills in 1991, which has grown to international fame. She held national conservation appointments under the George W. Bush and Obama administrations and served on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board as well as numerous conservation groups. She was inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in 2017.