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Brian Sloss succeeds Christine Thomas as College of Natural Resources dean

May 21, 2020
A headshot of Dean Brian Sloss.

An associate dean in the College of Natural Resources has been selected as the next dean of the nationally acclaimed college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. 

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 several outreach, Extension 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 UW-Stevens Point.

While with 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. 

Sloss said he is honored to become the dean. “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. Our interdisciplinary, talented faculty and staff educate dedicated and passionate students,” he said. “I am proud of our CNR legacy and reputation and look forward to helping lead our way into our next half century.”

A native of Monmouth, Ill., he earned his bachelor’s degree in ecology, ethology and evolution at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, master’s in biology from Western Illinois University, and his PhD 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 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.