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Auburn University approves College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment name change to better reflect college’s diverse programs

Published: May 10, 2022
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The Auburn University Board of Trustees officially approved the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ name change to the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment during its April 22 meeting.

The word “environment” was adopted to better reflect the breadth of academic, research, outreach and extension programs currently supported by the college related to environmental management, science and policy, according to Dean Janaki Alavalapati.

Since 2016, the college has launched four new undergraduate degrees and several graduate programs, including majors such as geospatial and environment informatics; sustainable biomaterials and packaging; and wildlife enterprise management.

New minors will be launched this year to pair with its natural resources management degree and other programs on campus, including environmental law, coastal management, urban forestry, forest health and forest seedling nursery management.

The college’s research footprint has also diversified to include environmental factors influencing forest and wildlife management, drought and climate variability and disease ecology, as well as forest health, conservation and the economics and policy of natural resources.

The renaming demonstrates the college’s strategic initiative to offer programs that integrate traditional disciplines with the growing field of environmental sciences, theories and problem solving to meet the emerging needs of industry and government.

“The name change will raise awareness of the college’s expanded platforms among prospective faculty and students as a new perception of the college becomes established,” Alavalapati said.

“Just as important, we anticipate this change will enhance the college’s visibility and competitiveness for extramural funding among its peer institutions.”

The college, formerly known as the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, was designated a college on Feb. 22.

The Auburn University College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is a flagship institution for natural resources-based degrees including natural resource management, geospatial and environmental informatics and sustainable biomaterials and packaging. The school serves as the backbone for Alabama’s $30 billion-plus forest, wildlife and natural resources related enterprises. Its mission is to create next-generation professionals and leaders, to develop new knowledge and disseminate science-based solutions to our clientele to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of citizens in Alabama and beyond.

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