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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

OSU’s Keith Owens named DASNR associate vice president

STILLWATER, Okla. – Keith Owens has been selected to the position of associate vice president with Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Owens’ primary responsibilities will be to provide leadership for and oversight of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system, one of two state agencies administered by DASNR.

“OAES is the official research arm of the division and typically accounts for more than a third of all research undertaken by OSU on an annual basis,” said Thomas Coon, DASNR vice president, dean and director.  “OAES research expenditures total more than $50 million annually and focus on agriculture, natural resources, rural economic development and social issues of importance to Oklahoma and beyond.”

More than 100 Ph.D.-level faculty members are funded at least partially by OAES. Numerous Experiment Station research laboratories and facilities are located throughout the university’s Stillwater campus. Additionally, OAES operates field, greenhouse and research facilities at 18 outlying stations and centers located across the state.

“The importance of being able to conduct needed research under local conditions cannot be overstated,” Coon said. “A key element of OSU’s land-grant mission is to help Oklahomans solve local issues and concerns, and the ability to do that effectively is based on being able to provide accurate research-based knowledge so that informed decisions can be made.”

Owens had been serving as interim associate director of OAES prior to being officially approved as associate vice president of DASNR by the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges during the board’s June 19 meeting. Owens was selected as part of a search process that considered and interviewed candidates from across the United States.

Coon believes the people of Oklahoma and the region are fortunate to have Owens working on their behalf.

“Dr. Owens’ lifetime achievements as an educator, researcher and administrator have provided significant benefits to the public, especially in regards to the field of range management,” Coon said. “His work has enhanced science-based knowledge necessary to managing natural resources in ways that employ sound business practices while also promoting good environmental stewardship.”

Owens’ accomplishments have been so significant that he was named a Fellow by the international Society of Range Management earlier this year, the most prestigious honor awarded by the organization.

“Dr. Owens’ leadership experience as well as his applied research programs and successful extramural funding record make him well qualified for the position of associate vice president,” Coon said.

A DASNR faculty member since August of 2007, Owens joined OSU after being selected by national search to serve as head of the division’s department of natural resources ecology and management. Owens came to the university from the Texas A&M University system, where he served in several important leadership roles with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station from 1987 to 2007.

In addition to the Society for Range Management, his professional affiliations include membership in The Wildlife Society, Society of American Foresters, Ecological Society of America and American Geophysical Union. He is president-elect of the National Association of Fish and Wildlife Programs.

Owens was a double major as an undergraduate student, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in both forest management and range management at the University of Idaho in 1977. He earned his Master of Science degree in range management at the University of Wyoming in 1981. Owens earned his doctoral degree in range science from Utah State University in 1987.

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REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Donald Stotts
DASNR News and Media Relations
Agricultural Communications Services
143 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4079
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: donald.stotts@okstate.edu  

Oklahoma State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local governments cooperating; Oklahoma State University in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures, and is an equal opportunity employer.

 

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