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DeSantis announces UF biologist as state’s first chief science officer

Gov. Ron DeSantis created the new job in January as part of his push to clean up the state’s water.
Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis, back left, toured Everglades marshes to get a better understanding of the restoration efforts. [PATRICK FARRELL | Miami Herald]
Published Apr. 1
Updated Apr. 1

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his pick to fill the newly created job of chief science officer on Monday, tapping a University of Florida biologist whose past work specializes in how pollution affects water quality.

Thomas Frazer is currently the director of the university’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and is on the faculty advisory committee for the University of Florida Climate Institute, which researches climate change. He recently had a research paper on Florida’s algae blooms accepted for publication, according to his online resume.

At the announcement at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach, DeSantis said this appointment keeps his promise that “sound science and cutting-edge research leads our efforts to protect the environment."

Shortly after he was sworn into office in January, DeSantis created the position of chief science officer, in addition to creating the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency within the Department of Environmental Protection.

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