UW News

July 18, 2012

UW names DeLuca director of School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

News and Information

A soils and ecosystem scientist who studies natural resources sustainability has been named the director of the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

Thomas H. DeLuca is currently professor of natural resources and geography at Bangor University, Wales, where he holds the chair in environmental sciences sponsored jointly by the university and the U.K.’s National Environmental Research Council.

“We couldn’t be happier that Tom will join us to lead the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Tom is highly regarded as a forest scientist and his experience and expertise will enable him to lead the school across all of its research areas, from developing the science necessary to promote sustainable working forests to advancing our understanding of ecological dynamics in all types of systems – and much, much more.”

Lisa Graumlich, dean
UW College of the

DeLuca’s 30 years in natural sciences has included faculty positions with the University of Montana in forestry and conservation, Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania, in sustainable systems and as a senior forest ecologist with the Wilderness Society focusing on ecology and economics.

At Bangor University, he conducts research in forest ecosystem sciences and is the environmental theme leader for the university’s research innovation program called Pontio, chair of the forestry group and academic advocate for the Treborth Botanic Garden, a teaching garden that is open to the public.

Pending approval by the UW board of regents, DeLuca will start Sept. 1, 2012.

DeLuca will lead a 105-year-old school that’s one of the oldest units on the UW campus and among the first natural resources programs in the nation. The school’s 45 faculty and 100 staff have research, teaching and public engagement interests across the spectrum of natural resources – ecological, social and economic. Among recently launched efforts is a $40-million UW-led project to help foster a biofuel industry in the Pacific Northwest that produces jet and other fuels from woody biomass.

Rated among the top three forest science graduate programs in the U.S. by the National Research Council, the school currently has nearly 400 undergraduate and 160 graduate students.

The school includes the 4,250-acre Pack Experimental Forest near Eatonville, Wash., the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Wash., and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, which includes the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle.

Thomas H. DeLuca

Thomas H. DeLuca

DeLuca is author on more than 80 publications with a focus on the key role soils play in the ecological functioning of forests and grasslands. He has contributed to our understanding of how land management affects nutrient and carbon cycling, from microscopic to landscape scales. His research also addresses issues in forest ecosystem restoration such as the role of fire in promoting regeneration.

He serves on the advisory board to the U.K.’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and is a founding member of the Institute for Subarctic Landscape Research in northern Sweden.

DeLuca holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree from Montana State University, both in soil science. His doctorate in soil microbiology and biochemistry is from Iowa State University.

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences’ previous director, Thomas Hinckley, has retired and is now an emeritus professor.


For more information:
DeLuca, deluca@uw.edu, Bangor University office phone +44 (0)1248383569