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NDSU names new dean of College of Science and Mathematics

Posted on 3/16/2012

North Dakota State University Provost Bruce Rafert has announced Scott Wood is the new dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. Wood, dean of science at the University of Idaho, Moscow, is expected to join NDSU in July.

"Scott will help build academic distinction across the college, while creating new networks of support and innovation for the entire college. We are delighted to welcome him to NDSU," Rafert said.

Wood replaces Kevin McCaul, who is retiring after six years as dean. McCaul joined NDSU in 1978 and will return to the psychology department to continue teaching.

Wood has been with the University of Idaho since 1991 as a faculty member in geochemistry. He was promoted through the ranks to professor in 1997, associate dean of science in 2006, interim dean of science in 2007 and dean of science in 2008. The College of Science at the University of Idaho includes biological sciences, chemistry, geography, geological sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics.

Wood was born and raised in Utica, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree in geology and chemistry from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., in 1980 and master's degree and doctorate in geology from Princeton University in 1985.

He was a tenure-track faculty member at McGill University in Montreal from 1985 to 1991. Wood also has held visiting scientist positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. He has published 83 refereed journal articles, 13 chapters in books or monographs, 23 refereed conference proceedings and has given more than 170 seminar or conference presentations. He has obtained several millions of dollars of research funding from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the American Chemical Society and the minerals industry.

Wood's area of expertise is aqueous geochemistry, specifically how minerals interact with various types of aqueous solutions with applications toward mineral deposit exploration, geothermal energy exploration, nuclear waste disposal, health effects of asbestos and other minerals in the lungs, and the environmental geochemistry of acid-mine drainage. He is particularly well known for his expertise in the geochemistry of rare earth elements and platinum group elements.

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