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Alum tapped as the new director of Center of Excellence for Field Biology

July 8, 2003

An alumnus of Austin Peay has returned to his alma mater as the new director of the Center of Excellence for Field Biology.

Dr. Andrew N. Barrass replaces Dr. Ben Stone, professor emeritus of biology, who had served as director of the Center for Field Biology since its inception in 1986 until his retirement.
July 8, 2003

An alumnus of Austin Peay has returned to his alma mater as the new director of the Center of Excellence for Field Biology.

Dr. Andrew N. Barrass replaces Dr. Ben Stone, professor emeritus of biology, who had served as director of the Center for Field Biology since its inception in 1986 until his retirement.

Barrass comes to APSU from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, where he has worked since 1986, serving through the years as manager in three divisions: Nonpoint Source Program, Environmental Review Program and Division of Ground Water Protection.

“The Center of Excellence for Field Biology has nationally recognized researchers who are working successfully on many projects,” Barrass said. “I envision the growth of the Center to be similar to a blue-chip stock, which has long, steady, measured and continued successful growth without volatility.”

Barrass earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from APSU. His doctorate in environmental science and water resource engineering is from Vanderbilt University.

He received a research fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin's Marine Science Institute. His work on the Houston Toad Recovery Project won him the Dissertation Research Award from the Ethel Mae Wilson Fund.

Barrass' research interests include environmental impacts of marine and freshwater wetlands, environmental public policy and the evaluation and monitoring of nonpoint source water pollution. He has published numerous scholarly articles, papers and manuscripts on these and related subjects.

Because of his stellar reputation in research and other scholarly activities, he gave the keynote speech at the Tennessee Academy of Science in 1991. In 1992, he presented an invited paper on the effects of noise on bird behavior at a worldwide symposium, sponsored by the Sea World Research Institute in San Diego.

His greatest challenge as director, according to Barrass, will be to help the center researchers secure highly competitive contracts and grants to fund their work. He said, “Given the current economic slump, we will have to work more diligently to win contracts from various sources.”

He also wants to expand recruitment efforts to attract the best students from the state's top high school science programs, as well as extending recruitment of outstanding undergraduate science graduates nationwide to graduate studies and research in APSU's Center for Field Biology.

Dr. Gaines Hunt, interim dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, said, “I'm excited APSU was able to attract someone of Dr. Barrass' caliber and expertise.

“The future of the Center for Field Biology looks bright. The center has been successful in obtaining grants; I look for an enhancement of these efforts under the direction of Dr. Barrass.”

For more information, telephone 7019.