New chief Florida science officer named by DeSantis

March 30, 2021 GMT

MIAMI (AP) — A new chief science officer for Florida has been chosen, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday.

At an event celebrating Everglades restoration projects near Miami, DeSantis said Universy of South Florida professor and water expert Mark Rains will take over the job.

Rains is director of the School of Geosciences at USF. His work focuses on estuaries, rivers, and how science plays a role in making water-related law and policy, according to the school’s website.

Rains will replace Thomas Frazer, the initial science officer, who left to assume a job on a state environmental regulation commission. He is also at USF as dean and professor of the College of Marine Science.


Another environmental position in Florida, that of chief resilience officer and a key position involving climate change, remains unfilled. The first person picked for that position, Julie Nesheiwat, left to work for the Donald Trump administration and is now on an Arctic research commission.