Candidate for Member at Large: Thad Scott

Thad Scott

BS 1996 Biology, Howard Payne University, Brownwood TX, USA; MS 1998 Environmental Science, Tarleton State University, Stephenville TX, USA; PhD 2006 Biology, Baylor University, Waco TX, USA

Biographical Information

I am a first-generation college student that grew up in rural central Texas. Although I never excelled academically, a well-timed ecology professor helped me find a career passion. After completing a BS and MS, I was hired as a laboratory technician at the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER), a state-funded research institute focused on non-point source pollution. I spent five years at TIAER working into a project management role. I wanted more and eventually entered the PhD program in Biology at Baylor University in 2003 where I utilized some of the emerging concepts in ecological stoichiometry to study cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation in wetlands. I joined ASLO and presented at my first ASLO meeting in 2004 in Savannah, Georgia.

I completed my PhD in 2006 and accepted a postdoctoral position at University of Minnesota working on the biological stoichiometry of heterotrophic bacteria. After my brief stint at UMN I accepted an Assistant Professor position in environmental sciences at the University of Arkansas. I spent eight years in Arkansas growing as a scientist and becoming a mentor. My research transitioned to a specific focus on river-reservoir nutrient cycling, nitrogen fixation, and harmful cyanobacteria blooms. In 2016, I returned to Baylor where I am now a Professor of Biology and Director for the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research. I have been an active ASLO member for over twenty years and was inducted as an inaugural ASLO Fellow in 2015 and a Sustaining ASLO Fellow in 2022.

Candidate Statement

I believe that one of life’s greatest pleasures, and perhaps the most educational, is meeting and getting to know diverse people from all over the world. For me, ASLO has made that possible. ASLO has afforded me the opportunity to attend dozens of conferences on multiple continents and the honor of reviewing for, and publishing in, its outstanding journals. I have had the pleasure of serving our society in a variety of committee roles including the Early Career Committee and the Yentsch-Schindler Early Career Award Committee, which I also chaired for several years. I was on the planning committee for the 2018 summer meeting in Victoria, BC, and served as the ASLO Co-chair with Dr. Shelley Arnott for the 2022 Joint Aquatic Science Meeting in Grand Rapids, MI. These experiences were invaluable to my professional development and led to innumerable professional connections, collaborations, and friendships.

I am running for Member-at-Large on the ASLO Board of Directors to serve our society so that, like myself, current and future members can enjoy the vast benefits of a global, yet somehow local, scientific society.

ASLO has a tremendous reputation for facilitating collaborations which can lead to the development large scale cooperative networks. I met two of my closest collaborators and friends, Drs. Amy Marcarelli (stream ecologist) and Wally Fulweiler (marine biogeochemist), at separate ASLO meetings. We now co-lead the Aquatic Nitrogen Fixation Research Coordination Network which has fostered collaborations among dozens of scientists globally over the last few years. I am exceptionally proud of that work, but it would have never been possible with ASLO putting the three of us in the same room together on more than one occasion. In my opinion, that is how science works best, through the development of cross-disciplinary collaborations.

As a member of the ASLO board I would be interested in developing new and supporting continued opportunities to promote collaborative and synthetic research, particularly among students and early career scientists. From Sci-Comm Internships to LOREX and Eco-DAS, ASLO already has so many excellent programs that create opportunities for students and early career scientists. Continuing to support and expand these and other similarly successful programs is critical to the future of ASLO. We must also actively look for more opportunities to attract and retain membership not only from North America and Europe, but in underserved nations around the world. Maintaining our status as the global premier society in the aquatic sciences requires a commitment to doing the most challenging work at the right time. I am committed to serving ASLO members with energy and excitement. The future is bright for ASLO and I would be honored to help serve its continued growth and development.

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