President Barack Obama announced the reappointment of Sewanee’s Ken Smith to serve another four-year term as a member of the Valles Caldera Trust, a nine-person board that oversees the activities of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. Smith was nominated for the position by Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico.
Smith is currently a professor of Forestry and Geology at the University of the South, and he will serve on the board with the supervisors of the Santa Fe National Forest and Bandelier National Monument as well as with six other experts.
The Valles Caldera National Preserve was created in 2000 after Congress passed the Valles Caldera Preservation Act. The act authorized the federal government to acquire and preserve the 90,000-acre Baca Ranch, which comprises most of the Valles Caldera, a volcanic bowl in northern New Mexico surrounded by the Jemez and Santa Clara Pueblos, as well as the Santa Fe National Forest.
"It is an honor to be reappointed by President Obama, and I look forward to once again sharing my experiences on the Trust with my students and colleagues at Sewanee. We had three Sewanee students working on the Preserve last year (Eileen Schaeffer, Arden Jones and John Mulloy, all class of 2013), and hopefully we can arrange more internships in the future. It was also fun to accompany Bran Potter’s Western Geology class on a walk in the Preserve in May 2012. In the near future, I will be interacting with the Preserve managers as they deal with the aftermath of two large fires that have burned through the Preserve in the past three years, as well as discussing issues concerning the financial sustainability of the Preserve.”
The White House statement regarding Smith’s appointment is found on the White House website.
(Photo, above: Eileen Schaeffer and Arden Jones at the Preserve.)