Dr. R. Scott Beasley, professor emeritus of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, received the college’s first Distinguished Alumnus Award for Leadership in Forestry during the 2016 Environmental Science, Forestry and Spatial Science Convocation held on Thursday, April 21.
Beasley received his Bachelor of Science in forestry at SFA in 1964. He earned a Master of Science and Ph.D. in forest hydrology at the University of Arizona at Tucson. After seven years with the U.S. Forest Service Forest Hydrology Laboratory in Oxford, Mississippi, he accepted a position at the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1976 and was appointed as the head of the university’s School of Forestry and Natural Resources in 1988.
In 1992, Beasley was named dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. During his tenure as dean, Beasley achieved a number of administrative accomplishments that include, but are not limited to, working through the Texas Coordinating Board of Higher Education to change the Doctor of Forestry degree to a Doctor of Philosophy degree; initiating a successful effort to officially designate SFA’s College of Forestry as the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and, later, the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture in honor of Arthur Temple’s contributions to forestry and economic development in Texas; developing state-of-the-art GIS laboratories for graduate research and undergraduate teaching; increasing the number and value of scholarships awarded annually to students; obtaining the university’s first patent, a cultivar of Camptotheca with enhanced properties for cancer treatment; and working with Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and the SFA Arboretum to establish the first Native Plants Center in Texas.
In addition to Beasley’s administrative achievements, he has authored over 40 scientific publications and served in leadership positions for numerous professional organizations and commissions that include the Southern Forestry Research Partnership, Society of American Foresters, Texas Society of American Foresters, Arkansas’ Natural and Scenic Rivers Commission and Advisory Committee for the Ouachita National Forest.
At the convocation, the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture also awarded more than $110,000 in scholarships to incoming and current students.