Nov. 25, 2015—COLLEGE
STATION, Texas —Texas A&M Forest Service Associate Director William E. Oates
has been recognized as a Texas A&M University System Regents Fellow Service
Award recipient for 2014 – 2015.
The Regents Fellow
Service Awards program was established in 1998 and the Regents Professor Awards
program in 1996 recognizing employees who have made exemplary contributions to
their university or agency and to the people of Texas.
Oates is one of
eight professionals to receive the Regents Fellow Award this year.
Associate Director since 2011, Oates joined Texas A&M Forest Service as a
forester in 1981. He climbed agency ranks by consistently performing exemplary
work and making key contributions in forestry and wildfire programs throughout
the state spanning three decades.
Oates has held
key leadership roles in East Texas landowner assistance, forest health and fire
suppression programs. He now oversees the statewide programs of forest
stewardship, forest inventory and analysis, urban forestry, rural forestry
assistance, forest health, economic development and water quality.
“Bill has excelled
in his career and is looked to as a leader in forestry both within our state
and across the South,” said Tom Boggus, Texas A&M Forest Service director.
“Bill is a ‘forester’s forester’. He serves as an excellent role model and
energetically promotes our profession.”
Oates is an
active member of the Texas Forestry Association — having served as president in
2015. He is a certified forester through the Society of American Foresters, a
leader among the Southern Group of State Foresters and a representative of the
Southern Region to the National Association of State Foresters resource
“It has been an
honor knowing and working with Bill over the past 30 years, personally and
professionally,” James Houser, vice president of Farmer’s National Company
said. The fellow TFA and SAF member goes on to say “He has been an outstanding
leader for the forest community not only within the great State of Texas, but
entire United States.”
those in the forestry profession across the country, Oates led Texas in taking
on crucial issues in the Society of American Foresters organization; including
convincing leaders of the organization to rescind a proposal that may have marginalized
the professionalism and integrity of the certified forester status.
leadership, Texas A&M Forest Service was the first state forestry agency in
the nation to create an on-line portal for interactive and geospatial web
applications. The Texas Forest
Information Portal provides information about the benefits that trees and
forests provide and drive economic development in the timber and wood products
industry. The website gives the public readily-available and easily-accessible
information about trees and forests in Texas.
Other notable agency
accomplishments include Oates’ leadership in the Bastrop Recovery effort through
which nearly 3 million loblolly pine tree seedlings were planted across 5,000
acres to replace trees lost during wildfires in 2011.
talent for partnering with other organizations that share the agency’s mission,
Oates brought together the National Park Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department, The Nature Conservancy and the USDA Southern Research Station in current
survey and restoration efforts of the declining Ponderosa Pine trees of the
will long serve as a model of why the Texas A&M System Board of Regents
created the Regents Fellow Service Award,” Director Emeritus of Texas A&M
Forest Service James B. Hull said. “He is the perfect representative of the
System to receive this highest of honors!”
generation forester, Oates graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University
with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. He lives in College Station, Texas with
his wife Connie and has three children and three grandchildren.
Note to Editor: Original news release by the Texas
A&M University System
A&M University System Board of Regents Approves 20 Regents Professors and
A&M Forest Service Associate Director William E. Oates
Linda Moon, Communications Manager