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July 8, 2013
By Natalie Savidge
As Living With Fire programs, 4-H Youth Summer Camps and Grow Your Own, Nevada gardening classes are in full swing this time of the year, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension welcomes a new interim dean. Mark Walker, who has served 23 years as extension specialist, including 13 years as a water quality specialist in Nevada, has been named interim dean for the University of Nevada, Reno's outreach college. He began his two-year appointment July 1.
Most recently, Walker served as chair of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences for the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. Much of his research has been conducted through the University of Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station and focused on the protection of drinking water.
"Mark has an outstanding record of scholarly research and teaching," Kevin Carman, executive vice president and provost of the University, said. "He is eager to work with UNCE faculty and staff and with stakeholders throughout Nevada to fulfill our mission of outreach and engagement. I hope the community joins me in congratulating Mark and gives him a warm welcome as he assumes this critical leadership role."
"I am very pleased to be entering this position at this time," Walker said. "I plan to visit everyone in the Extension system in the next three to six months and become acquainted with their work. It's a different depth of experience to visit with people who live, work and serve in Nevada. It's important to me to have a personal connection with this group of dedicated people."
Long-term, Walker hopes to help Cooperative Extension continue to find creative ways to fulfill the land-grant mission of the University and serve the state and have the opportunity to do more research..
Walker earned a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from Binghamton University, the State University of New York, and joined the Peace Corps following graduation. He obtained his master's degree in water resources administration from the University of Arizona and a doctorate in soil and water engineering from Cornell University.
In 2010, Walker received the Project of Excellence award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture for his research testing unregulated water supplies in the Navajo Nation.
Walker's appointment follows a search and selection process that involved faculty and stakeholders. His appointment follows that of Jerry Buk who has 36 years of experience in Cooperative Extension and a variety of leadership roles in both rural and urban settings in three states. Prior to serving as interim dean, Buk was the southern area director for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension since 2010.