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KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has named David Feldman, UT professor and political science department head, as its first Scholar-in-Residence.

Dr. David Feldman

The new program will allow TDEC to further draw upon the significant academic scholarship that exists throughout the state, state officials announced today.

“This position gives our department a stronger connection to the academic and research capabilities at Tennessee’s universities and colleges,” said Commissioner Jim Fyke. “Having a Scholar-in-Residence will be a distinct benefit as we continue to seek and grow partnerships that help us protect and improve Tennessee-s air, land and water.”

Feldman has been with UT for 12 years, beginning with the Energy, Environment and Resources Center. In 2003, he was appointed head of the political science department, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Feldman also directs the Southeast Water Policy Initiative that was created to establish a long term, collaborative approach to solving problems associated with the management and distribution of water.

“We are proud that the state would look to the university and the expertise of Dr. Feldman as it seeks to work with all constituencies to preserve and protect the state’s natural resources,” said UT Chancellor Loren Crabtree. “Dr. Feldman brings a wealth of expertise and this new experience will further enrich the knowledge that he shares with our students and his peers.”

Feldman will continue to direct the political science department. He will use his research and leadership experience to work with universities, professional associations, national laboratories plus federal, state and local governments. He is a noted teacher, researcher, policy analyst and scholar.

Feldman’s published work and interests in water policy, energy conservation and sustainability have given him both regional and national standing in the academic community, explains TDEC officials.

His research and analysis were instrumental in the development of the Inter-basin Water Transfer Act passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in May 2000, explained TDEC officials.

“Tennessee is fortunate to have a number of teachers and researchers who have developed a deep knowledge of our state’s most critical natural resources,- said Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan. “Dr. Feldman is a leading example of this expertise and will help us tap into the environmental understanding found across Tennessee higher education.”

Feldman was the lead author of “Water Policy Research Needs in Tennessee,” produced for the Department of Environment and Conservation in June 2003. The report outlines future research needs for improving water supply resources in Tennessee and complements Feldman’s work as director of the University of Tennessee’s Southeast Water Policy Initiative, established in 2001.

This initiative is an interdisciplinary research and education partnership developed to shape innovate policies that anticipate, avert and resolve disputes over the management and distribution of water.

For more information, visit http://www.state.tn.us/environment/

Contact: Karen Collins (865-974-5186 or 865-216-6862)