Skip to main content

USU Quinney College of Natural Resources Welcomes New Department Heads

Thursday, Sep. 04, 2014

USU Watershed Sciences department head Peter Wilcock

Peter Wilcock, professor and head of USU's Department of Watershed Sciences.

Christopher ‘Chris’ Lant, department head, Environment and Society

Christopher 'Chris' Lant, professor and head of USU’s Department of Environment and Society.

Utah State University’s Quinney College of Natural Resources welcomes two scholars to campus to lead two of the college’s three departments. Peter Wilcock is head of the Department of Watershed Sciences. Christopher “Chris” Lant leads the Department of Environment and Society.

“We’re delighted to have Peter and Chris on board and look forward to the energy, expertise and experience each brings to our college,” says Chris Luecke, QCNR dean.

An American Geophysical Union Fellow, Peter Wilcock joins USU from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he has served, since 1987, on the faculty in various teaching, research and administrative appointments in the Departments of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. No stranger to USU, Wilcock is a long-time instructor in the USU-led Intermountain Center for River Rehabilitation and Restoration.

“USU offers an opportunity to do good science in a beautiful setting,” Wilcock says.

Among projects Wilcock is already pursuing is collaboration with other QCNR scientists and community partners in restoration of the Logan River. He’s also laying the groundwork for establishment of an outdoor stream lab that will foster interdisciplinary research opportunities with USU’s Utah Water Research Lab, College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and the USU Ecology Center.

“Utah State will become the place to go for watershed ecology study and research,” he says.

Chris Lant joins USU from Southern Illinois University, where he’s served on the faculty in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources since 1988. His research interests focus on water resources and watershed management, ecological-economic modeling of watersheds, natural resource systems, ecosystem services and wind energy.

Lant recently completed a 12-year term as executive director of the Universities Council of Water Resources, an association of more than 60 universities, along with water resources agencies, foundations and professional organizations, aimed at advancing water resources education and research.

Lant says he looks forward to shifting his geographic focus to issues affecting people and environments in Utah and the American West.

“Water issues are local issues,” he says. “I’m interested in how society makes decisions to generate the services it needs given the environment it has to work with.”

Beyond campus, Lant, a self-described “lifelong, obsessive outdoor recreator,” who arrived in Cache Valley Aug. 1, is taking full advantage of local hiking and fishing opportunities.

“I’ve already have caught my hundredth fish,” he says.

In addition to Watershed Sciences and Environment and Society, QCNR includes the Department of Wildland Resources. The college’s degree programs include environmental studies, geography and geography teaching, recreation resource management, fisheries and aquatic sciences, watershed and earth systems, conservation and restoration ecology, forestry, rangeland resources and wildlife science.

Related links:

Contact: Peter Wilcock, 435-797-2463,

Contact: Chris Lant, 435-797-4169,

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517,

Post your Comment

We welcome your response. Your comment or question will be forwarded to the appropriate person. Please be sure to provide a valid email address so we can contact you, if needed. Your submission will NOT be published online. Thank you.

More News

All news


Utah State Today is available as a weekly e-mail update, with links to news, features, and events. Subscribers stay connected, whether on campus or off.

To receive Utah State Today every week, simply enter your e-mail address below.

Unsubscribe here.

Visit our social media hub

Visit our social media hub to see a snapshot of student life and find more USU social media accounts.

Learn more About USU