University Affairs

USU Names Linda Nagel as Dean for Quinney College of Natural Resources

By Marcus Jensen |

Linda Nagel will be joining Utah State University as dean of the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources in August.

LOGAN, Utah — After a national search, Utah State University has selected Linda Nagel to lead the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources as dean. Nagel will join the QCNR on Aug. 1, 2022.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Nagel to Utah State University," said Francis Galey, USU’s executive vice president and provost. “During our discussions, her vision for research, extension, teaching and student success cemented her as our top candidate, and we are delighted she has accepted to join USU in the role of dean of the Quinney College of Natural Resources. Given her service as a department head in a prominent land-grant university college, she is well prepared for this role and has tremendous knowledge of Western land-grant university issues related to the environment and natural resources. She has the skills to work collaboratively with faculty and other stakeholders in the college, across USU and throughout the state and region to develop a strong, forward-looking vision for the future."

Nagel comes to USU after seven years as professor and head in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. Nagel has 22 years of experience as a university professor, holding positions at CSU, the University of Minnesota and Michigan Technological University.

“I am thrilled to be joining the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State,” Nagel said. “QCNR is leading critical work addressing unprecedented natural resource challenges across the West through an array of innovative and interdisciplinary programs that impact the state of Utah, with a global reach that informs policy and management. I am looking forward to working with outstanding faculty, staff and students to support and promote this work during a dynamic, exciting time.”

Nagel will succeed Chris Luecke, who announced he would step down as dean of the college in October 2021, effective in July 2022. Luecke has led the QCNR since 2012 and will return to a faculty position in the Department of Watershed Sciences. He looks forward to working with Nagel and seeing where the college will go next.

“It has been my privilege to lead the Quinney College as dean for the last 10 years,” Luecke said. “The work our college does impacts not only the students who come through but the world at large. I look forward to seeing how the next chapter will be written under the leadership of Dr. Nagel and I am excited to work with her.”

In her most recent role as department head at CSU, Nagel has been responsible for leadership, administration and advancement of departmental teaching, research, extension and service activities. Nagel has learned that creating a sense of community can have tremendous impact.

“That shared community aspect is extremely important to people and really adds to a sense of satisfaction and feeling valued for the work that people do,” Nagel said. “Building that culture and community among the members of our unit has been really important and powerful.”

In her first few months as dean, Nagel hopes to get to know each faculty and staff member and learn about their hopes for the future, deepen her knowledge about the work that is already being done in the college and get to know the students. She also looks forward to finding new and innovative ways to bring people together to collaborate on cross-cutting themes and issues, and continuing the advancement of goals surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.

Nagel was drawn to the field of forestry and natural resources when she entered college. After growing up on a rural farm in South Dakota, Nagel learned that a career in the outdoors was a possibility and has never looked back.

“That curiosity for the natural world has really carried me through my career, both as a scientist but also as an educator,” Nagel said. “The privilege to be able to share that with students is so rewarding.”

Nagel received her doctorate in forestry from the University of Montana in 2000. She earned a master’s degree from Washington State University in Natural Resource Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in biology from South Dakota State University. She has received multiple awards in her field, including the national Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science, Society of American Foresters, the CSU Warner College Diversity and Inclusion Award, a Special Recognition for Outstanding Service to the USDA Forest Service and the MTU Distinguished Teaching Award from the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

Once Nagel gets to Logan full time, she plans on seeking advice on the best hiking trails and kayaking venues.

The S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources works to better understand natural ecosystems in Utah and beyond, and to foster sustainable use of these resources. The College traverses biological, physical, and socioeconomic boundaries to advance scientific knowledge, train future leaders, and translate new research into on-the-ground management.


Marcus Jensen
News Coordinator
University Marketing and Communications


Emilie Wheeler
News Director
University Marketing and Communications


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