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Don Rockwood

Don Rockwood

Professor emeritus, University of Florida | School of Forest Resources and Conservation | Class of 1966

During his six-year stay in C-U, Don Rockwood found his career calling of the past 53 years and — “equally as important,” he’s quick to note — his loving wife of 51.

“UI played a significant role in preparing me for what has been a very satisfying professional career and personal life,” he says. “Entering as a civil engineering freshman in fall 1962, I quickly realized that forestry was my true calling and with the guidance of faculty and staff with the Department of Forestry switched majors.

”Faculty including Drs. (J. Nelson) Spaeth, (Ralph) Lorenz, (Charles) Walters and (Ted) Yocum expanded my forestry skills, and teaching labs utilizing UI properties and department-arranged employment opportunities increased my familiarities with forestry research such that after graduation with a BS in 1966, I undertook an MS in Forest Genetics under the direction of Dr. J.J. Jokela.

“Joe’s mentoring and contacts led to moving on to a Ph.D. program at N.C. State University in 1968, which in turn became the steppingstone for a rewarding 37-year association with the School of Forest Resources at the University of Florida. Since retirement in 2009, that association continues as professor emeritus while I am also leading a forestry consulting firm.

”Equally as important, my time at UI included meeting and becoming engaged to my wife now of 51 years.

”Looking back, UI offered, and now doubt still does, outstanding potential for professional and personal growth.”