Dr. Doug Jeffries
Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
Ph.D., Arizona State University
M.S., University of Arkansas
B.S., Wichita State University
B.A., Mid-America Nazarene College
Office: 134 Smith-Broyles Science Center
Dr. Doug Jeffries joined the Ozarks Biology department in 1991. Since then, he has worked with Dr.s Frank Knight and Robert French to develop an Environmental Studies program that is one of the first such programs in the nation to be truly interdisciplinary. The program graduated its first student in 1995 and has continued to grow since that time.
The Environmental Studies program is indicative of Dr. Jeffries' belief that while Ozarks is much smaller than many Universities in the nation, the quality of education compares well with that at the larger institutions. "My first college experience was at a small, liberal arts college much like Ozarks. I know how rewarding and enriching an educational experience can be at a small college, and when I returned to school after the Navy, I knew that I wanted to teach in that kind of environment," he says.
"I have always been interested in the sciences, and especially biology. I was a teacher's assistant in a biology class in High School, and although I got sidetracked, biology has always been my first love. My problem was that I was interested in so many areas of biology that it was difficult to choose one area to specialize in at graduate school. I therefore chose the one area that would allow me to study many different disciplines in biology, as well as other sciences, plant ecology," Dr. Jeffries explains. He says that unlike other disciplines, ecologists have to be jack-of-all-trades, rather than specialists. While at Arizona State University working on his Ph.D., he became interested in lichens. "Although I did not choose to study lichens for my dissertation, I developed an interest in them, and now I consider them to be my professional hobby," he says.
When Dr. Jeffries is not doing school work, and the weather is halfway decent, you will usually find him outdoors doing yard-work, working in his garden, or working on his 4-acre farm just north of Clarksville. He says,"I love working with my hands, working with tools, and being outdoors. I used to enjoy jogging, but it was taking a toll on my knees, so now I play racquetball for both fun and exercise. I share my home in town with two feline companions, Scott and Alan, who are a constant source of companionship and amusement."