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Split forms new science colleges at OU

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ The University of Oklahoma is splitting its College of Geosciences and Geophysics into two separate schools.

The new College of Earth and Energy includes the School of Geology and Geophysics, the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, the Oklahoma Geological Survey and Sarkeys Energy Center. The new College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences will include meteorology and related studies, including geography.

``For several years, we had been looking at options for better positioning the university as a whole in the field of energy,'' said John Snow, dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. ``Between now and next year, there is going to be a great deal of shuffling.''

Larry Grillot, who took over as dean of the College of Earth and Energy this month, said the change puts more emphasis on the oil and energy fields.

``The basic curriculum will be very similar, but we hope to expand these programs with the new college,'' Grillot said. ``In order to prepare students for the world tomorrow, I think it's important to maintain a diverse field. There's a higher demand for students in these disciplines.''

The biggest change for students at the Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences will be in facilities. All meteorology programs except introductory classes will be moved to the National Weather Center, along with the college's administrative offices.

``The physical move in May will have a bigger impact than the name change last January,'' Snow said Snow, the former dean of the College of Geosciences and Geophysics. ``We're intentionally doing the move while the students are gone.''

A transitional period for the colleges began Jan. 1 and will be finished in August when students begin classes at the National Weather Center.
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