Alabama native David M. Frings is the director of the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center (OMIC), and Associate Director of Samford's Master of Science Degree in Environmental Management program. Frings was born in Jefferson County and was a 1973 graduate of Shades Valley High School. He has had a love for nature and the environment since childhood, spending many hours exploring the mountains, rivers, and caves of Alabama. Frings graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology and a minor in biology. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married since 1982 and have three daughters, Haley, Holley and Heidi.
Frings joined Alabama Power Company after graduation and worked for more than 29 years in various geologic positions until his retirement from Southern Company in March, 2006. During his Southern Company career, he became a licensed geologist in Alabama. David decided to enter politics in 2000 and was elected mayor of the City of Alabaster. He is now serving his second term in office.
In 1999, Frings opened a retail business with his wife Jennifer called Fossil Site. Fossil Site, which is located in Alabaster, allows David to share his knowledge and love of nature with the community by introducing the public to fossils, minerals, and other nature items.
As Director of OMIC, Frings hopes to develop a facility that will allow the visitor to experience and understand the specialized natural environments that we have in central Alabama. "By understanding nature, we develop an appreciation of the environment that will ultimately lead to preservation of our plants, animals, and habitats." Frings adds, "OMIC will be a unique field station for learning in that we will have a concentrated emphasis on environmental training for high school and college. In addition, OMIC will have indoor and outdoor exhibits that will inform visitors and elementary age school groups on our environment."