Posted by William Nunnelley on 2006-04-05

David M. Frings, a geologist with 30 years of experience with the Southern Company and Alabama Power Company, has been named the first director of the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center of Samford University. He began duties March 27.

Frings is also mayor of the city of Alabaster, where he has served since 2000. Alabaster has 25,000 residents, 170 employees and an annual budget of $25 million.

Frings holds a bachelor of science degree in geology with a minor in biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a Licensed Professional Geologist in Alabama and a Certified Municipal Official.

At the Southern Company, he was safety and compliance leader from 2004-March 2006; senior geologist, 2002-2004; retrofit supervisor, 1999-2002; and supervising geologist, 1998-1999. He began with Alabama Power as a junior geologist and advanced to supervising geologist.

The Oak Mountain Interpretive Center is a center for environmental education, ecological research and family recreation. It is located in Oak Mountain State Park, the largest park in the state of Alabama. The Center is a collaboration between Samford University, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Wildlife Center and the Friends of Oak Mountain.

The Center's mission is to promote appreciation for Oak Mountain State Park as a natural habitat and to provide a hands-on interactive educational experience that enables children and adults to learn about Alabama's biodiversity, students and teachers to research its wonders, and all visitors to understand the importance of environmental stewardship. It offers academic courses and community education classes for adults ranging from academic credit courses in Biology to special interest classes such as Alabama Birding.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.