UNITY — Unity College has hired an internationally-recognized scientist to become the college’s new president, the college announced today.

Dr. Stephen Mulkey, director of environmental science program at the University of Idaho, will become Unity College’s new president in July.

Mulkey replaces Mitchell Thomashow, who has been college president the last five years.

Mulkey’s selection reflected a move by the college to reinforce its aspirations to be known by the tagline, “America’s environmental college,” according to Tim Glidden, chairman of the board of trustees.

“The scope of achievements that Unity has attained and measure of leadership it has shown in environmental education, particularly relating to sustainability, makes our tag line ever more relevant and accurate,” Glidden said. “With Dr. Mulkey set to assume the presidency of the college, Unity clearly has achieved a legitimate place among the best small environmental colleges in the United States.”

The college said Mulkey’s scientific research spans more than three decades and has included research in ecosystems across the world. He has pursued research on the functional ecology of forests in Eastern Amazonia, tropical forest canopies in wet and dry forests of central Panama, and tropical alpine rosette species in East Africa, according to the college.

According to the University of Idaho website, Mulkey has a bachelor’s degree in forestry, fisheries and wildlife and a master’s in ecology, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D in ecology from the University of Pennsylvania.