Georgia Museum of Natural History

About the Georgia Museum of Natural History

For many decades, the University of Georgia has maintained a number of natural history collections under the aegis of various academic departments. In1978, the University formerly recognized these collections as the Museum of Natural History, and in 1999, the Georgia General Assembly recognized it as the official state museum of natural history. The Georgia Museum of Natural History is the repository for the preservation and study of the tangible evidence of history, culture and natural heritage of the state of Georgia and its people. Museums and their collections are the scientific basis for our understanding of not only the past and present, but also the future. The collections are inventories of our cultural, biological and geological heritage. Many of the collections contain unique historical records of locations and species, some of which are now destroyed, extinct, rare or endangered. Collections in archaeology, entomology, botany, geology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrates, mammalogy, mycology, ornithology, palynology and zooarchaeology exceed five million objects. Teaching is a primary mission of the Georgia Museum of Natural History. Specimens are used by University of Georgia instructors and students in numerous disciplines, ranging from scientific illustration to wildlife management. The Museum offers a number of exploration kits as resources for educators. The kits include specimens such as skeletons and skins as well as thematic books, posters and videos. A teacher’s guide contains materials, lesson plans and suggested activities. Teacher workshops, internships, collections and museum management courses are also offered through the Museum. The Museum’s collections support research in disciplines from A to Z–anthropology to zooarchaeology. Specimens in the collections serve as data points, providing information about fungi, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, rocks, minerals, fossils, pottery and other archaeological artifacts–reference points for study and measurement of change. Research supported by the Museum aids students, faculty, state and federal agencies in understanding and conserving our natural resources, describing and preserving native species diversity and abundance, as well as providing important clues about past peoples and cultures in Georgia. At the beginning of the 21st century, less than two million species had been identified and described. Recent studies in the rain forests have indicated there may be more than 30 million species of insects alone! While we don’t know the number of species on Earth, we do know that hundreds, perhaps thousands of species, are becoming extinct each year. Public service and outreach programs, activities, services, tours and special events help citizens learn, understand and appreciate Georgia’s natural history. In a broader sense, they serve as a conduit and platform for environmental education, conservation, biodiversity, habitat protection and related global issues. Inquiries about tours, programs, membership and volunteer opportunities are welcome. For additional information please write, call, e-mail or visit or web site.

HorseShoe Bend Ecology Experimental Research Site

About HorseShoe Bend (HSB) Ecology Experimental Research Site

HorseShoe Bend (HSB) Ecology Experimental Research Site, located along College Station Road, is a component of the University of Georgia East Campus.  HSB has a rich tradition of community service, environmental education, and ecological research in areas such as, agroecosystem ecology, ecosystem development, perturbation ecology, population ecology, and teacher education. This thirty-five acre (14.2-ha) site was founded in 1965, and officially assigned to then the Institute of Ecology on 23 February 1984. Numerous undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in ecology and forestry, and teachers seeking graduate enrichment through workshops, have accessed HSB as an outdoor laboratory. HorseShoe Bend: A Center for Ecological Teaching, Research, and Service at the University of Georgia, authored by J. Blesh and M. Williams, 2002, published with funding provided by T. L. Barrett, the Eugene P. Odum Endowed Chair in Ecology, and Eugene P. Odum and William E. Odum Endowed Fund, provides a descriptive early history and the modern evolution of HSB. Also, see Chapter 9, “HorseShoe Bend Research: Old Field Studies (1976-2000),” authored by P. Hendrix, E. P. Odum, D. A. Crossley, Jr., and D. C. Coleman, pp. 164-177, in Holistic Science: The Evolution of the Georgia Institute of Ecology (1940-2000), edited by G. W. Barrett and T. L. Barrett, 2001, New York, Taylor & Francis.

McGarity Wetlands

About the McGarity Wetland Preserve

The McGarity Wetland Preserve is located along the Alcovy River in proximity to Covington, Georgia. This wetland site provides a research and educational outdoor laboratory, and is situated directly across the river from Georgia’s northernmost-recorded gum pond, dominated by water tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica). The McGarity Wetland Preserve was dedicated in July 1996, named in honor of Allie May and John Dow McGarity. The site is a part of the Alcovy River Gateway Project. The Odum School of Ecology manages this 136-acre (55-ha) site for wetland research and preservation.

Odum Broad River Property

About the Odum Broad River Property

Eugene P. Odum willed to the Odum School of Ecology a 111-acre (45-ha) parcel of land dominated by mature hardwood forest within the Broad River Watershed located in Madison County, Georgia. Dr. Odum placed a perpetual conservation easement on eighty-six acres (33 ha) of this property. The Broad River Watershed is undeveloped, and as such, provides habitat for a high diversity of species both flora and fauna. The intrinsic value of this watershed has been recognized by the State of Georgia as the Broad River Natural Area, which is situated directly across the river from the Odum Broad River Property. The Odum Broad River Property has value in the potential for research and learning opportunity within fields of study such as, ecology, conservation, forestry, landscape architecture, plant sciences, and outdoor education. Plans have been discussed regarding the establishment of a field station facility relating to this property. For additional information regarding the Odum Broad River Property, contact Bud Freeman, Chair of the Odum School of Ecology Facilities Committee, [email protected].

River Basin Center

About the River Basin Center at the University of Georgia

The goal of the River Basin Center is to increase the capacity of communities and other individual stakeholders to manage and protect their water and related land resources in a sustainable manner. The RBC’s mission is:

  • To pursue interdisciplinary research and analysis in the areas of water quality and quantity, aquatic biodiversity, and how land use practices impact aquatic resources;
  • To assist communities and other stakeholders in the development and application of strategies to manage these aquatic resources;
  • To broadly communicate the results of research and policy analyses;
  • To engage students in all aspects of the River Basin Center’s work.

For more information, please contact Seth Wenger.

Satilla River Stephens-Hunt Refuge

About the Satilla River Stephens-Hunt Refuge

In 2001, the University of Georgia Institute of Ecology (presently the Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology) accepted a donation of approximately 493 acres (200 ha) of land along the Satilla River located in Camden County, Georgia, from Walter Stephens, Marshlands Incorporated. In 2006, Walter Stephens donated an additional 670 acres (271 ha) of adjacent land, creating a combined parcel totaling 1162 acres (470 ha) to be named the Stephens-Hunt Refuge.  The property is a mix of bottomland hardwood forest and partially restored rice fields. The land previously had served as a wetlands mitigation bank, and the property is encumbered with restrictive covenants and conservation easements that require it to be maintained in a natural state with minimal development. The Odum School of Ecology potential land use, regarding the Satilla River Stephens-Hunt Refuge, includes ecological research and environmental education, as well as, accessibility for study in diverse academic fields within the University of Georgia and elsewhere. For additional information concerning the Satilla River Stephens-Hunt Refuge, contact Bud Freeman, Georgia Museum of Natural History, [email protected].

Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

About the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is a research unit of The University of Georgia, located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, S.C. Since the laboratory’s founding in 1951 by Dr. Eugene Odum of the University of Georgia, a pioneer of modern ecology, SREL scientists have studied the long-term ecological impacts of the SRS nuclear facility. SREL is supported by federal, state, industry and foundation funding.

Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

About the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

The University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO) is a multidisciplinary research institution located on a 700 acre campus on Skidaway Island, 16 miles southeast of Savannah. SkIO sits on the banks of the Skidaway River, with access to a diverse range of estuarine and coastal habitats. Its remote pristine location, convenient to coastal and ocean waters, guarantees a constant influx of visiting scientists and students seeking access to state-of-the-art research facilities, accessible research locations, and opportunities for collaboration with SkIO’s interdisciplinary and internationally-recognized research faculty. SkIO was created in 1967 by a commission of the Georgia General Assembly and was given the mandate to conduct research in all fields of oceanography and marine sciences. In 1971, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography was transferred to the University System to serve as a base of operations and central facility for marine interests within the University System. In 2013, SkIO merged with The University of Georgia. SkIO faculty members are part of the Department of Marine Sciences at UGA.

Spring Hollow, Martha H. and Eugene P. Odum Watershed

About Spring Hollow, Martha H. and Eugene P. Odum Watershed

Spring Hollow is located near Ila, Georgia. The property includes a log house for gathering, reference watershed and pond, and an old-growth forest. This site is available for education, research, and service functions. Eugene P. Odum provided an endowment of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) through the University of Georgia Foundation for the maintenance and support of this facility. Restoration of the log house has begun, including the completion of a cedar-plank shingle roof. An interpretive nature trail recently has been traced through the property; this trail focuses on careful observation of native flora and fauna, and unique topography of this property regarding ecological and anthropogenic management.

UGA Marine Institute at Sapelo Island

About the UGA Marine Institute at Sapelo Island

The UGA Marine Institute (UGAMI) on Sapelo Island is a world-renowned field destination that supports research and education in coastal ecosystems. Founded in 1953 by Eugene Odum, research conducted at UGAMI has had a major influence on the field of salt marsh ecology and inspired generations of coastal wetland and estuarine scientists. Today, UGAMI is a thriving field station that offers access to protected barrier island habitats including salt marshes, beaches, maritime forests, tidal creeks, estuaries, and the coastal ocean. It serves as the base of operations for the NSF-funded Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Project (GCE LTER) as well as numerous other research projects. UGAMI-based courses and field strips immerse students in field-based academic programs, and undergraduate programs include both residential and visiting classes from multiple institutions across Georgia and beyond. UGAMI is located within the 6100 acre Sapelo Island National Estuarine Reserve (SINERR), which is part of a network of 29 reserves administered by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with coastal states. UGAMI is a unit of the UGA Office of Research.