First Of Its Kind
The Odum School of Ecology is the first standalone school of ecology in the world. Many universities have departments of ecology and schools that focus on the broader field of environmental studies, but the Odum School is the only one specifically independently devoted to ecology. The Odum School will immediately be recognized as one of the nation’s top research programs in ecological sciences based on the strength of its faculty, reputation of its degree programs and international stature.
The school will adhere to Eugene P. Odum’s holistic approach to ecological studies, while strengthening and expanding in key areas such as infectious diseases, ecosystem ecology, watershed ecology, evolutionary ecology and sustainability. Researchers in the Odum School will work on timely and complex issues, including global climate change, conservation (species extinction), invasive species and much more.
The school will continue to emphasize an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to teaching, research and service by integrating expertise and resources from other schools and colleges at UGA. These include law, genetics, anthropology, marine biology and medical sciences, as well as public service units such as The Fanning Institute and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
The Odum School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in ecology, as well as a master’s degree in conservation and sustainable development. In addition, the school also offers a Certificate in Conservation Ecology. Rigorous coursework, interdisciplinary studies, skills in ecological problem solving and vital field experience prepares graduates to secure top jobs in areas such as academic, government, non-profits and more. In the most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking of graduate programs in ecology (2006), The University of Georgia ranked 8th.
In addition to its undergraduate and graduate degrees in ecology, the school will provide undergraduate courses for other schools and colleges. Public service work will be conducted primarily through its River Basin Center. By providing timely and objective scientific information on water resources to those including policy makers, managers and stakeholders, the River Basin Center promotes the development of sound public policy.
The school will help expand UGA’s international research presence through research programs in other countries. In the area of tropical ecology, much research is conducted at the UGA San Luis Research Station in Costa Rica. Popular Maymester programs expose students to several areas of Georgia, raising awareness for issues that range from the local to the international.
Our namesake is Eugene P. Odum, widely credited for making the term "ecosystem" a household word. Odum was instrumental in bringing ecology to UGA, and his vision of holistic ecology is still practiced today. The Odum School is one of the first ecology research centers and have traditionally had the first focus on ecosystem ecology. That focus is now expanding to include population ecology and evolutionary ecology.