UGA Establishes Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

UGA Establishes Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

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To address issues on invasive species and ecosystem (agricultural, forestedand natural system) health, the Center for Invasive Species and EcosystemHealth has been established at the University of Georgia. Invasive plants,insects, plant pathogens, aquatic species and terrestrial wildlife cost theUnited States economy more than $100 billion each year.

Agricultural and forested systems are under increased stress due to problems caused by both non-native invasive species and native pest organisms.  Solutions to these problems require collaborations that transcend traditional disciplinary, college, institutional and agency approaches, as well as state and national borders.  The Center, housed at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, evolved from the Bugwood Network that developed through faculty cooperation between the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. 

The Center Goals are:

  • To become a preeminent national and international public service and outreach center
  • To develop collaboration between UGA and state, university, federal and international partners
  • To integrate and develop information and programs
  • To serve as a clearing house for information, applied research and training
  • To promote public awareness, education and applied research

Current Center Projects

  • Develop and administer twenty educational web systems (140 million hits in 2007)
  • Seek and archive digital images in four topic-based web systems to support educational activities (72,000 images from 1300 photographers)
  • Manage the Georgia Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program and Georgia Invasive Species Task Force
  • Develop policy and protocols for early detection and rapid response of invasive species
  • Develop and administer the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System for the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council and the Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area
  • Provide image support for USDA CSREES, USDA APHIS and USDA Forest Service projects
  • Applied herbicide research on emerging invasive plants
  • Facilitate and extend program development in Europe and Central America

For more information, please see http://www.bugwood.org/center/.

Center Staff:

G. Keith Douce, Co-Director and Professor of Entomology, College of
Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
David J. Moorhead, Co-Director and Professor of Forestry, Warnell School of
Forestry and Natural Resources
Charles T.  Bargeron, Information Technology Director
Joseph H. LaForest, Program Specialist - IPM/Forest Health
Carey Minteer, Program Specialist - Invasive Species
Salina C. McAllister, Administrative Assistant II
Anna Bowden, Digital Image Specialist
Walter B. Sikora, Laboratory Technician - Insect Taxonomy

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