Ecology and the Learning Environment

Nitrogen_Cycle.jpg

The slowest-moving indicators can often be the most difficult to study, requiring patience and a general knowledge of many overlapping correlations. It's axiomatic that the seeming constants in life become the benchmarks and things we depend on, even though there are no true constants - with the exception of change itself. Learning from these changes also takes a great deal of patience, honed skills of observation and a diversity of knowledge that runs through many disciplines. Ecology is the study of the many systems that work together to form our natural environment, and so it follows that ecology is a kind of umbrella super-structure of study that touches many parts of the university, including of course, the Franklin College.

UGA is the home of the man who initially formulated many of the systems theories of modern ecology, Eugene Odum, widely considered the father of modern ecology. Our Odum School of Ecology is properly the base of this umbrella discipline, which has connections thoughout the Franklin College - from genetics and anthropology to marine science, statistics and elsewhere. A great example of these connections is the 97th annual meeting this week of the Ecological Society of America, where almost forty faculty and students from UGA will present their work.

The Odum School of Ecology has the most attendees from UGA with 16 presenting at the meeting. They are among 38 from UGA who will lead sessions and present papers and posters on topics such as disease ecology, biogeochemistry, aquatic ecology, woody plants and ecosystem management.

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Other UGA colleges sending scientists include the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources (13), the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences (five) and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (four).

From the Franklin College participants include doctoral student Luke Snyder, postdoctoral associate Kyung-Ah Koo, postdoctoral associate Daniel Keymer, associate professor Chris Peterson (plant biology) and doctoral student Caitlin Ishibashi. Good luck to our students as they share their work and learn in this important interdisciplinary venue.

Image: rendering of the Nitrogen Cycle by the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency, courtesy Wikimedia commons.


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