Athens, Ga. – Chuck Bargeron, a public service assistant at the University of Georgia, has an extensive knowledge of invasive species, an expertise that is being tapped on a national level. Recently, the associate director for the UGA Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health in Tifton was named to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee for the National Invasive Species Council.
Non-native plants and animals cost the U.S. an estimated $35 billion in economic and other hardships each year.
The National Invasive Species Council is co-chaired by the U.S. secretaries of commerce, agriculture and the interior; and members are the secretaries and administrators of 13 federal departments and agencies that coordinate invasive species programs. Its Invasive Species Advisory Committee is comprised of 30 members appointed for three-year terms. Members provide scientific and other input to the council regarding non-native plants and animals.
The council’s goal is to ensure that federal programs and activities to prevent and control invasive species are coordinated effectively and efficiently.
“Chuck’s appointment to the ISAC reflects his expertise and impact of his national level work on invasive species issues through UGA’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health,” said David Moorhead, co-director of the center.
The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health is a collaboration between the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Its mission is to serve a leading role in development, consolidation and dissemination of information and programs focused on invasive species, forest health, natural resource and agricultural management.
Bargeron develops web and smartphone applications, interactive CD-ROMs, databases and outreach publications for the center. His websites have received more than 1 billion hits, have been featured in Science Magazine and have received regional awards for content and design.
He designed and developed the infrastructure behind Bugwood Images, which runs the image-providing websites ForestryImages.org, Invasive.org, IPMIMages.org, InsectImages.org and WeedImages.org. He also developed and released 16 iPhone applications including IveGot1 and Invasive Plants of Southern Forests.
Bargeron is the current president of the National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils and treasurer of the North American Invasive Species Network. In 2012, he received the U.S. Department of Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award, as part the Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. He was the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Advocate of the Year in 2008 and received the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council Award in 2009. He has been an invited speaker at more than 80 regional and national conferences and co-authored more than 20 publications on invasive species issues.
A native of Tifton, Bargeron has worked for UGA for 17 years. He earned an associate’s degree in computer science from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science, both from Georgia Southern University.