Georgia First District U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, UGA President Michael F. Adams, representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other dignitaries will be present when the Barrier Island Research and Learning Center at UGA’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island is dedicated May 7.
The new center, built at a cost of nearly $2.3 million with funds from the NOAA and the UGA Research Foundation Inc., resulted from a partnership between UGA and the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve. The center will be administered by the UGA Marine Institute, a unit of the university’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
The dedication will take place at 10 a.m. Others attending the event are expected to include Noel Holcomb, Georgia Department of Natural Resources commissioner; Provost Arnett C. Mace Jr.; Garnett S. Stokes, dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Tom S. Landrum, interim senior vice president for external affairs; SINERR staff and members of the academic community that depend on the Marine Institute for their research.
“The BIRL Center will provide much-needed support for the growing research and instruction programs at the Marine Institute,” said Tim Hollibaugh, head of UGA’s department of marine sciences. “Barrier islands are crucial elements of Georgia’s coastline, they are subject to development and are threatened by sea level rise and climate change. The BIRL Center will provide state-of-the art facilities from which a new generation of marine scientists can address problems related to Georgia’s barrier islands and hammocks, continuing the tradition of excellence and creativity in salt marsh and estuarine research that have long been a hallmark of UGA.”