Campus News

Fall conservation seminar series lineup announced

Jim Porter has shown that UWUXO, such as this depth charge (probably a WWII anti-submarine ‘ash can’) are dangerous, not only due to their explosive charge, but also due to at least 7 carcinogens that they leach out onto neighboring coral reefs. (Photo by Tiffany Winn/Maui Divers)

The University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology’s fall conservation seminar series begins on Aug. 24 with a lecture by James W. Porter, Meigs Professor Emeritus in the Odum School.

“We are delighted to have Jim Porter kick off the seminar series, which has been a ‘much-looked-forward-to’ tradition for the past two decades,” said Catherine Pringle, Distinguished Research Professor of Ecology, the organizer of the series. “He will provide the latest updates on a complex and evolving environmental issue in Puerto Rico.”

Porter’s talk, “Environmental justice, human rights, and underwater munitions in Puerto Rico and Hawaii,” is based on his long-term work in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and his new project in Hawaii on underwater unexploded ordnance. His research has shown that these remnants of military activity are dangerous not only due to their explosive charges, but also because of the carcinogens that leach from them onto neighboring coral reefs.

The conservation seminar series is an undergraduate elective and a required course in the Integrative Conservation and Sustainability (ICAS) master’s degree program and the Integrative Conservation (ICON) doctoral degree program. It is designed to expose students to multiple aspects of the field of conservation ecology and sustainable development, providing an integrative perspective that transcends interdisciplinary boundaries. The series features speakers from a variety of disciplines and careers, including academia, state and federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

“We have a very exciting group of seminar speakers this year addressing timely environmental topics,” said Pringle. They include representatives from the UGA Schools of Ecology, Forestry and Natural Resources, Veterinary Medicine and Environmental Design; the UGA departments of anthropology and of public administration and policy; and practitioners from the U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Forest Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Athens Land Trust.

Conservation seminars are held at 1:50 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Ecology Building auditorium. Each one-hour seminar is followed by a 20-minute question and answer discussion period. Seminars are free and open to all.

The complete listing of speakers and topics is available at