Campus News

Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Carol Couch to join UGA faculty

Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Carol Couch to join UGA faculty

Athens, Ga. – Carol Couch, director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, will join the University of Georgia as a senior public service associate.

Couch, whose appointment is effective Oct. 26, will teach courses in the UGA College of Environment and Design and help shape its new master’s degree program in environmental planning. In addition, she will lead outreach efforts that help communities across the state manage their growth sustainably and make the best use of their water resources.

“I am delighted that we were able to attract Dr. Couch to the university, given her breadth of experience with both the U.S. Geological Survey and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division,” said UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Arnett C. Mace Jr. “Her comprehensive understanding of water resource issues will significantly add to the university’s education and outreach efforts.”

Couch was named director of the Georgia EPD in 2003 and became the first woman to lead the agency. The 850-person agency implements and enforces state and federal laws designed to protect, conserve and restore Georgia’s environmental resources. She also chairs the Water Council, a coordinating committee charged with overseeing the development of a comprehensive statewide water plan.

“Dr. Couch brings a wealth of experience, the very best academic and professional credentials, and outstanding institutional connections to the College of Environment and Design,” said Dean Daniel Nadenicek. “We are fortunate, indeed, that she will join our college.”

Before joining EPD, Couch was a member of the United States Geological Survey, leading nationally distributed teams of engineers, hydrologists, chemists and biologists in the design, conduct and reporting of water resource investigations. She also served as southeastern regional biologist in the Southeastern Region, and as hydrologist in the Georgia District of the USGS Water Resources Division.

Couch earned her Ph.D. in Ecology from UGA and holds a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join the faculty at the College of Environment and Design and to contribute to the continuing development of the environmental planning program,” Couch said. “It’s great to be back at the university, and I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues across campus who are focused on water resources.”

For more information about the UGA College of Environment and Design, see