Campus News

Grant to help UGA’s Odum School of Ecology explore building green

Grant to help UGA’s Odum School of Ecology explore building green

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, the world’s first standalone school of ecology, wants to go green with a building that would showcase its environmental conscience. Now, with a grant from the Dobbs Foundation, the first step in considering and exploring such a facility has begun.

The $180,000 grant from the Dobbs Foundation will fund a study of potential sites, programmatic elements, special sustainability design opportunities and conceptual drawings for further consideration by the university.

“We are extremely grateful to the Dobbs Foundation for this gracious support,” said Odum School of Ecology Dean John Gittleman. “The green building will not only advance our mission to do the best of ecological teaching, research and service, but will offer a new educational experience to the people of Georgia about how we will be living our lives in a more sustainable, healthy environment. The Dobbs Foundation has given us a true gift to create a better future.”

The proposed Odum School building would be unique in its showcase of sustainable features and would take advantage of the educational opportunities from a potential green building.

“The Trustees of the Dobbs Foundation were excited to help Odum start the process toward a facility that matches the stature of their program,” said David Weitnauer, president of the Dobbs Foundation. “By featuring sustainable design and construction practices, the building will embody what they teach. We hope this will start a trend of incorporating sustainable practices in new construction on the UGA campus.”

According to Laurie Fowler, professor and chair of the Green Building Committee, faculty of the Odum School are spread out over six buildings on campus. Being housed in one building will further intellectual pursuits and collegiality.

“This building would not only provide the classroom, laboratory and office space we need, but it would also serve to educate the community-at-large,” said Fowler. “We want people to understand why building green is so critical and also learn about components they can incorporate into their own lives right now. And it’s a given that this building will be as environmentally friendly as possible.”

The mission of the R. Howard Dobbs Jr. Foundation is to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities by supporting educational opportunities, improving access to health services, and promoting environmental stewardship. Additional information can be found at

With roots that date back to the 1950s, the UGA Odum School of Ecology offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a certification program. Founder Eugene P. Odum is recognized internationally as a pioneer of ecosystem ecology. The school is ranked eighth by U.S. News and World Report for its graduate program. For more information, visit