Campus News

New director works to raise profile of environmental ethics program

Earlier this year, a 23-year-old interdisciplinary program welcomed a new director and an old friend when Dorinda Dallmeyer became head of the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program.

Dallmeyer, who retired from UGA in October after two decades with the Dean Rusk Center, returned to work with the EECP where she has been both an instructor and a member of its executive committee.

“The EECP is one of the oldest environmental ethics programs in the country but it has yet to achieve its potential,” says Dallmeyer. “I would like to help it achieve a higher profile on campus as well as regionally and nationally. The major challenge is to provide it with a budget commensurate with its potential.”

Through EECP, students are exposed to various ethical implications of environmental problems. Part of the program includes a seminar series and popular “Philosophers Walk” field trips that take participants into the natural environment for some eye-opening observations and discussions.

Dallmeyer is proud of the program’s positive effect on students, and keeps in touch with EECP graduates such as Beth Allgood, who earned her certificate and then enrolled in law school at UGA. Allgood now works with the Atlanta office of the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Dallmeyer also is pleased with the recognition the EECP has gained for its sponsorship of the Southern Nature Project. Begun in 2001 to promote ­nature writing about the South, the project has produced radio programs, writer’s workshops and conferences.

“It’s a great example of what the EECP can do to leverage a small amount of funding into making a difference across the region,” says Dallmeyer.

As for the future of the EECP itself, in the fall of 2006 Dallmeyer plans to devote a large portion of the seminar series to corporate environmental responsibility. She also wants to see that environmental ethics are included in more aspects of the science curriculum at UGA.

“Our faculty and students are not shy when it comes to discussing the legacy values we want to leave to the generations who follow us,” says Dallmeyer. “Last fall, President Adams announced a new focus on ethics training for all UGA students. . . .The EECP is well-positioned to assist in developing this campus initiative.”