Campus News

State, national authorities will speak at two-day environmental symposium

Ray Anderson

The university’s Academy of the Environment is bringing an array of state and national authorities on environmental issues to campus for a two-day symposium this month.

Speakers for the Oct. 23-24 event include Ray Anderson, chairman of Interface Inc. of Atlanta; Carol Couch, director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division; William Easterling III, director of the Pennsylvania State University Institutes of the Environment; and senior officials from a number of state and national agencies that fund environmental research.

The symposium will focus on funding opportunities for research on emerging environmental issues. Its primarily for UGA faculty and staff involved in environmental research, but anyone interested in issues concerning the environment is welcome to attend, said Ian Hardin, a symposium organizer.

The talk by Anderson, an internationally known leader in the “green business movement,” will be open to the public. It takes place Oct. 24 at 12:45 p.m. in Masters Hall of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

The symposium is the first major initiative of the Academy of the Environment, an organization created to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among UGA faculty who have expertise and skills related to environmental studies. A total of 234 faculty members has joined the academy, representing a wide range of disciplines at the university including a number of non-science units.

Hardin, Georgia Power Professor of textile science in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Mary Alice Smith, associate professor of environmental health in the College of Public Health, are interim co-directors of the Academy of the Environment and have led planning for the symposium.

“One of the academy’s main goals is to provide resources and support to help faculty work together on programs in research, instruction and training, and outreach that will address complex environmental problems facing society,” said Hardin. “The symposium is a wonderful opportunity for faculty and others to hear from, and talk with, state and national officials and leaders who may be their collaborators in the future.”

Other speakers include Alan Hecht, director for sustainable development in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who was White House coordinator for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development; and senior officials from the USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.