Campus News

Symposium will showcase range of interdisciplinary research at Wormsloe

Landscape history, coastal ecosystem dynamics and disease ecology will be just a few of the topics discussed April 7 at the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe 2016 Research Symposium.

The symposium, sponsored by the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History, takes place from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the UGA Odum School of Ecology auditorium. It will be followed by a reception and is free and open to all.

Located at historic Wormsloe on the Isle of Hope near Savannah, the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe hosts graduate students and faculty from the Odum School, the College of Environment and Design, the College of Engineering and the departments of anthropology, geography and history to explore questions with relevance not only to Wormsloe itself but which also have national- and global-scale implications. Their research is conducted under the auspices of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History Science Advisory Council, made up of experts from a number of schools and departments at UGA as well as partners from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wormsloe’s history and location make it an ideal living laboratory for this kind of interdisciplinary work, according to Sarah Ross, director of the Wormsloe Institute and UGA CREW and a faculty member in the College of Environment and Design.

According to the archaeological record, human habitation of the site dates back 6,000 years. In 1736 founding Georgia colonist Noble Jones established Wormsloe as a farm and fortification; it has remained in his family ever since and is home today to ninth-generation descendant Craig Barrow III and his wife, Diana Deas Barrow.

In 2007 the Barrows, with Ross as director, created the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History and partnered with the Wormsloe Foundation and the UGA Graduate School to establish the interdisciplinary Wormsloe Fellows program. In 2013 the Wormsloe Foundation deeded 15 acres to UGA to create the Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe; research facilities there will be dedicated later this spring.

“This year’s symposium will provide a glimpse of the breadth and depth of research happening at Wormsloe, and highlight the interdisciplinary and innovative nature of the work taking place there,” Ross said.