News

  • Retirees
  • Griffin Campus
  • Athens Campus
  • Cooperative Extension
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Seventeen UGA employees retired Dec. 1. Retirees, their job classification, department and years of service are: 

  • Alumni
  • Community
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The University of Georgia Alumni Association has released the 2017 Bulldog 100. This annual program recognizes the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. More than 500 nominations were submitted for the 2017 list.

The 2017 Bulldog 100 includes businesses of all sizes and from industries such as veterinary medicine, IT consulting and pest control. Several areas of the country are represented, including companies from as far north as New York and as far west as California. Of the 100 businesses, 79 are located within Georgia, and only one business has made the list all eight years: Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School.

The Atlanta office of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors verified the information submitted by each company and ranked the businesses based on a compounded annual growth rate during a three-year period.

  • Cooperative Extension
  • Turfgrass and Weed Science
  • Master Gardener
  • Community
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After months of abnormally dry and warm conditions, 52 north Georgia counties are now facing water use restrictions in accordance with Gov. Nathan Deal’s Level 2 drought response designation. Fifty-eight other counties are being required to implement Level 1 drought responses.

Homeowners and businesses in the affected counties must limit their landscape irrigation to two days a week. Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursdays and Sundays, also between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.

The Level 2 drought response also calls for homeowners and business owners to refrain from washing hard surfaces, such as streets and sidewalks; washing cars at home or for fundraisers; noncommercial pressure washing; using fountains or water features; and using fire hydrants for any reason except for firefighting and public safety.

Irrigation of newly installed turf or landscape plants or vegetable gardens; irrigation at commercial nurseries, parks, sports fields and golf courses; hand-watering; and irrigation with drip or soaker hoses are exempt from these regulations, as these are considered agricultural water uses.

  • Cooperative Extension
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If you’ve walked outside during the last week, you’ve probably noticed the smell of smoke in the air. The current exceptional drought covering much of northern Georgia and surrounding states has created perfect conditions for the growth of wildfires, which can be caused by careless trash burning, sparks from chains dragging behind trailers, or in a few cases, arson. 

The smoke from the fires can be carried a long way downwind, and winds from the north this week have directed a lot of the smoke right at Athens and Atlanta. Because of high atmospheric pressure,which acts like a lid on the smoke plumes, the smoke is concentrated near the ground. As the wind shifts around with the weather patterns, areas may see exceptionally heavy smoke or may experience clearer conditions. 

Air quality conditions can be tracked at the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow website at airnow.gov. A web page devoted to the fires and plumes can be found at www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires. Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division of Air Quality also provides a map of current conditions at amp.georgiaair.org.

  • Retirees
  • Griffin Campus
  • Athens Campus
  • Cooperative Extension
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Seventeen UGA employees retired Oct. 1. Retirees, their job classification, department and years of service are:

  • Food Science and Technology
  • Peanut Mycotoxin and Innovation Lab
  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
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For millennia, farmers used compost to return nutrients to depleted soil. Now researchers are searching for a way composting can help battle aflatoxin.

Ghana native Esther Yeboah Akoto, who is currently pursuing her master’s degree in food science and technology at the University of Georgia, is working to help farmers diminish aflatoxin contamination in their soil by composting field waste.

“We know that composting has been around for a very long time. It’s a technique that growers have used for thousands of years,” said Akoto, who is conducting her research in conjunction with U.S. Feed the Future's Peanut Mycotoxin and Innovation Lab at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“More recently, we know about aflatoxin and its effect on health. Could composting provide a way to remove aflatoxin-contaminated produce from the food supply?”

Researchers around the world are working to minimize naturally occurring molds that can grow on peanuts, maize and other crops. Those molds diminish the quality of peanut crops and generate mycotoxins such as aflatoxin, a dangerous compound that can cause physical and mental stunting in children, cause cancer and, in high doses, even kill. Obviously, the most effective intervention is to minimize mold growth in the field and in storage, but farmers may never completely get rid of something as ubiquitous as mold.

  • College of Engineering
  • Archway Partnership
  • Community
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University of Georgia senior Mariana Ozier looked like a professional engineer, scribbling notes as she walked a site pegged for redevelopment in Griffin.

She and Spalding County Community Development Director Chad Jacobs discussed zoning, building plans and possible locations for a storm water detention pond. It was exciting, Ozier said, to be part of a group that was working on a real project, not just something from a textbook.

"Just getting to see how we can help make it happen and how our work is going to impact what they want to do is pretty cool," she said. "I do feel like a professional engineer."

Ozier, along with UGA College of Engineering classmates Mitchell Massengill and Alec Trexler, were in Griffin as part of their capstone senior design course.

They are assisting with a project on a possible mixed-use development and aquatics center. The students' job will be to help determine the infrastructure needs for the development and their estimated costs.

Engineering expertise is one of many university resources that the UGA Archway Partnership offers to communities across the state.

Archway's collaborations with the College of Engineering have led to many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to get hands-on experience before they join the workforce.

  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Cooperative Extension
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University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead and other university administrators celebrated the opening of the 2016 Sunbelt Agricultural Expo by visiting the opening day of the three-day trade show Oct. 18 in Moultrie. 

This is the fourth consecutive year Morehead has taken part in the Expo festivities since becoming president of UGA in 2013. As he has in previous years, Morehead toured the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences building at Spence Field where he spoke with student ambassadors and visited with key agricultural leaders in Georgia.

"I always enjoy returning to South Georgia for this exciting event and seeing firsthand the critical role that the University of Georgia plays in supporting the state of Georgia's agriculture industry," Morehead said. "Coming to Sunbelt is a highlight of mine every year, and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to show support for our wonderful College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences."

  • Research
  • Turfgrass and Weed Science
  • Griffin Campus
  • Crop and Soil Sciences
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Like most college students, David Jespersen was unsure of what he wanted to study. At first, he was intrigued by psychology, but the required biology and science classes drew him to plant sciences. As a result, he's now the newest member of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' turfgrass research team.

"Something about the plant sciences grabbed my interest as being practical and underappreciated," said Jespersen, who now conducts research on the UGA campus in Griffin.

Jespersen earned a doctorate in plant biology with an emphasis in turfgrass physiology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

A native of New Jersey, Jespersen is adjusting to life in the South and the relentlessly intense heat of Georgia summers.

"Summers (in New Jersey) are kind of hot. It hits the 90s (degrees Fahrenheit) and there's an occasional heat wave hitting 100 (F)," he said, just a few days after sharing his research results in humid, near-100-degree weather at the outdoor UGA Turfgrass Field Day, a research event held biennially in August.

He is also adjusting to working on a smaller extended university campus.

"Everyone on the Griffin campus is very friendly, but it's not as lively as a large campus," he said. "It's definitely a lot easier not to get distracted and to focus on research."

  • STEM
  • Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
  • Griffin Campus
  • Microbiology
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A group of Griffin High School biology students visited the University of Georgia Griffin Campus last week to conduct a science experiment under the direction of college students. The UGA students were fulfilling their service learning component of their “Basic Skills in the Laboratory” class, taught by Margie Paz, a senior lecturer in the microbiology department of the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

“Participating in this service-learning activity helped the college students meet the requirement of UGA’s new experiential learning initiative, which began this semester. Every UGA undergraduate student must now participate in a hands-on, learning opportunity outside of the classroom.

The GHS students who participated in the experiment are all currently enrolled in biology classes and were selected for the experience by their teachers. The high school students performed a genetic engineering experiment using green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the supervision of the UGA Griffin students. The experiment helped the GHS students understand the scientific process involved in the GFP gene’s expression, Paz said.