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February 2009 Issue

Campus Digest

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $6.7 million to a consortium of universities headed by the University of Georgia (UGA) for research on the effects of climate change and urbanization in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

The grant extends the work of the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research project, which has been continuously funded since 1980, according to Ted Gragson, a professor of anthropology in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and lead principal investigator of the ongoing project.

Problems tied to climate change in the region and pressure from those moving from surrounding urban areas to the sparsely populated mountain land present daunting challenges. The new grant will allow researchers to focus on experimental and observational research in the French Broad and the Little Tennessee River basins, the latter with headwaters in north Georgia. The team hopes that research from numerous different angles in the project area will help lead to practical ways to control growth in the coming decades.

“Southern Appalachia provides a near-perfect opportunity for a natural experiment,” said Gragson. “By significantly strengthening the social-science component of the project and moving outside the experimental watersheds of the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory into the surrounding areas, we will be able to find focus on how exurbanization and climate change are affecting this priceless part of America.”

Ten UGA faculty members, as well as collaborators at a number of other universities, are involved in research projects under the umbrella of the grant.

For the second straight year, the Corporation for National and Community Service has honored Columbus State University with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Columbus State contributed more than 314,000 service hours to the surrounding community in 2008. Sixty percent of the student body (4,745 students) accounted for 302,814 of those hours.

Posted by John Vanchella on February 01, 2009
Published in: On Campus

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