Mission

Our mission is to shape the future of ecological inquiry and application to better understand our rapidly changing planet. To succeed we will conduct disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on the interrelations of organisms and their environments, recognizing the dominant influence of humans. We will educate the next generation of ecologists and citizens and engage in outreach and service for the broader public.

Research

The school adheres to Odum’s holistic approach to ecological studies, with areas of particular strength in aquatic ecology, conservation ecology, disease ecology, ecosystem ecology, evolutionary ecology, and sustainability science. Researchers in the Odum School work on timely and complex issues including global climate change, species extinction, biodiversity and invasive species, among others.

The Odum School emphasizes an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to research, integrating expertise and resources from other schools and colleges at UGA as well as other institutions. A number of our faculty have joint appointments with other units on campus, including the College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Infectious Diseases, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of genetics, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, the School of Law and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Our researchers are part of several centers and affinity groups, including the Georgia Initiative for Climate and Society, the UGA Water Faculty and the Faculty of Infectious Diseases. Read more about Research at the Odum School.

Academics

The ecology program at UGA is known for its rigorous coursework, interdisciplinary approach, service-learning courses and meaningful opportunities for field experience, independent research and studies abroad. Read more about our academic programs.

Public Service and Outreach

The Odum School serves the people of Georgia and beyond, integrating research and academics to help communities solve environmental challenges. Learn more about the Odum School’s public service and outreach programs.

International Reach

Odum School research spans the globe, with faculty and students working in locations as far afield as Africa, Australia and South America. In addition we offer tropical ecology courses at the UGA San Luis Research Station in Costa Rica. With the help of generous donors, the Odum School has established travel scholarships in an effort to ensure that cost is not a barrier to any student interested in studying abroad. Learn more about our program in Costa Rica.

History

The Odum School’s roots date to the 1940s when namesake Eugene P. Odum came to the University of Georgia as a faculty member in zoology. In 1953 Odum published the first textbook in the field, Fundamentals of Ecology, helping to establish ecology as its own scientific discipline. In the 1950s Odum also initiated two major research programs, the Georgia Marine Biological Laboratory (later the UGA Marine Institute) on Sapelo Island and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory near Aiken, South Carolina. The Institute of Ecology, formally established in 1967, grew out of these programs. In 2007, the Institute became the Odum School, the first standalone college of ecology in the world. Read more about Our History.