The University of Georgia held a dedication ceremony for its newest facilities—the Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe cabins—on Friday, April 22, at 4 p.m. at Wormsloe, 7601 Skidaway Road, Savannah.
Nestled among the palm trees and Spanish moss-draped oaks, two new three-bedroom cabins, measuring roughly 1,450 square feet each, will provide lodging for students and faculty immersed in experiential learning programs on site.
“UGA's Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe is situated on one of the most significant historical, cultural and natural sites on the Georgia coast,” said Sarah Ross, president of the Wormsloe Foundation and director of the UGA site. “UGA and the Wormsloe Foundation have partnered to support student and faculty research since 1938. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is now an important part of this public-private partnership which fosters interdisciplinary research and education involving a dozen academic units across campus.”
Wormsloe was established in 1736 by Noble Jones, one of the original founders of the Colony of Georgia, as a farm and fortification against potential invasion by the Spanish. It has remained under the ownership and management of his descendants ever since. Wormsloe, although inhabited for centuries, has never been developed, making it one of the most ecologically intact properties in the area.
The current owners, ninth generation Jones descendant Craig Barrow and his wife, Diana, created the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History with Ross and the Wormsloe Foundation in 2007. In April 2013, the trustees of the Wormsloe Foundation donated 15.45 acres of the Wormsloe property to UGA to create the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe. Research is conducted on these acres as well as the almost 1,200 that surround them, which are owned by the Georgia DNR.
The ceremony’s speakers included UGA President Jere W. Morehead; Don L. Waters, regent of the University System of Georgia; Daniel J. Nadenicek, dean of the College of Environment and Design; and Wormsloe Fellow Ania A. Majewska, a Ph.D. student in the Odum School of Ecology.
Majewska, who studies the effects of different types of pollinator gardens on the health of monarchs, said that the opportunity afforded her to pursue her research at Wormsloe has allowed her to grow intellectually. “Speaking for the students, being able to stay on site and become completely immersed in the place is invaluable,” she said. “It allows us to get to know the other researchers, share ideas and collaborate. This place and the level of support we receive is unique.”
Following the speakers’ remarks, Majewska and Barrow released a pair of monarch butterflies from the steps of the DeRenne Library. The ceremonies concluded with a ribbon cutting and tours of the cabins, with several Wormsloe Fellows on hand to discuss their research.
UGA students and professors at Wormsloe come from various disciplines—including geography, environment and design, archeology, anthropology, history, forestry and ecology—and from various parts of UGA—the College of Environment and Design, College of Engineering, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Odum School of Ecology and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.
The projects they're working on range from solar to water to the intracoastal waterway to pollinator research to rice cultivation to augmented reality.
To learn more about the Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe, see www.crew.uga.edu.