Mission

We study the fundamental ecological processes that shape the world, inspire and train future
generations, and create science-based solutions to environmental problems. Building on our
legacy of innovation, we create change by harnessing diverse tools and perspectives in a
collaborative community.

Vision

We study the fundamental ecological processes that shape the world, inspire and train future
To lead the world in ecological science

Core Values

  • Integrity. We are honest and open in our interactions, professionally respectful, and pursue the truth in our scientific endeavors.
  • Inclusivity. Diverse backgrounds and opinions lead to a vibrant exchange of ideas and advancement of science. We strive to foster a community in which all individuals are welcome and all feel valued and respected.
  • Intellectual curiosity. We are motivated by a desire to understand the natural world.
  • Interdisciplinarity. Because not all questions can be answered within disciplinary bounds, we seek collaborations with other fields of inquiry and respect pluralistic paths to discovery.
  • Innovation. We seek creative, novel, and effective approaches that advance ecological science, education, and application.

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.