The Odum School of Ecology Board is a volunteer board that assists the dean of the Odum School in areas related to development, communications, public relations, fundraising and donor prospects.

Odum School of Ecology Board Members

Rebecca Bell is Director of the Little Cumberland Island Turtle Project, which has involved and hired many students from the Odum School over the years. Bell lives on Little Cumberland Island, Georgia, and in Round Pond, Maine.

Gray Bethea is a 1974 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. He is former vice president and secretary for Scientific Games International, and lives in Atlanta.

Ron Carroll is an emeritus professor and former director of the UGA Institute of Ecology. His research interests include conservation biology, sustainable economic development, ecosystem restoration, and invasive species. Dr. Carroll earned his Ph.D. in population biology at the University of Chicago. In recent years, his research has focused on the mechanisms of ecological restoration in the context of conservation ecology. In addition to many journal publications, he has co-authored several book chapters and a graduate-level textbook on conservation ecology.

Bertis Downs is a 1981 graduate of and Adjunct Professor for the University of Georgia School of Law. He is attorney for and manages the great Athens band R.E.M. He lives in Athens.

Laurie Fowler is a 1983 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. She is the executive director for public service and external affairs for the Odum School and director for policy of the UGA River Basin Center. Fowler is a member of the conservation ecology faculty in the Odum School, the UGA water resources faculty, and the clinical faculty in the UGA School of Law.

Felton Jenkins III is a partner and portfolio manager at Trimaran Capital, a Registered Investment Advisory firm. A 1990 graduate of UGA in zoology, he holds both an MFS and MBA degree from Yale University. He has served on a number of conservation and ecology related boards and organizations, including the board of Clean Coast, Inc., in Savannah.

Steven Saferin was appointed president of Scientific Games’ Properties Group, a newly formed business unit, in 2010. In this role, Mr. Saferin is responsible for the overall market development of the Company’s licensed properties and promotional opportunities as well as various new media initiatives. Scientific Games’ Properties Group, MDI Entertainment, has the lottery industry’s largest portfolio of licensed properties with contracts in nearly every U.S. lottery jurisdiction. Mr. Saferin received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from American University and received his JD from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Diane Sanzone is an associate vice president at AECOM, a Fortune 500 global civil engineering firm that integrates design, construction, finance, operation and management of projects and programs. She has conducted scientific and technical studies all over the world and manages large programs in marine and onshore ecosystems for major commercial and government clients. She received her M.S. in Conservation Ecology in 1995 and Ph.D. in Ecology in 2001 from the University of Georgia.

J. Rutherford Seydel is a 1986 graduate of the University of Georgia. He is an attorney and partner with Davis, Pickren & Seydel in Atlanta. He and his wife, Laura, are co-founders of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Fund.

John Sibley grew up in a family committed to community service and the stewardship of Georgia’s land. Sibley practiced law in Atlanta for 12 years before joining the staff of Governor Joe Frank Harris as director of the Growth Strategies Commission in 1987. He has served as president of the Georgia Conservancy and Utility Program Director of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and is currently Senior Policy Fellow at Southface Energy Institute.

Steve Weber has a comprehensive background in finance, marketing and real estate. He is currently president of two real estate companies based in Sherman Oaks, Calif. One company owns and acquires commercial and industrial real estate. The other company holds first trust deeds in the residential market. He graduated from the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 35 years.