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RESEARCH NEWS April 16, 2018


Digest College of Education faculty member to deliver 24th annual Coley Lecture

Andrew Davis Tucker

Marshall Shepherd and his team are also taking a look at how cities can prepare for climate conditions beyond flooding and other extreme weather events.

Planning for hurricanes UGA is helping policymakers, city planners make better-informed decisions about extreme weather

Rainstorms in 1960 look different from those in 2017, both in terms of intensity and rainfall. It’s a simple observation, but one with long-term effects on how cities are equipped to handle weather systems. For Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Sciences program, this is one of many pieces of critical information city leaders need as they examine how their communities and living spaces interact with their region’s unique climates. Shepherd’s research into urban flooding, for example, shows how outdated assumptions can have detrimental consequences, and his work on a National Science Foundation-funded project to bridge the gap between city planning and weather-climate communities was an important step in the right direction. In conjunction with the Georgia Water Resources Institute, Shepherd and his team are looking at weather pattern trends to determine how vulnerable to flooding people are

in certain cities. And as more people flock to urban centers, these research findings are informing the important decisions made by city planners and policymakers. “Our work has a direct impact in understanding how we need to think about planning to cope with increasing amounts of rain,” he said. “Our storm management systems are currently designed for last century’s rainstorms, under the stationary assumption that rainstorms look the same now as they did a few decades ago. We help city planners and policymakers understand how they can be updated.” Shepherd and his team are also taking a look at how cities can prepare for climate conditions beyond flooding and other extreme weather events. “The Southeast, particularly Georgia, experiences the full range of weather events, from heat waves, to droughts, to hurricanes, to tornadoes, to flooding,” he said. “Having expertise here, at the university, gives us the ­opportunity to

study extreme weather, its causes and its implications on society.” This is particularly relevant for Shepherd’s critical research on the Brown Ocean Effect, a term coined at Georgia. In a series of papers, the UGA team described how tropical cyclones can intensify or maintain strength as they move inland as a result of wet soils, irrigation or wetland interactions. Partnering with NASA to use satellites and climate models, he and his team are gaining further insights into this phenomenon and how it might influence future hurricane systems. And as with flooding research and the climate index project, this research puts critical information into the hands of key decision-makers who are orchestrating the future of city planning. Editor’s note: This story is part of the Great Commitments series, which focuses on cutting-edge research happening on UGA campuses. Read more about UGA’s commitment to research that changes lives at


Mellon grant will expand Global Georgia Initiative By Dave Marr

A $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enable the University of Georgia Willson Center for Humanities and Arts to expand its Global Georgia Initiative, a public humanities program in place since 2013. “As a leading public research university, UGA is appreciative to the Mellon Foundation for supporting the university’s goal of expanding its reach to scholars and community members throughout Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Mellon Foundation in this manner.” In its first six years, the Global Georgia Initiative has engaged the humanities and arts in exploring global issues of public concern in a diversity of local contexts, serving audiences at UGA and throughout the Athens community. Programs have featured guests from five continents on topics from Chinese film and literature to

journalism in the American South, and from hyperlocal agriculture and manufacturing to pan-African cultural criticism. The expansion of the initiative focuses on three areas: connecting its visiting speaker programs to curricular and experiential learning activities at UGA; bolstering existing off-campus public humanities collaborations; and instituting a statewide symposium for the humanities. “The humanities play an indispensable role in deepening our understanding of ourselves and the world around us,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. “Thanks to the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, the Willson Center will build on its exemplary record of fostering engagement with subjects that touch lives and transcend borders.” Two of the Global Georgia Initiative’s speaker programs will be produced with input from proposals by UGA faculty, integrating the programs with coursework and involving UGA

students in archival research and public engagement. Global Georgia will also now support public humanities programs built by the Willson Center with public school systems and other partners in three locations: Sapelo Island, Putnam County and UGA’s home of AthensClarke County. The grant will strengthen the university’s engagement with these communities by providing research internships, travel funding and other resources. Lastly, the grant will fund the establishment of an annual Georgia Humanities Symposium to provide a platform for the sharing and dissemination of humanities research and priorities by members of the statewide academic community. “We look to the Willson Center to help strengthen research in the humanities and arts at the University of Georgia, and this grant from the Mellon Foundation is tangible proof of its success,” said David Lee, vice president for research.

Bettina L. Love, associate professor of e­ ducational theory and practice at the UGA College of Education, will deliver the 24th annual Andrea Carson Coley Lecture April 20 at 12:30 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium in the Georgia Museum of Art. Open free to the public, the lecture will ­follow a reception honoring the Coley family at 11:30 a.m. Love’s expertise includes the ways in which urban youth negotiate hip hop music and culture to form social, cultural and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice. Her research also focuses on how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged, anti-racist, anti-homophobic and anti-sexist educational, equitable classrooms. The Andrea Carson Coley Lecture, hosted by the UGA Institute for Women’s Studies, was endowed through a donation from Andrew and Kathy Coley in memory of their daughter, Andrea Carson Coley (1972-1993), who was a certificate candidate in women’s studies. Each spring, the lecture brings to campus scholars conducting cutting-edge research in LGBT studies. This year’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Georgia Museum of Art and the UGA LGBT Resource Center.

Staff Council elects new officers

At its April 4 meeting, the Staff Council elected officers for the coming year. The elected officers are president Marie Mize with the School of Law, vice-president Mary Moore with the Office of Institutional Research, treasurer Jacob Schindler with the School of Public and International Affairs, recording secretary Kaelin Broaddus with the University of Georgia Press and coordinator Kyla Sterling with the Terry College of Business. They will take office July 1.

Reception for new retirees to be held

The Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and the UGA Retirees Association will host a reception April 26 for UGA faculty, staff and administrators who retired between May 2017 and April 2018. The new retirees, who were mailed invitations to the event, will be presented with certificates thanking them for their service to the university. The annual reception for new retirees is a tradition at UGA that allows retirees to be formally recognized for their service. “The UGARA Council is grateful for the support of President Jere W. Morehead and Provost Whitten for making this event possible,” said UGARA President Tom Landrum. “This occasion sends a message to UGA retirees that their years of service to UGA are appreciated.” The keynote speaker for the event will be University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley. Information will be available at the reception about UGARA, which includes all UGA retirees—faculty, staff and administrators—who become members when they officially retire from the University of Georgia. UGARA is governed by a council that consists of elected members who serve three-year terms. In addition to Landrum, elected council members for 2017-2018 are Nancy McDuff, vice president; Tom Eaton, secretary; Paul Kurtz, treasurer; Mark Eason, immediate past president and USG Retiree Council representative and benefits; Henry Hibbs, receptions; Jim Cobb, communications, Marilyn Huff-Waller and Ruhanna Neal.

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UGA Columns April 16, 2018  

UGA Columns April 16, 2018

UGA Columns April 16, 2018  

UGA Columns April 16, 2018