Lifesaving Serum: Vaccine Development at UGA
Bears at the crossroad â€˘ new look at an old war
ugaresearch is published by the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Georgia. The magazine is printed with funds from the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit foundation that supports UGA research. Michael F. Adams, President Jere Morehead, Senior VP for Academic Affairs/Provost David C. Lee, Vice President for Research Terry Hastings, Director, Research Communications
10 Lifesaving Serum:
Vaccine development at UGA
By James Hataway
Bears at the crossroad
ugaresearch staff Editor: Helen Fosgate (email@example.com) Circulation, Media Shelf: Laurie Anderson Contributing editor: Steve Marcus Design: Lindsay Robinson/UGA Public Affairs Photo Liaison: Paul Efland/UGA
Writers: James Hataway, Sam Fahmy, Helen Fosgate, Dot Paul, April Sorrow, Beth Gavrilles, Christine Franklin. Photographers: Dot Paul, Paul Efland, Robert Newcomb, Andrew Tucker, Joey Hinton.
Articles may be reprinted with permission. For additional copies of the magazine or address changes, please contact Research Communications at 706-583-0599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Access the electronic edition at www.researchmagazine.uga.edu. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Research Magazine, OVPR, University of Georgia, 708 Boyd GSRC, Athens, GA 30602-7411. Call 706-583-0599; or email email@example.com. In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Georgia does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; its admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation consistent with the University non-discrimination policy. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to the director of the Equal Opportunity Office, Peabody Hall, 290 South Jackson Street, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Telephone 706-542-7912 (V/TDD). Fax 706-542-2822
Scientistsâ€™ efforts promise to aid in the prevention of infectious diseasesâ€”those that have plagued humankind for generations and others yet to come.
By Helen Fosgate
New look at an old war
By Sam Fahmy
Researchers study an isolated population of black bears that face pressures from development, traffic, and hunting.
As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, historians at UGA, a leading center of Civil War scholarship, are gaining new insights into nonmilitary aspects of the war.
Vol 42, No. 2
newsbriefs 2 GPS for the brain: UGA reserachers develop new brain map 3 Clocking the speed of whopping evolutionary changes 4 Hypertension increases eye damage in diabetics 5 Study shows evidence of native plantsâ€™ evolution in response to invasive species 6 Sizeable increase in cigarette tax could benefit state, residents 7 Study shows bias in state supreme court assignments
Want to support UGA research? If you would like to support research featured in this issue, contact Keith Oelke, executive director of corporate and foundation relations at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mapping race in America
To see back issues of ugaresearch, visit us online at: www.researchmagazine.uga.edu
Professor of geography Steven Holloway has found that even as American cities diversify, segregation remains.
A sampling of books, recordings and other creative works by UGA faculty, staff, and students.
Statistical literacy is essential in K-12
Christine Franklin, professor of statistics, has led in the fight to include statistical reasoning in the K-12 curriculum. Fall 2012
GPS for the brain: UGA researchers develop new brain map
niversity of Georgia scientists have developed a map that promises to elucidate the inner workings of the body’s most complex and critical organ. The map’s developers believe they have created a “next-generation” human-brain atlas— improving on the one created by German anatomist Korbinian Brodmann more than 100 years ago that is still commonly used in clinical and research settings. Tianming Liu, assistant professor of computer science at UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and graduate students Dajiang Zhu and Kaiming Li, identified 358 landmarks throughout the brain related to memory, vision, language and many other fundamental cerebral functions. Their findings were published in the April 2012 issue of Cerebral Cortex. The researchers used diffusion tensor imaging, a sophisticated technique that allows scientists to visualize nerve-fiber connections throughout the brain. Unlike many other neuroimaging studies, their investigation focuses on the entire cerebral cortex rather than on one section of the brain. The new map thus provides a clearer picture of how the brain’s different areas are physically connected—and how these connections relate to basic brain activity. Liu and his team examined hundreds of healthy young adults to establish the landmarks, which they call “dense individualized and common connectivity-based cortical landmarks,” or DICCCOL. After extensive testing and comparison, the team determined that these nodes are present in every normal brain, meaning they can be used as a basis of 2
comparison for those with damaged brain tissue or altered brain function. “DICCCOL is very similar to a GPS system,” Zhu said, “only it’s a GPS map of the human brain.” Now, thanks in part to a five-year, $1.6-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Liu and collaborators Xiaoping Hu and Claire Coles of Emory University are preparing to evaluate the usefulness of their map by comparing healthy brains with those of children whose brains were damaged by exposure to cocaine while in the womb. In so doing, the researchers hope to determine the specific segments of the brain responsible for children’s physical or mental disabilities caused by such “prenatal cocaine exposure,” or PCE. They already know that the damage from this exposure is extensive. “The PCE brain is disrupted in a systematic way; the whole brain is wrongly wired,” Liu said. “By testing our map on one of the worst cases, we will know if it will work in other cases.” Liu and his team believe that the map may also prove useful in the evaluation of other brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as stroke. Contact Tianming Liu by email at: email@example.com
Learn more about the Cortical Architecture Imaging and Discovery Laboratory at: caid.cs.uga.edu
— James Hataway
Clocking the speed of whopping evolutionary changes
or the first time, scientists have calculated how fast large-scale evolution can occur in mammals—showing, for example, that it takes some 24 million generations for a mouse-sized animal to evolve to the size of an elephant. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by an international team of 20 researchers—including UGA ecologists John Gittleman and Patrick Stephens—describes increases and decreases in mammal size following the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. According to team leader Alistair Evans, a research fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University in Australia, the study is unique because most other evolution work has focused on microevolution—the small changes that occur within a species. “This is the first study to try to quantify evolutionary rates on such a large time scale and across so many groups of species,” said Gittleman, dean of UGA’s Odum School of Ecology. “This is important because it begins to tell us about how species adapt. Some have the capacity to evolve more quickly than others, which might bode well for those species in the future as major environmental changes occur.” The study focused on 28 distinct groups of mammals, including elephants, primates, and whales, from different continents and ocean basins over the past 70 million years. The scientists tracked body-size changes in terms of generations rather than years to allow meaningful comparisons between species with differing life spans. Erich Fitzgerald, senior curator of vertebrate palaeontology
at Australia’s Museum Victoria and a coauthor, said increases in whale size occurred at twice the rate of land mammals “probably because it’s easier to be big in the water, which can support the great weight.” Regarding changes in the opposite direction, Evans said he was surprised to find that decreases in body size occurred more than 10 times faster than increases. “The huge difference in rates for getting smaller and getting bigger is really astounding,” Evans said. Many miniature animals, such as the pygmy mammoth, dwarf hippo, and “hobbit” hominids lived on islands, which helps explain their size reductions. “On small islands, where resources are scant, getting smaller as fast as possible is a real evolutionary advantage,” said Gittleman. Smaller organisms don’t need as much food and are able to reproduce faster. These issues are important for understanding the continuing evolution of species, Stephens said. “We can ask how many generations organisms will need to adapt to climate change, for instance. Looking at evolutionary rates may tell us which ones are likely to survive.” Funding for the study was provided by the Australian Research Council, Monash University, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the European Union, and South Melbourne’s Harold Mitchell Foundation. Contact John Gittleman by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Beth Gavrilles
Hypertension increases eye damage in diabetics
ew research by UGA scientists shows why hypertension and certain diabetes symptoms often go hand-in-hand. The study, which highlights the importance of controlling blood-sugar levels and blood pressure to delay diabetes-related vision loss, was published in the Journal of Molecular Vision. It is the first research to explain why the combination of diabetes and hypertension damages the eye’s blood vessels. “Diabetic animals showed signs of cell death in the eyes within the first six weeks of elevated blood pressure,” said Azza ElRemessy, a pharmacy researcher and director of UGA’s Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Program. “By 10 weeks, the tiny blood vessels around the optic nerve—which nourish the retina and affect visual processing—also showed signs of decay.” Islam Mohamad, a third-year clinical graduate student who was coauthor of the paper, said the value of controlling blood pressure in diabetes patients has been shown in many major clinical trials. “But our study highlights the interaction between
systemic hypertension and diabetes as two independent risk factors for the persistent retina damage known as retinopathy,” he said. The study “also emphasizes the importance of addressing different cardiovascular risk factors in a holistic way for improving the management and prevention of retinopathy.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 percent of adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, high levels of blood cholesterol, or diabetes. Thirteen percent of Americans have a combination of two of the conditions, while 3 percent have all three. Among these latter patients especially, early intervention is key to heading off vision loss. Contact Azza B. El-Remessy by email at: aelremessy@georgiahealth. edu or Islam Mohamed at: email@example.com Read the journal article online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC3380918/?tool=pubmed. — April Sorrow
Study shows evidence of native plants’ evolution in response to invasive species
nvasive species such as kudzu, privet, and garlic mustard can devastate ecosystems, and until now scientists had little reason to believe that native plants could mount a successful defense. But a new UGA study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides the first evidence of evolution by a native plant species to invasive species. In particular, some native clearweed plants have evolved resistance to invasive garlic mustard. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is “a pretty well-hated plant,” said study author Richard Lankau, assistant professor of plant biology at UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, because it can form a dense carpet in a forest’s understory. And even after being physically removed from an area, garlic mustard can reestablish itself within a year. Much of the plant’s success comes from the chemical warfare it wages with the aid of the compound sinigrin, which kills fungi that help native plants extract nutrients from the soil. The chemical is relatively new to North America, and this novelty gives garlic mustard a huge competitive advantage. But through a series of greenhouse and field experiments conducted over three years in five states, Lankau found that native clearweed (Pilea pumila) plants, which were chosen for the study because they occupy the same forest understory habitat as garlic mustard, show higher levels of resistance to sinigrin in areas where the two species have a longer history of coexistence. “It looks like the native plants have evolved in response to the traits of the invader,” Lankau said. In fact, he found that native plants resistant to the invader did best in heavily invaded sites. The study also raises the possibility that humans could help speed the adaptation of ecosystems to invasive species. Lankau explained that removing invasive species and replanting arbitrarily chosen natives often results in failure, but replacing invasive species with native plants from an area where the plants have had time to adapt to the invader could be more effective. Rather than replanting clearweed from a recently invaded site in Michigan, for example, land managers could use plants from New York State, where garlic mustard first entered this country some 150 years ago and where local clearweed is more likely to be resistant to the invader. “When people talk about evolution, it’s usually in the past tense,” Lankau said. “But one of the important messages from this study is that it’s an ongoing process that can happen fast. And this study suggests we might be able to jumpstart that process through evolutionarily informed management.” The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.
Contact Richard Lankau by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Sam Fahmy
Invasive garlic mustard can form dense carpets in forest understories, and even after being physically removed from an area it can reestablish itself within a year. Garlic mustard was introduced to the United States from Europe about 150 years ago, first in New York and Virginia and then in the Chicago area. The noxious plant continues to spread rapidly throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast.
Sizeable increase in cigarette tax could benefit state, residents
eorgia sold 544 million packs of cigarettes in 2010, earning $201 million in state tax revenue. New UGA research suggests that a $1 tax increase on each pack would decrease consumption by 20 percent while nearly tripling revenue. And researchers believe that this added tax would have similar effects in other states. More precisely, James MacKillop, an associate professor of psychology, estimates that a $1 per pack tax increase would generate a 197-percent increase in Georgia tax revenue, yielding a total of almost $600 million. The study, conducted by MacKillop and colleagues and published in the journal Addiction, assessed 1,056 smokers in Georgia, Rhode Island, and South Carolina to evaluate how purchasing decisions would be affected by price increases—net prices ranged from $0 (free) to $20 per pack. Of course, “as price goes up, consumption goes down,” said MacKillop, who directs the Behavioral Economics and Neuroeconomics Work Group at UGA’s Institute for Behavioral Research. But “we looked at small price-change intervals to better understand the relationship between cost and consumption—so that we could make specific predictions about price increases.” Georgia’s current tobacco tax is $0.37 per pack, nearly the lowest in the country. A pack of cigarettes here costs $4.37 on average, which ranks 48th nationally. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the state tobacco burden—numbers that include both the estimated health care costs and lost productivity—is $9.02 for every pack of cigarettes sold in Georgia, for an estimated total state tobacco burden of about $976 million. A $1 tax increase on cigarettes, however, could be win-win 6
for Georgia. “The price increase generates more in tax revenue and saves money in health care costs and lost productivity,” said MacKillop. “Plus, a tax increase may ultimately create an environment where fewer people start smoking and more people quit.” He predicts that a $1 tax increase in North Carolina would increase revenue there by $411 million and reduce the state’s tobacco burden by $825 million. In Virginia, which sells 543 million packs per year, the tax is estimated to generate $403 million in additional revenue and lower the tobacco burden by $678 million. The study also suggests that the tax’s impacts are partially the result of “left-digit” effects, whereby consumers are strongly influenced by the first digit in a product’s price. “The areas where we saw the biggest changes were those with left-digit transitions, or prices where the whole dollar price went up,” MacKillop said. Compared with the impact of a pack-price increase from $5.60 to $5.80, the decrease in cigarette consumption from $5.80 to $6.00 was four times larger. “People are disproportionately affected by those prices because we tend to think of numbers in whole terms,” he said. “This has important implications for policymakers because it suggests that certain price changes will have a particularly large impact.” Contact James MacKillop by email at: email@example.com The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The journal article is available online at: http://onlinelibrary. wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03991.x/full. — April Sorrow
Study shows bias in state supreme court assignments
he assignment to write a court’s majority opinion can have a major effect on judicial and public policy. But a new study by researchers at the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte shows that the individual judges’ race, gender, and other status-based characteristics influence who gets chosen for the majority-opinion assignment in many state supreme courts. “This research shows how powerful race- and gender-status cues can be in our daily and workplace decisions, even among our elite judges, who we assume know better because of their close association with the law and equal protection,” said Robert Christensen, an assistant professor of public administration and policy at UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs. Christensen, together with Justin Stritch of UGA and John Szmer of UNC/ Charlotte, examined the use of random-, rotation-, and discretion-based administrative court processes. Though the method differs from state to state, Christensen explained that random assignments are presumably “blind,” such as drawing names out of a hat, while discretionary assignments are made by the chief or most-senior justice. He said the rotationbased assignment, the method used in Georgia, is the most open. The data used for the study were obtained from the State Supreme Court Data Project, which collected decisions from all 50 state supreme courts from 1995 to1998. The information also included biographical information on more than 400 justices. The study found that black judges were systematically under-assigned the writing of the majority opinion in states using random- and discretion-based
assignment processes. Researchers also found that black male judges were 4 percent less likely to be assigned the average case than white male judges in discretionbased states, and 2 percent less likely in states with random assignment. However, when random-based courts assigned highprofile cases, black male judges were 43 percent less likely than their white counterparts to receive these assignments. White female judges received significantly fewer assignments in random-based states but disproportionately more assignments—2.4 percent more than white male judges—in discretion-based states. However, the over-assignment disappeared when discretion-based courts assigned high-profile cases. Significantly, Christensen and his coauthors found no evidence of race or gender bias in state supreme courts using rotation-based assignments. “This study shows that rules are not self-enforcing,” Christensen said. “There needs to be monitoring if we expect rules
to work well. The rotation of opinion assignment allowed just that—easy monitoring of a rule to assign opinion-writing equally. The random-assignment rule made it difficult to monitor who was really being bypassed.” Results of the study were published in the October 2012 issue of the Oxford University Press’s Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Contact Robert Christensen by email at: rc@ uga.edu For the full journal article, see: http://jpart. oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/05/22/ jopart.mus020.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=o69Ox qZy2GssCeV. — April Sorrow
Altamaha: A River and Its Keeper photographs by James Holland, conservationist; text by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, director, Environmental Ethics Certificate Program; and Janisse Ray, author (UGA Press, 2012). More than 230 color photographs capture the largest free-flowing river on the East Coast, designated as one of the Nature Conservancyâ€™s seventy-five Last Great Places.
The Prevention Practice Kit: Action Guides for Mental Health Professionals edited by Robert K. Conyne, professor emeritus, College of Education, University of Cincinnati and Arthur M. (Andy) Horne, Distinguished Research Professor and dean, College of Education, University of Georgia (Sage Publications, 2012). Endorsed by the Prevention Section of the Society of Counseling Psychology of the American Psychological Association, these guides are intended to provide practitioners, instructors and students with specific direction for identifying and treating mental illnesses before they become full-blown syndromes, as well as identifying people at risk for a particular condition.
The World of the Salt Marsh: Appreciating and Protecting the Tidal Marshes of the Southeastern Atlantic Coast by Charles Seabrook, environmental writer, AtlantaJournal Constitution. (University of Georgia Press, 2012). Frequent ugaresearch magazine contributor Charles Seabrook paints a portrait of the disappearing wetlands of the Southeast in an absorbing work that encompasses natural history, cultural heritage, and personal experience.
Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide by Mike Dorcas, associate professor of biology, Davidson College, and Whit Gibbons, professor emeritus, Odum School of Ecology (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). With easy-to-understand yet thorough explanations, Dorcas and Gibbons reveal surprising facts about this amphibian groupâ€”from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch.
Health Care Reform and Disparities: History, Hype, and Hope by Toni P. Miles, director, Institute of Gerontology and professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Georgia (Praeger, 2012). Miles examines the role of government in health care infrastructure, access, and public health, and expands the usual discussion of health disparities by looking at the challenge of balancing technological innovation with new avenues for fraud.
TOOLS Cell Signaling: An Introduction developed by IS3D, LLC http://www.is3d-online.com/ Students with iPads can learn how the nervous system works using this interactive textbook designed by a team of University of Georgia faculty and staff. The book includes picture galleries, 3-D rotatable models of molecules and proteins, animations and selfassessment tests. Its development was made possible by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Southeast Early Detection Network developed by Chuck Bargeron, technology director, Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia http://apps.bugwood.org/seedn.html Every year new invasive plants, insects and plant pathogens are found in the Southeast, destroying crops and threatening the health of humans and native wildlife. SEEDN allows smartphone users to easily report the presence of invasive species directly to experts who can verify the information and add it to a regional monitoring system. Users can submit observations while out fishing, hiking, kayaking or walking around the neighborhood, and provide firsthand reports that help protect the environment. A Sense of Shock: The Impact of Impressionism On Modern British and Irish Writing by Adam Parkes, professor of English, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences (Oxford University Press, 2011). What does modern British and Irish literature have to do with French impressionist painting? A lot, argues Adam Parkes, in an exploration of the role that politics, social issues and visual art played in the works of such late nineteenth and early twentieth century writers as Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Henry James, George Moore, and Virginia Woolf.
Send suggestions for Media Shelf of work by UGA personnel to Laurie Anderson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUDIO American Music for Tuba: Something Old, Something New performed by David Zerkel, professor of music, Anatoly Sheludyakov, academic professional, and the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble, Hugh Hodgson School of Music (Mark Records, 2011). This award-winning recording of standard pieces from the modern solo tuba repertoire can be appreciated by both the serious tuba student and the casual listener. Go Dawgs (Sic â€˜Em Woof Woof Woof) produced by David Barbe, director, Interdisciplinary Certificate in Music Business, Terry College of Business (Independent release, 2012). https://www.facebook.com/ UgaFightSongGoDawgs Atlanta rapper S.N.I.P.A. leads an enthusiastic team of Athens musicians in a loud, beat-heavy tribute to gridiron fever. Dodd Ferrelleâ€™s lyrics are augmented with sound clips of sports announcer Larry Munson and lots of barking (of course). Fall 2012
Lifesaving Serum: Vaccine Development at UGA
by James Hataway University scientists’ efforts promise to aid in the prevention of infectious diseases—those that have plagued humankind for generations and others yet to come.
eligion aside, we are all graced with a protector. An elaborate immune system within us is ever on alert, prepared to forcefully evict any pathogenic stowaways that would disrupt the body’s fragile equilibrium. This defense network is good at its job, and we generally are well most of the time, but it’s not perfect. Thankfully, the immune system can be trained—with vaccines—to become even better. By safely mimicking the infection caused by a dangerous organism, a vaccine prompts the production of antibodies that remember the unique pathogen’s signature, making the body’s response to any future invasion strong and swift. Vaccines are
arguably the most important advance in the history of public health, and their impacts can hardly be overstated. It is because of vaccines that we have the ability to stop diseases such as smallpox, which killed or maimed untold numbers of victims for more than 3,000 years until the scourge was officially eradicated from the world in 1979. And it is because of vaccines that people in industrialized countries can barely remember the devastating effects of polio, diphtheria, rubella, and measles. Researchers at the University of Georgia are working to build on such successes by developing new vaccines and improving on those already in use. Fall 2012
nticipate a future where early diagnostics com “We anticipate a future where early diagnostics combined with immunotherapy to cure cancer immunotherapywill will bebe able able to cure cancer.” -Geert-Jan Boons -Geert-Jan Boons Cutting-Edge Vaccine Research Franklin Professor of Chemistry Geert-Jan Boons and his collaborators at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/ Scottsdale, Arizona, are developing a new vaccine that would teach the human immune system to attack cancer cells. If successful, this work would launch a new era of treatment that used the body’s natural defenses to kill many deadly cancers, including breast, colorectal, pancreatic, ovarian, and multiple myeloma. Unlike viruses and bacteria that invade from outside, cancer cells, which originate and grow within the body, generally go undetected by the immune system. But the Boons team has developed a vaccine that alerts the immune system to the presence of a unique chain of carbohydrates on the surface of cancer cells and initiates a strong attack against the cancer while sparing healthy cells. In the team’s experiments with mice bred to contract diseases that mimic human cancers, the vaccine successfully reduced tumor sizes by an average of 80 percent. The researchers hope to begin phase I clinical trials, which test the safety of the vaccine for humans, in 2013. The ultimate stakes are enormous. “We anticipate a future where early diagnostics combined with immunotherapy will be able to cure cancer,” Boons says. Biao He, a professor of infectious diseases and Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator at the College of Veterinary Medicine, is working on a new vaccine to stop an old disease: the mumps. Most children today have been spared the fever, aches, 12
and characteristic swollen jawline of this once-common infection. But following two well-documented U.S. mumps outbreaks in 2006 and 2010, some health experts began to question whether or not the current mumps vaccine, known as the Jeryl Lynn strain, provides adequate protection against new genotypes (variant genetic compositions) of the mumps virus that have emerged since the vaccine’s creation in 1967. With the help of a $1.8-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, He and his team are using advanced genetic-engineering techniques to create a pediatric vaccine that would protect against the new mumps genotype responsible for the recent U.S. outbreaks. Once they have devised a safe and reliable method to create vaccines for this specific virus, they can apply that knowledge to rapidly produce vaccines for the 12 other mumps genotypes currently threatening populations throughout the world. “My lab is particularly good at engineering viruses,” He says. “We can take a virus, look at its genetic sequence, take bits and pieces away, and generate a new virus with less virulence that will work as a vaccine.” Duncan Krause, professor of microbiology in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has spent much of his research career studying the biology of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which causes bronchitis and so-called “walking” pneumonia. While the immune system recognizes this bacterium and responds vigorously, it usually does not clear the infection quickly, and it almost never generates antibodies to protect against reinfection.
Chemist Geert-Jan Boons (top) and collaborators are developing a vaccine that teaches the body to attack cancer cells. Ralph Tripp, who chairs the animal-health vaccine group, is working on prophylactic treatments that prevent virus replication and protect against reinfection.
mbined with Out of the Lab and into the Public Arena r.” While the science driving the creation of new vaccines is paramount, these inventions cannot benefit humanity without someone to fund and manufacture the product. The University of Georgia’s Technology Commercialization Office works with researchers and industry to promote business development, negotiate license agreements, and facilitate the movement of inventions to the marketplace. As a result, many university researchers, such as Geert-Jan Boons, have founded startup companies (ViaMune, in Boons’ case) that serve as a launch pad for new vaccines and therapeutics. Also, major pharmaceutical companies and investors from around the world take a keen interest in the vaccinerelated and other efforts conducted at UGA. Without their help, the discoveries made in the university’s laboratories might not come to benefit the public.
A Question of Safety “Here is an organism whose only known natural host is the human,” Krause explains. “In co-evolving with humans, the organism has developed a clever way of making sure that humans ignore it immunologically.” But Krause’s team is analyzing a surface protein found on M. pneumoniae that changes as the organism attaches and glides along the surface of host cells, eluding the immune system. He hopes that the team’s characterization of this critical protein will ultimately lead to a vaccine to protect against the bacterium, which is the leading cause of pneumonia in older children and young adults and is commonly
associated with chronic asthma. Respiratory viruses, which have the ability to rapidly evolve within the body, are equally elusive to vaccine developers. But Ralph Tripp, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and chair of animal-health vaccine development, and his colleagues are developing new “adjuvants,” which would boost the immune system’s response, and they are creating prophylactic treatments that would prevent virus replication, reduce the severity of infection, and protect against reinfection. “The goal here is essentially to induce a robust long-term immune response,” Tripp says.
Countries that never eliminated polio
Countries that never eliminated polio
Countries that have eliminated polio
Countries that have eliminated polio
Vaccines have been much in the news recently, and not always for the best of reasons. Studies purporting a link between vaccinations and autism, for example, have been widely publicized—and thoroughly debunked. But skepticism remains. Like every medicine, vaccines do carry the risk of adverse side effects. Most of the time they are mild inconveniences, but in exceptionally rare situations, the complications can be severe. “Vaccines are not perfectly safe, but they are incredibly productive and useful public health preventatives,” says Distinguished Research Professor Rick Tarleton. “When you get to the point where everybody in the world is protected because of widespread vaccination, what dominates then are stories about the few who may have adverse effects from the vaccine.” But researchers at UGA are clear: Vaccines are an indispensable part of modern medicine, and study after study in the world’s leading peer-reviewed medical journals demonstrate that vaccinations are not only safe but also the best way to protect both children and adults from disease.
Researchers in Vet Med are testing a new vaccine for water buffalo, which act as reservoirs for parasitic worms that infect farmers in Asia as they walk behind the animals to plow and plant rice fields.
Vaccinating Animals, Saving People Many of the pathogens that make humans sick are also carried and transmitted by animals, so for cases in which it is impractical to vaccinate humans against a particular disease, some UGA researchers are working to stop its spread by first controlling it in animal populations. Donald Harn, a professor of infectious diseases at the College of Veterinary Medicine, is currently testing a new vaccine for water buffalo that is ultimately designed to protect people throughout many parts of East Asia from the debilitating and life-threatening disease of schistosomiasis, caused by parasitic worms. The buffalo act as reservoirs for these â€œschistosomes,â€? and when the buffalo defecate in the water they release thousands of worm eggs, which then maintain the schistosomes life cycle, increasing infections of humans as well as livestock. Harnâ€™s vaccine successfully reduces infections in the buffalo, which account for up to 75 percent of schistosomiasis transmission in China. Pathologist Zhen Fang Fu is testing a new oral rabies vaccine that can be placed in baited food for stray dogs. Once ingested, the dog is vaccinated, reducing the spread of rabies to dogs and humans a like.
Although the infection can often be cleared with drugs, people run the risk of re-infection every time they go in the water. “We had designed our vaccines for use in humans,” Harn says, “but when we saw this problem we redesigned and optimized our vaccines for use in buffalo.” Zhen Fang Fu, professor of pathology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, is using a similar approach to stop the spread of rabies, a deadly viral disease that is most commonly transmitted by a bite or scratch from an infected animal. But instead of vaccinating livestock, Fu’s vaccine is designed for man’s best friend. Dogs are the source of 99 percent of human rabies deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Fu is currently testing a new oral rabies vaccine that can be placed in baited food for stray or unleashed dogs. By eating the bait, the dogs become vaccinated, thereby reducing the threat of transmission to humans. Distinguished Research Professor Rick Tarleton is developing a vaccine for animals designed to prevent the spread of Chagas disease, a parasitic infection affecting millions of people throughout Central and South America. The parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, is spread by insects commonly known as “kissing bugs,” so named because they tend to bite humans around the lips and face. Studies have demonstrated that while kissing bugs are ultimately responsible for passing the disease on to humans, the bugs that live in people’s homes don’t normally carry the disease; these bugs initially become infected when they bite the infected family pet. The vaccine could be administered not only to dogs and cats but also any animals that live near people’s homes. “If we can prevent the bugs from getting infected from those animals, we can prevent their owners from getting infected,” Tarleton says.
Chicken, Anyone? UGA is home to a world-renowned poultry research program that includes the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science’s Poultry Science Department. Among their other efforts, researchers at these venues create vaccines designed to keep birds used in poultry production, one of Georgia’s biggest industries, free from disease. UGA scientists have developed vaccines to prevent fowl cholera, coccidiosis, chronic respiratory disease, bronchitis, and many other diseases affecting birds used in the industry. Such vaccines help ensure the health of these animals and the safety of the nation’s food supply.
Moving Forward Because of vaccines, the pain and suffering of infectious diseases, some of them horrific, have faded to a distant memory. But most such diseases will never entirely disappear. Also, new pathogens will emerge, and even those we seem to have defeated may resurface under a new guise. It’s part of a battle that will continue indefinitely. But vaccine technology, both existing and developing, is up to the task, according to Dan Colley, professor of microbiology and director of the UGA Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. “There’s no question about the impact of vaccines on the longevity of people,” says Colley. “And that impact will continue with new vaccines for diseases we have not seen before.” Fall 2012
Bears at the crossroad Researchers study an isolated population of black bears that face pressures from development, traffic, and hunting. By Helen Fosgate Photos by Dot Paul Opening spread Photos by Joey Hinton/special
A heavily traveled shortcut from I-16 West to I-75 North, Highway 96 (above) is among the deadliest roads for wildlife in the state. PhD student Mike Hooker (right) conducts a road-kill survey to quantify the number and species of wildlife killed on this road.
ike Hooker checks for oncoming traffic, then crouches to investigate the long buff-colored corpse at the edge of the pavement. “Big ol’ fox squirrel,” he says, turning it over with a glove. Back in the truck, he scribbles “Sciurus niger” on his clipboard form and then drives on silently, scanning the roadsides. As his pickup tops the hill, the highway widens to three lanes and a logging truck barrels past, hurling pieces of bark and wood chips hard against the windshield. “There was something back there with legs,” says Hooker, checking his side mirror, “but I can’t stop here; it’s too dangerous. We’ll have to come back.” A PhD candidate at UGA in wildlife ecology, Hooker conducts this carnage census every other morning, dutifully recording each dead species he finds along this 15-mile stretch of
Highway 96 in Houston and Twiggs Counties. A heavily traveled shortcut from I-16 West to I-75 North, Highway 96 is among the deadliest roads in the state for wildlife. Since May, when Hooker began his patrol, he has found a broad range of wildlife, from armadillos and foxes to a surprising number of birds, including some rare and endangered migrant songbirds. As summer wound down, the road-kill survey of Highway 96 included 63 mammals, 26 reptile and amphibian species (including one alligator), 19 birds, and 6 domestic dogs and cats. But of particular concern here is the isolated population of black bears that live on a shrinking island of nature south of Warner Robins. In early July, Hooker added another black bear (Ursus americanus) to the tally—the second one killed on
this perilous highway in 2012 and the seventh over the past three years— though the latter may underestimate the total. Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) officials say that the number of bears found dead by the roadside likely represent only a fraction of those hit. “There are three distinct bear populations in Georgia,” says Mike Chamberlain, a wildlife ecologist at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. “They include the mountain bears, the Okeefenokee Swamp bears, and this middle-Georgia population, which is the smallest, most isolated, and possibly the most inbred.” And no one is sure just how many bears live here, says Chamberlain. “The DNR estimates the population at between 200 and 400 individuals, but no one has a definitive number.”
Counting and Protecting the population Under a three-year $377,000 grant from the DOT, and another $324,000 from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Chamberlain and colleagues Bob Warren and Karl Miller designed a series of studies to help the two agencies better manage both the highway and the bears. The DOT plans to use the results to redesign the existing road, adding wildlife-friendly underpasses—and 8-foot fences in sections most heavily traveled by wildlife—that would allow animals and motorists to navigate the highway more safely. “We’re optimistic that we can mitigate the wildlife situation and use the lessons learned here on other projects,” says Jeremy Busby, project manager for the Georgia DOT. “With the widening and improvement of Highway 96, we also hope not to further isolate the bears.” Busby adds that the Highway 96 project will be the first in the state to try wildlife passages on a large scale. “It’s been successful in other states, mostly out West,” he says, “though Florida has also used them to help the [Florida] panthers.” The Georgia DNR is providing room and board, trucks, staff support, and funding for a series of hair snares—two
strands of barbed wire strung around several trees—that snag a few hairs as a bear reaches for a bag of corn hung in the center. The DNA from hair samples indicate gender— and also how closely the bears are related. “Because they’re so isolated, we expect the population is inbred, but to what degree we’re not yet sure,” said Chamberlain. The DNR will also support a denning study, which will begin in December when females have their cubs, to get an accurate estimate of the bears’ reproductive success. That bears have survived here this long is thanks mostly to two tracts of state-managed land—the Oaky Woods and Ocmulgee wildlife-management areas (WMAs)—which together currently provide a 30,610-acre refuge that straddles the Ocmulgee River. But only 21,589 of those acres are permanently protected under state ownership. Hemmed in by subdivisions east and west, Highway 96 and the city of Warner Robins to the North, and Highway 341 to the South, the bears have relatively little room to roam. Feeding on acorns, grubs, berries, and occasionally carrion, black bears must keep moving over a large-enough area to find enough to eat, a requirement made more difficult and dangerous in large part by residential and commercial development and sometimes by natural events such as extreme drought and flooding.
Josh Sylvest (left), a master’s degree student in wildlife ecology, checks a hair snare station. The DNA from hair samples (right) indicate not only gender but also how closely the bears are related.
Taking the bear’s measure
Bobby Bond (above), a wildlife biologist with the Georgia DNR, hopes improvements to Highway 96 will include multiple wildlife underpasses that, “could reduce the number of road-kills, and not only bears, but many wildlife species,” he says.
A recently published paper by DNR biologist Bobby Bond shows that even the Ocmulgee River, which becomes a torrent after heavy rains, presents an obstacle for female bears, especially those with cubs, though females tend to stay closer to home than the wide-ranging males. Normally solitary, males may travel up to 25 miles during the summer breeding season, crossing rivers, highways, and neighborhoods in their search for mates—and food. Along the way, some occasionally raid backyard birdfeeders, garbage cans, and pet-food bowls. “Bears are like big raccoons,” explains Bond. “They’re intelligent, curious, and, like humans, they like an easy meal.” Not long ago, Bond got a call about a young male bear napping in a tree near the security gate at Robins Air Force Base. “This bear had never been a problem, so we tranquilized him, moved him, and he’s never been back.” But not all bear tales end so happily. Bond said that once bears associate humans with food and become “habituated,” the DNR has few options but to euthanize them. 20
Along with Hooker, grad students Josh Sylvest and Casey Gray—and undergraduate Ryan Clark—have worked all summer (at times, literally around the clock) to carry out the DOT/DNR research. Though occasionally exciting, it can also be hot and challenging work fraught with the misery of mosquitoes, chiggers, and especially ticks. As part of their efforts the team sets a snare—a length of cable hidden beneath a plastic barrel baited with fermented corn—deep in the woods. The smell of spoiled corn initially attracts the bear; when it moves close to investigate, it steps into the snare, triggering it to tighten around a leg. Temporarily capturing bears allows the researchers to weigh and measure them, collect blood and hair samples—and pull a small upper tooth, which helps determine a bear’s age and condition. Finally, the team fits the bear with a global positioning system (GPS) collar, which carries batteries that power the device’s sensors for up to a year. A special software program allows researchers to track each animal from their laptop computers. In this way, the scientists learn how far each bear roams—and where and how often it approaches or crosses Highway 96. The students check each snare site twice a day, at sunrise and again just before sunset. On this evening, Hooker texts the students to come quickly; he has a bear snared in the Ocmulgee WMA. Upon arrival, the students find that Hooker has already spread the tarp and arranged the supplies—a medical kit and various canvas bags that hold headlamps, rope, a tape measure, and portable scales. The team works quickly to tranquilize the bear and carefully place her on the tarp. Hooker squeezes ointment in her eyes to keep them moist during the ordeal, and then, concerned over her rising temperature, pours cold water on her abdomen to cool her down. In the light of their headlamps, the students see that her small, rounded ears are encrusted with ticks; other parasites crawl over her soft black fur. A bear snared in the evening means the group will work into the wee hours of the morning. “We always babysit a tranquilized bear until it’s up and moving around,” said Hooker. “Females and young bears could be vulnerable if a big male came around.” Researchers set a leg snare (facing page, top), a length of cable hidden beneath a plastic barrel baited with fermented corn. (Facing page, bottom) Once a bear is caught, graduate students Casey Gray (left), Josh Sylvest, and Mike Hooker work quickly to tranquilize it, and collect samples.
The hunt goes on (for now) In 2011 the DNR approved the first county-wide bear hunt in Houston County, a controversial decision that pleased hunters but angered some wildlife advocates. The hunt took place, not in state-managed wildlife management areas (WMAs) but on private lands surrounding them. The previous hunt held locally—a one-day event in 2010 in the Ocmulgee WMA—netted just two bears. But last fall hunters killed 34 bears in one day, half of which were breeding-age females. “Using the most conservative population estimate of 200 bears, the 2011 harvest could certainly be considered aggressive,” acknowledges Todd Holbrook, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, “but not so high that it causes immediate concern. We have a two-year cycle for regulations because it allows us to fully analyze their impact. If this second year’s bear harvest indicates that we need to make adjustments to the hunt, we will certainly do so.”
Informing future decisions Chamberlain says the project will continue for two more years, and the DOT has already indicated it may fund a second phase of research, after the wildlife passages are in place, to test their effectiveness. In the meantime, scientists hope to learn how the size and isolated nature of the bear population here affects its chances for survival. “Because the population is isolated, we expect that these bears have less genetic variability, which makes them more susceptible to disease and other catastrophic declines,” says Chamberlain. “In 18 months or so, we’ll have enough information to help the DNR and the DOT make more informed decisions about the bears’ future.” Mike Chamberlain, (right), principle investigator, is a wildlife ecologist in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Mike Hooker (below) custom-fits a GPS collar for a small bear.
Unlimited texting — and no roaming charges AT&T’s slogan “More bars in more places” took on a whole new meaning this summer when Michael Hooker, a PhD candidate at UGA in wildlife ecology, signed up 20 tracking collars to be worn by middle-Georgia black bears. Lynn Tweedell, AT&T’s mobility-accounts manager for higher education in Georgia, helped Hooker set up the accounts. “I told Mike I would be glad to help as long as I didn’t have to put them on the bears,” says Tweedell, laughing, “but after he explained the project to me, I thought it an interesting use of cellular tracking devices.” Created by Lotek, a manufacturer of fish- and wildlifemonitoring systems, the collars carry both a GPS receiver and a VHF tracking beacon. Hooker explains that traditional VHF tracking telemetry is not always the most accurate when working in fine-scale habitats like the dense woods of Georgia’s wildlife-management areas (WMAs). “The GPS tracking is said to be easier and more precise than using traditional telemetry triangulations,” he says. “I don’t pretend to understand how it all works—it’s like black magic in a box— but I’m pleasantly surprised by how well it works.” Each collar, which has a phone number unique to the
bear wearing it, transmits its exact location every hour or so. Location coordinates are sent via text message to an email account that converts the data to a .KZM file, which is readable in Google Earth. Hooker also used the collars to set up a “geofence,” a virtual perimeter near Highway 96. When a collared bear crosses into the geofence area—that is, within 25 feet of the highway—text messages from its collar are sent more often (every 20 minutes or less, depending on how close the bear is to the roadway). This allows researchers to pinpoint when and where a collared bear approaches or actually crosses the roadway. Hooker says that it initially took about two weeks to set up and program each collar, but once established he could easily change the data-collection mode remotely from his computer. He also had the choice of sending the text messages to his own cellphone or to an email account. He opted for the email account, as cellphone coverage is spotty in the WMA. Also, he says, “I didn’t really want the text messages coming in from the bears at all hours of the night. We lose enough sleep as it is.” — Dot Paul
Researchers can review the roaming patterns of the collared black bears using .KMZ files in Google Earth. The green squares show where the bears were collared; the red squares show the location of the last text sent from the bears’ collars. The red lines represent the “geo fence” along both sides of highway 96.
Maps show Atlanta diversity in 1990 and 2010.
Low diversity: White Black Latino Other Moderate diversity: White Black Latino Other High diversity No data
Steven Holloway: Mapping Race in America Steven Holloway, professor of geography in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, talks with news director Sam Fahmy about how American cities have diversified—while at the same time remaining segregated.
Q: What led you to study the geography of diversity and segregation? A: I grew up in an inner suburb of Atlanta—Gresham Park—that in the late 1960s was an all-white working class neighborhood. I remember that in the span of a year it experienced white flight and changed to an all-black neighborhood, which is what it remains today. I was about 10 years old when that dramatic transformation occurred, and it has always stuck in my memory.
Andrew Davis Tucker
I also remember the fears of race-based riots following the assassination of Dr. King. Meanwhile, I was being raised in a home where we were taught to respect and love all people. These and other such experiences together created in me a long-abiding interest in the spatiality of race relations.
Q: Your research has shown that American neighborhoods are becoming more diverse, even though segregation persists. How can that be? A: What we have found in our analyses
is that cities are in fact diversifying, with members of the major racial and ethnic groups living in the same neighborhood. At the same time, though, traditional forms of segregation continue. Diversity and segregation aren’t mirror opposites: cities can have both.
Q: You have used Atlanta as a case study in your research. How have trends in diversity and segregation played out there over the past 30 years? A: The number of neighborhoods that
are low-diversity and predominately white has decreased dramatically, largely having transitioned to moderately diverse but still predominantly white neighborhoods. Low-diversity black
neighborhoods, on the other hand, have gotten a little more diverse—but not nearly to the same extent. That’s just in the city of Atlanta, though. Moderatediversity black neighborhoods have grown in the suburbs to the southeast and southwest of the city. Another thing quite evident from looking at the maps is that there were some truly diverse neighborhoods in 2010 that did not exist in 1990— especially along Buford Highway, which is Atlanta’s immigrant center. You also see a cluster of such neighborhoods in Cobb County—another area where immigrant populations have settled. There’s also the growth of several Latino-dominant neighborhoods, which is a unique phenomenon; during most of Atlanta’s long history, neighborhoods have been either black or white.
Q: What can the public and policymakers learn from your research? A: Our work shows the persistence of
segregation, even while we acknowledge an increase in diversity. On the other hand, a widely publicized Manhattan Institute report by two leading economists (Edward Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor) concluded that segregation is decreasing. They see the end of segregation coming. One thing that’s exciting is that we are able to communicate our findings through the maps on our interactive website (http://mixedmetro.us/). You can choose your city, and in some cases, plug in your address and see how your neighborhood has changed over the years.
Q: What’s the significance of segregation in broader context? A: It’s very clear that segregation, as experienced at the neighborhood level, has a major impact on one’s life chances. It has a lot to do with the distribution
of schools and quality of education, the distribution of public services (police and fire protection, for example), and the price of housing (as well as things such as homeowner’s insurance). The accumulation of wealth through housing appreciation is also tied to the degree of segregation of neighborhoods.
Q: What’s next in your research? A: We’ll be looking at immigration, mixed-race individuals, and how they might concentrate. We also plan to study various aspects of the mortgage lending markets as a function of our way of thinking about segregation with diversity. Race still matters in so many different ways, I believe. Contact Steven Holloway by email at: email@example.com
The Holloway File Hometown: Born in Atlanta, raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, Denver, and San Francisco Education: B.A., Geography, California State University–Chico, 1984
M.A., Geography, University of Georgia, 1988
Ph.D., Geography, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1993
Courses I teach/taught: Introductory Urban Geography Advanced Urban Geography Critical Race Geographies Spatial Analysis in Geography Research Methods/Design in Geography Research Areas: Urban Geography Race and Racialization Population Geography Inequality and Justice Housing and Labor Market Geographies
by Sam Fahmy As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, historians at the University of Georgia, a traditional and leading center of Civil War scholarship, are gaining new insights into non-military aspects of the war.
Post-war view of a street corner in Atlanta. Source: Library of Congress. Courtesy of UGA Press
nyone with even a passing interest in the American Civil War is familiar with its towering figures such as Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. The misery of soldiers who did the fighting or languished in prison camps is welldocumented, too. But how did the nation’s deadliest war affect those who weren’t on the battlefields? As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, researchers at the University of Georgia are exploring aspects that, until recently, have
received little attention. And rather than delving into the war’s military minutiae, they are expanding the scope of our knowledge and using the war to explore what it means to be American and, even more broadly, human. “The Civil War is stitched into our DNA as a country,” said Stephen Berry, the Amanda and Greg Gregory Chair in the Civil War Era at UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “It was a watershed moment that shaped us as a nation.”
(Left) The Civil War in Georgia, edited by John Inscoe (UGA Press, 2011) uses selected articles from the New Georgia Encyclopedia to chronicle the war. (Right) General Sherman (front right, leaning on cannon) with his staff at Federal Fort No. 7 in Atlanta, 1864. (Below) Race, War, and Remembrance by John Inscoe (The University Press of Kentucky, 2008), explores the complex nature of the Appalachian peoples’ war-time loyalties. Source: Library of Congress. Courtesy of UGA Press.
The Home Front When people imagine life in the prewar Old South, images from Gone with the Wind—depicting, at least among the wealthy, lives of refinement and gallantry—inevitably come to mind. But Berry’s examination of coroners’ reports—between 1840 and 1870 (the period typically defined as the Civil War era) from rural Spartanburg County, South Carolina—paints a bleaker picture. “It’s a South,” said Berry, “that is a self-destructive place full of alcoholics drinking themselves and their dependents to death.” These reports also document suicides, accidents, and other deaths— the result of child abuse, spousal abuse, master-slave murder, and even slave-onslave violence—that often never made it into the newspapers or the courts. Hanging was a common strategy for women and slaves wanting to end a life 28
of misery. Young white men of the era often died from what Berry calls “a combination of alcohol and stupidity,” such as getting drunk and falling off a horse. Not only was the Old South not glamorous, it was also far from homogenous. Because the rugged terrain of Appalachia, for example, was better suited to subsistence farming than to cotton plantations, and the corresponding populations decidedly different, the Civil War played out much differently there. Local guerrilla warfare was common, and the Civil War itself became a family affair as women sheltered and hid men who had escaped from the front lines. In fact, as John Inscoe (Albert B. Saye Professor of History and University Professor) points out in his book Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian South, the mountain counties of Georgia were overwhelmingly Unionist.
(Above) African-American school children in Liberty County, Georgia, circa 1890. Courtesy of UGA’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library and UGA Press. (Right) Schooling the Freed People by Ron Butchart, (UNC Press, 2007) shatters the notion that freed blacks’ education was the work of priviledged white northerners motivated by evangelical zeal and abolistionism.
The other AfricanAmerican experience The African-American experience during the Civil War era is typically viewed through the lens of slavery, yet there also were freedmen and black immigrants from the Caribbean whose experiences foreshadow the challenges and opportunities the rest of the AfricanAmerican population would ultimately face. In her book Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1862–1860, associate professor Diane Batts Morrow tells the story of how three Caribbean refugees established the first order of nuns started for and by black women. Morrow, who is writing a follow-up that chronicles the history of the Oblate Sisters from 1860 to the dawn of the Civil Rights era, says that these women were humble and revolutionary at the same
time. “They were aware of how the rest of American society viewed them by dint of their gender, by dint of their religion, or by dint of their race,” Morrow said. “But they didn’t let that stop them. Their own self-definition and their belief that God had called on them allowed them to persevere.” As a result, black students from as far away as California and Puerto Rico traveled to Baltimore to learn from the Oblate Sisters. There also was a migration of educators flowing south to teach freed slaves after the war. Until recently, these teachers were typically thought to be white and, predominantly, affluent women from New England. But in Schooling the Freed People: Teaching, Learning, and the Struggle for Black Freedom, Ronald Butchart (Aderhold Distinguished Professor in the UGA College of Education) reveals surprising findings from his unprecedented analysis of the records of more than 11,000 teachers.
Half of them were Southerners, Butchart concludes, and New Englanders constituted no more than 20 percent of the total. Women and men taught in equal numbers, and some of the men were former soldiers—both Confederate and Union. Just as surprising, a full onethird of the teachers were black. Fall 2012
The American Civil War in a Broader Context UGA has long been a leader in Civil War studies. William S. McFeely, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer of Grant, taught here at the same time as Emory Thomas, who wrote what has been considered the best and most balanced of the Lee biographies. More recently, Berryâ€™s House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, A Family Divided by War, received widespread acclaim for its examination of the differing Civil War loyalties of Mary Todd Lincolnâ€™s 13 siblings. Such widely recognized faculty makes UGA a top destination for graduate students in the field, and grants from Amanda and Greg Gregory
House of Abraham by Stephen Berry (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007) is a story about the personal toll the war took on Mary Todd Lincoln, her large, divided family, and her husband, the President. (Upper Left) Union soldiers pass the time at a captured Confederate fort. (Lower left) The Atlanta home of Emphraim Ponder, damaged by shells. Source: Library of Congress. Courtesy of UGA Press.
of Atlanta allow them to spend summers working in distant archives and libraries. In addition to publishing their work in academic journals and essay collections, many graduate students use their graduate research as a starting point for a book. In 2009, the university launched a conference series, called “UnCivil Wars,” that each year highlights an under-studied aspect of the war. Sponsored by the Augusta-based Watson-Brown Foundation and held at the antebellum T.R.R. Cobb House and museum in Athens, the conference has a companion book series published by the University of Georgia Press. The most recent conference, which explored how the environment shaped, and was shaped by the war, will result in a book currently being edited by lecturer Brian Drake. In his own work as an environmental historian, Drake is studying how mobilization for the war shaped Northern ecology as well as how the North’s natural resources contributed to its victory. Assistant professor of history Daniel Rood is studying the war from a global perspective, examining how the economies of the North and South were intertwined with each other and with the Caribbean, South America, and Western Europe. His examination of records from the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia—one of the largest iron manufacturers in the United States at the time and a heavy user of slave labor—has revealed a brisk international business with Cuba, which was expanding its railroads to transport sugar grown by its own slaves. Northern merchants were heavily invested in these Cuban sugar mills, which also were major consumers of steam engines produced in the North. Rood’s work, which he is developing into a book, shows that slavery, far from being on the decline, was actually quite strong and of incredible economic importance not just to the South but to the North as well. “It tells a really different story from the one we’re raised on, which is that freedom and individual initiative make the world go round,” Rood said. “When you start looking at the economic history of slavery you see that it’s really coercion that makes the world go round.” Whether the subject deals with the above examples or numerous others, or with the battlefield or the home front, UGA’s leadership in Civil War studies remains strong. “This is perhaps one of the best universities doing Civil War Era research, and I see no diminution of interest in the war whatsoever,” Berry says. “It will never become a forgotten war.”
Gone but Not Forgotten Kathleen Clark, associate professor of history in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is currently working on a book titled Building Tara: Gone With the Wind and the Imagined South. She points out that in addition to some other early portrayals of the South, Mitchell was among the first to explore Southern women’s experiences of the war and how their actions shaped the region. “People come to the topic with assumptions that they don’t even know they have,” Clark said, “because they are so powerfully influenced by [books, movies] and other cultural forms.”
Statistical Literacy in K-12 is Essential By Christine Franklin Statistical reasoning skills can and should be learned well before college.
very high-school and college graduate should be able to use sound statistical reasoning to intelligently cope with the requirements of citizenship, employment, and family,” according to a report of the American Statistical Association (ASA). In other words, because statistics are everywhere in our data-centric world, statistical literacy is essential. A statistically literate person understands, for example, the strengths of a scientific process and can critically analyze scientific findings by knowing the appropriate questions to ask about a study’s design and conclusions. As a college student in the 1970s I found that statistics was primarily taught in mathematics departments, and was only making a small dent in the undergraduate curriculum. Yet the roots of statistics are not in mathematics, as many believe, but in other areas such as agriculture, astronomy, and social science. When we trace statistics back to its origins, we learn that it was created to solve real problems. Thus, I view
statistics as helping bring mathematics into the practical world of useful applications. Statistics and mathematics are mutually supportive, though in teaching, the mathematics of statistics have often overshadowed its problem-solving roots. The few statistics courses I took as an undergraduate were formula-oriented, with little emphasis on learning concepts and interpreting findings. Such courses tended to be taught as a laundry list of topics wherein students depended on rote memorization rather than conceptual understanding. Communication skills were certainly not emphasized. Nor did statistics courses focus on statistical reasoning—that is, understanding how to quantify variability and interpret data in context—but instead emphasized mathematical computations. A significant contributor to these shortcomings was the lack of accessible technology; another was students’ frequent lack of background in higher-level mathematics. And yet another issue was that we expected
our students to learn statistical skills by enrolling in one college-level statistics course. We simply ignored the fact that the vast majority of students had never had the opportunity to cultivate statistical thinking skills at the elementary-, middle-, and high-school levels. As a result, students exposed at college often did not develop the ability to reason statistically. Times have changed. Today we are able to teach statistical topics and reasoning skills in K-12 (and at the college introductory level) using modern technology and activities oriented to problem-solving. Technology allows us to focus on analyzing data from real studies, often with large data sets. And we can now use simulation rather than mathematical theory to understand why our analytical methods are successful. Technology also allows for the exploration and visualization of the data, so that instructional time can be spent interpreting graphical and numerical representations and understanding key statistical concepts, such as margin of error and statistical significance. Statistical reasoning was promoted for inclusion in the K-12 math curriculum as early as the 1960s, but in the 1980s we began to see a formal movement toward quantitative literacy in K-12. In the early 1990s, we developed Advanced Placement Statistics. The notion of teaching statistics at the K-12 level gained national attention with revision of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards in 2000 and the publication of the ASA Pre-K-12 GAISE [Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education] Framework in 2007. The recently approved K-12 Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (adopted now by 47 states, including Georgia) promotes statistical reasoning skills at the middle-school and secondary levels. As a statistics professor of more than 30 years, I have always asked the question: “Why am I expected to teach a college student in one semester how to develop sound statistical thinking when the basis for developing this ability has not been formed in the 13 years before college?” Statistical reasoning skills are needed by all students, regardless of whether they attend college. The emphasis on statistics in the K-12 curriculum is therefore a major step forward, and thankfully the new Common Core now makes the acquisition of these skills not only possible but likely.
The Franklin File: Christine Franklin, Lothar Tresp Honoratus Honors Professor in Statistics, University of Georgia. Education: BA, Political Science, minor in Mathematics; and M.A., Mathematics and Statistics, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Work History: Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Coordinator, UGA Department of Statistics. Research Interests: Statistics Education K-16; student learning, pedagogy and assessment. Fifty publications in the field of statistics education; Lead author of two textbooks, and coauthor of the Navigation Series book in Data Analysis published by NCTM for grades 9-12. Research Funding: National Science Foundation, and the American Statistical Association Teaching: Two-semester introductory honors statistics sequence (Stat 2100H and Stat 4110H); and statistics for K-12 teachers (Stat 4/6070 and Stat 4/6050) Honors: Franklin was lead writer for the ASA Pre-K–12 GAISE framework that served as the basis for the statistics strand in the Common Core State Standards. Past AP statistics chief reader (nation’s lead faculty advisor). Honored in 2006 with the Mu Sigma Rho National Statistical Education Award. Franklin is an elected Fellow of ASA honored for her work in statistics education. Interests outside work: Cherishes time with her husband and two sons. Devoted runner, avid reader. Last summer completed a 90-mile trek over 11 days in the backcountry at the Boy Scout ranch Philmont in New Mexico, her third trip. Serves as an adult advisor with the Boy Scouts. Also served 10 years on the Oconee County School Board, seven as chair.
Contact Christine Franklin by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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behind the scenes The Phoenicians made glass some 3,500 years ago, but it was the Romans who developed the art and craft of glassblowing. They discovered that by introducing air into molten glass by blowing through a tube—rather than forming it around a center core—glass could be blown into infinite shapes and sizes. The process was so efficient that glass soon became affordable enough for household
vessels that held wine, water, and medicines. Because glass doesn’t react with chemicals or solvents the way metal or plastic can, it continues to be critical for use in research, especially in the lab. Glassblowing Shop manager Richard Harrison has been making custom glassware for research for more than 35 years at UGA. He and assistant Bob Ketch turn out about 35 special orders a month, from
beakers and pipettes to diffusion pumps. They also repair and modify factory-made pieces to meet the needs of scientists. The men work with researchers in nearly every department, as well as other state, federal, county agencies and local companies.
To learn more about the Glass Blowing Shop, visit: www.ovpr.uga.edu/orss/glass
ugaresearch is a publication of the Office for the Vice President for Research at The University of Georgia