UWG Joins Prestigious Research Cooperative

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The University of West Georgia has been accepted into a prestigious cooperative that provides research, technical assistance and education to environmental and natural resource projects conducted by the government.

Known as the Piedmont-South Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PSAC-CESU), the cooperative is hosted by the University of Georgia and is made up of federal agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations.

The research work supported by the cooperative includes projects in biological, physical, social and cultural sciences, with topics ranging from anthropology to zoology.

Dr. Ann McCleary, UWG professor of history and the director of the Center for Public History, said membership in the research cooperative will give faculty and students greater access to federally funded environmental and cultural resource-management research projects.

The consortium provides a marketplace for university and NGO members to bid on projects funded and supported by federal agencies, McCleary said.

The majority of the projects focus on the sciences. McCleary said UWG faculty in the geosciences, biology and environmental studies “will find many opportunities for research in their respective fields.”

Other departments, among them sociology, anthropology and the Antonio J. Waring Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, could also find projects on which to bid. Faculty in departments across the university can participate in projects, McCleary said.

The addition of UWG strengthens the cooperative and “enriches the opportunities for collaboration and support of our 10 member federal resource agencies,” said James M. Sweeney, associate dean for research and service at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Sweeney is also director of the studies unit.

Among the 17 institutions in the consortium are Auburn, Duke, the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina.
The National Park Service, Department of Energy, Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Defense are among the federal agencies in the cooperative.

Recent projects funded through the cooperative include: conservation and recovery of rare, threatened and endangered plant species in Georgia; a natural resource condition assessment for six Southeastern national parks; and a study to determine the long-term flood history of the Congaree River in South Carolina.