Odum School Responds to Hurricane Maria


Athens, Ga. – Students, faculty and staff at the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology are responding to the impacts of Hurricane Maria with a drive to raise funds for immediate and long-term aid.

The Odum School has long-standing personal and professional ties to Puerto Rico, dating back to the 1960s when UGA ecology faculty members Frank Golley, Carl Jordan, Dick Wiegert and Dave Coleman conducted research at the Luquillo Experimental Forest. Their work was part of a project at El Verde rainforest led by H.T. Odum—brother and collaborator of Eugene Odum—funded by the Atomic Energy Commission. This early ecosystem research was, at least in part, the basis for the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research project being funded by the National Science Foundation in 1988, according to Professor Alan Covich. He and fellow Odum School faculty members Catherine Pringle and Ford Ballantyne, alumnus Alonso Ramírez of the Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, and Thomas Mote of the UGA geography department, all have active research projects there now. Recent graduates Amber Falkner and Kelsey Morton are currently based at Luquillo, and a number of Odum students and alumni are Puerto Rican citizens.

Odum School efforts will be focused first on raising funds to provide immediate humanitarian assistance and collaborating with other UGA relief projects, then on supporting Puerto Rico’s ecology infrastructure and its scientists.

For more information and to learn how you can help, contact Darixa Hernandez at darixa.hernandez@uga.edu.

Hurricane Maria’s impacts on Puerto Rico’s ecosystems

Alan Covich has been quoted extensively in the media on the impacts of Hurricane Maria on the ecosystems of the island.

Hurricane Maria decimated the nation’s only tropical rain forest outside Hawaii

By John Hopewell, September 29, Washington Post



Debt-Ridden, Maria-Menaced Puerto Rico Faces Environmental Crisis

By Adam Allington and David Schultz, Sept. 27, Bloomberg BNA



The Only Tropical Rainforest in the National Forest System Was Devastated By Hurricane Maria

By Maddie Stone, Sept. 27, Earther.com