From the Dean

So much has happened since our fall 2018 Southscapes issue. In those intervening months, we have witnessed the tragic, the historic and the inspirational. For many Georgians, the lingering aftermath of Hurricane Michael is a painful reminder of the devastation of that massive storm.

According to meteorologist Brad Nitz, Michael was the first Category 3 hurricane to make a direct hit on Georgia in more than a century — the last was in 1898. It was also the third most-intense storm, as measured by barometric pressure, to ever hit the continental U.S. No wonder it left in its path agricultural losses of more than $2.5 billion. In some cases, those losses will require decades to recover.

Despite the horrific damage, countless examples of sacrifice and a shared commitment to helping friends and neighbors were seen throughout the state. I am so proud of how our Cooperative Extension family worked tirelessly to help our farm communities prepare for and recover from Michael. The work is far from over, but I trust we will remain optimistic and resilient in the months and years ahead.

We also saw the election of CAES alumnus Brian Kemp as governor of Georgia. He is the first Ag Dawg to ever reside in the governor’s mansion. A conversation with Gov. Kemp is featured inside this issue.

In December 2018 CAES, along with colleagues in the School of Social Work and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, hosted a collaborative summit on rural stress. Representatives from 20 states and the District of Columbia shared best practices and innovative programs to deal with rural health issues, the opioid crisis, chronic disease and suicide in rural areas.

Also included in this issue are features on “Live from the Lab” highlighting innovative research by the college’s outstanding scientists. Their research holds much promise and is essential for the future competitiveness of Georgia. From an understanding of the microbiome to breakthroughs on accelerating bone healing to reducing operating costs in greenhouses and controlled environments, CAES scientists are transforming agriculture, biomedical applications and much more.

We trust you’ll enjoy this issue of Southscapes and, as always, Go Dawgs!

Sam Pardue
Dean and Director,
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences


Dean Sam Pardue headshot
Pardue