2017 Research Symposium

Please join us for the 2017 Research Symposium on June 1-2 at the Graduate Hotel in Athens, Ga. The symposium will highlight Georgia Sea Grant’s research program, where Sea Grant-funded scientists from across the state will share their research findings. A reception will follow.

On day two, prospective researchers are invited to a workshop where we will provide an overview of our FY2018-2020 call of proposals and give tips and advice about preparing a strong application. Registration is required.

Please email Angela Llewllayn at by May 25 to RSVP.

Call for Posters! Faculty and students are invited to share their research through poster presentations during the symposium on June 1. Submissions may include any research that impacts coastal Georgia. Poster abstracts are not required. Please indicate your interest to present a poster when you RSVP.

Ocean to table: Georgia shrimp

Kick off shrimp season with an afternoon workshop at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium focused on this delicious and nutritious crustacean.  Discover the history of Georgia’s shrimping industry and learn about the impact it’s had on our state’s economy. Find out about innovative fisheries technology that makes Georgia’s shrimping industry unique. Talk to experts in seafood safety and food sciences while sampling Georgia shrimp and receive tips on how you can confidently and safely purchase and prepare local seafood. Registration and payment are due by Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

To register call or email Kayla Clark, (912) 598-3345 or

For more information, click here.

Coastal Stewards Program: Georgia Oysters

Join us at the Shellfish Research Laboratory, part of Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, to learn about oyster ecology and local oyster aquaculture. Participants in the Georgia Oysters workshop will have opportunities to tour the state’s first oyster hatchery, talk with researchers, visit wild oyster reefs and develop skills applicable to conservation, consumption, and recreational use of oysters and oyster reefs. This workshop is part of the Coastal Stewards Workshop Series.

Date: May 19-20, 2017

Cost: $100
Contact: Kayla Clark, or (912) 598-3345

Super Museum Sunday

The UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium, part of Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, will celebrate our state’s rich history by participating in Super Museum Sunday on Feb. 5, 2017. Over sixty cultural institutions participate in this popular, annual family event by opening their doors to the public, providing an exceptional opportunity to experience the history in our own backyard. Admission to the UGA Aquarium will be FREE. No reservations required.

Date: Feb. 5, noon – 4 p.m.
Cost: FREE admission to the Aquarium
Contact: Kayla Clark, or (912) 598-3345

Coastal Stewards program: Coastal Birding

Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant invite you to attend Coastal Birding, part of a series of environmental education workshops offered in the Coastal Stewards Program. Designed for both first time birders and experienced birders, participants in this workshop will build species identification skills, venture into the estuary and beaches for bird watching and connect recreational birding activities with citizen science and conservation.

Date:  March 3, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
March 4, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $100
Contact: Kayla Clark, or (912) 598-3345

Sea Grant Legal Fellows tackle important environmental policy issues on the coast

The Georgia Sea Grant Legal Program offers students at the UGA School of Law the opportunity to work with legal and policy experts to address challenging environmental questions facing policymakers in coastal Georgia communities.

Paul Wildes, a third-year law student and Mandi Moroz, a second-year law student were selected as the 2016-17 Sea Grant Legal Fellows. They have been working in Athens under the advisement of Sea Grant Legal Program director Shana Jones. As they near the completion of their first semester, Wildes and Moroz take a moment to discuss their research and share future plans.

What spurred your interest in environmental and coastal law?

wildes-paulWildes: During undergrad, I took many environmental courses, such as environmental science and environmental economics. Environmental law was a common sub-topic in these classes. I immediately became very interested in environmental law and the study of law in general. I have continued to pursue my interest in environmental law during law school.


moroz-mandiMoroz: Environmental law and coastal law are very different from other types of law. These areas often challenge attorneys by forcing them to work with and understand the science at work within or behind the law. I have always been drawn to this interdisciplinary aspect of environmental law. I love science and like that this practice allows me to learn more about it. I also enjoy the work, because its effects are easily seen around us. Environmental law has a large impact on shaping our environment and coast. I love being able to practice law that I can see at work in the world around me.

How does the Sea Grant Legal Fellowship fit into your educational and career goals?

Wildes: To be a good lawyer, you need to be a good writer and a good oral communicator. One of my main educational and career goals is to constantly improve in these areas. During law school, I’ve tried to take courses that help me do so. Being a Sea Grant Legal Fellow, and the work it allows me to do, helps me improve in these areas outside of the classroom.

Moroz: The Legal Fellowship allows me to gain some practical experience with environmental law. There are not a lot of experiences like the Sea Grant Legal Fellowship, where I am able to do substantive legal work and then see the results of that legal work as it impacts local governments.

What does this fellowship entail?

Wildes: I help with various projects that Sea Grant is working on. Most of my time is spent researching legal issues and writing about my findings. I recently presented my research at a conference on Jekyll Island, which was a very rewarding experience.

Moroz: As a fellow, I work closely with Shana Jones and Scott Pippin on a variety of legal assignments. In these assignments, I have done legal research on anything from what laws protect sea turtles off of Georgia’s coast to studying a recent development in court opinions that may affect local decision makers attempting to handle coastal flooding issues.

What challenging environmental question are you addressing?

Wildes: Most of my work concerns the legal issues surrounding the actions that counties and municipalities are taking, and will take in the future, to adapt to rising sea levels. More specially, I’m addressing the legal issues surrounding the abandonment of flooding public roads by local governments in coastal areas.

Moroz: The majority of my research has focused on identifying a new and recent trend in takings law. Essentially, in this recent trend some courts have begun merging negligence principles and takings principles to create a new takings claim. If this trend continues, then this new rule could have serious impacts on local governments in coastal communities attempting to plan for flooding and natural disasters like hurricanes. My research is focused on identifying this trend and exploring some of the implications the trend could have on these local governments.

How are you working to inform decision makers? 

Wildes: The goal of my work is to inform decision makers of the legal issues surrounding public roads. Due to rising sea levels, public roads in low-lying areas near the coast are increasingly flooded, causing damage and increased costs. The governing body in charge of the road may want to stop maintaining the road or abandon the road. I am working to identify the many legal issues that may arise in this situation, and to convey my findings to decision makers to help them make the most informed decisions possible.

Moroz: My research will help decision makers think more deeply about how the courts view their responsibility to prepare for sea level rise and coastal flooding. The goal is that I will write a white paper that is useful for these decision makers.

How would you explain the impact or value of your research to local residents?

Wildes: Local residents have certain legal rights related to public roads. These rights are at the center of many legal issues and controversies. Thus, for me to thoroughly inform decision makers of the legal issues surrounding roads, I must also inform them of these rights and emphasize how important it is for them to consider these rights when they make decisions. Hopefully, my work will help ensure that the rights of local residents remain one of the most important factors that decision makers consider when addressing these issues.

Moroz: With sea level rise, increased flooding and the recent events of Hurricane Matthew, my research will have a direct effect on how local governments will be able to plan and prepare for these issues in the future. For residents relying on their local decision makers to make informed decisions, my research will help ensure that these decisions are made with the best information possible.

What are your plans after you complete the Fellowship?  

Wildes: I will begin working for a law firm in Atlanta. Although my firm does not practice environmental law, I hope to somehow continue to pursue my interest in the subject in some other way.

Moroz: After the fellowship, I will be joining Troutman Sanders in Atlanta. I hope to have a practice that is focused on environmental litigation.

Georgia Sea Grant seeks applicants for 2018 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

The Georgia Sea Grant College Program is taking applications for the 2018 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, which places graduate students for a year in various executive and legislative branch offices throughout Washington, D.C.

The fellowship provides a unique educational experience in the policies and processes of the federal government to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting these resources. The fellowship period begins Feb. 1, 2018 and ends on Jan. 31, 2019.

Any graduate student, regardless of citizenship, who on Feb. 10, 2017 is enrolled in an academic institution in Georgia, is eligible to apply. A full list of application materials and additional information on eligibility can be found online at

Applications must be submitted to Georgia Sea Grant by 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2017, via its online submission system eSeaGrant that can be accessed using the following link

Potential applicants are also encouraged to contact Mona Behl, associate director of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, at 706-542-6621 or to discuss application content and submission. For more information on applying for the Knauss Fellowship, please visit the Georgia Sea Grant website at

For 35 years, boat captain Lindsey Parker has been a resource for georgia fishermen

Captain Lindsey Parker has served UGA as a marine resource specialist, a fisheries extension agent, and captain of the University’s research vessel, the R/V Georgia Bulldog for 35 years. His strong relationships with commercial fisherman and researchers helped to establish UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant as an important resource for marine research and education on the coast of Georgia.

Since the start of his career at the Brunswick Station in 1981, Parker has played a key role in advising major research projects aboard the R/V Georgia Bulldog, particularly those involving sea turtle conservation practices and techniques. For 17 years he has worked with scientists at South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to assess and monitor sea turtle abundance. He also played a key role in developing and implementing Turtle Excluder Devices (TED), which are devices that allow sea turtles and other bycatch to escape when caught in a fisherman’s net.

According to Bryan Fluech, associate director of marine extension, some of the first TED designs were inefficient. “Lindsey brought fishermen to the table to help with design and implementation to ensure the new gear met conservation goals and kept fishermen in business,” said Fluech. “This is a huge accomplishment and is why he’s so well respected among the industry.”

Parker’s involvement with TEDs even led to the naming of a nationally‐certified TED, “The Parker,” in his honor. Every legal TED in the United States has been tested in the wild onboard the R/V Georgia Bulldog under Parker’s direction.

Parker’s research accomplishments are equally matched by his notable contributions in extension and outreach. He’s been instrumental in developing connections with commercial fisherman and maintaining those connections by providing routine updates on fisheries, regulations and research. He fosters cooperation between managers and others in the seafood industry by encouraging collaborative, pro‐active approaches to solving issues. His efforts earned him the South Atlantic Sea Grant Extension Program Award for Excellence in 2001 and the David L. Harrington Appreciation Award from the Southeastern Fisheries Association in 2010.

Parker walks with an unwavering respect for the university and the principles of public service. He’s a steady reminder to faculty and staff at Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant to stay focused on what truly matters, serving people on the coast and listening to local concerns in order to inform cutting‐edge research.

High school students spend summer break caring for marine animals and growing oysters

This past summer, the City of Savannah launched the Summer 500 program, which is designed to provide high school students with paid internships at various businesses in the community. UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant participated in the program by offering two internship spots, which were filled by rising seniors, Carlos Wolfolk from Jenkins High School, and Omar Barton from A.E. Beach High School.

Wolfolk spent his nine-week internship working at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium under the advisement of assistant curator Lisa Olenderski. His responsibilities ranged from cleaning the touch tanks to monitoring water quality to preparing the nutritional food supplement for the Aquarium animals.

In addition to learning about what it takes to keep the aquarium operating, Wolfolk also gained experience in environmental education by shadowing UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant marine educators and education interns during Summer Marine Science Camps. Learn more about Wolfolk’s internship experience in this video developed by the City of Savannah.

Omar Barton worked in the Shellfish Research Lab with Director Tom Bliss, Hatchery Manager Justin Manley, and Research Technician Rob Hein. Barton’s primary responsibilities were to clean upwelling tanks and algae tanks daily. The cleaning of upwelling tanks is important since it rinses away all the silt that collects around the oysters to maintain proper water flow to oyster spat. Oysters feed on algae, so by cleaning the tanks Omar helped maintain algae culture that’s fed to the millions of oysters currently growing at the hatchery.

Summer 500 Intern, Carlos Woofolk (third from the left), a senior at Jenkins High School, works at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium over the summer. Also pictured (from Left to Right) Lisa Olenderski, Anne Lindsay, and Devin Dumont.

Summer 500 Intern, Carlos Wolfolk (third from the left), a senior at Jenkins High School, works at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium over the summer. Also pictured (from Left to Right) Lisa Olenderski, Anne Lindsay, and Devin Dumont.

“My favorite part of the internship was getting to know the staff at the Shellfish Research Lab and being accepted like family,” says Barton. “I’m thankful for this internship because it has given me the knowledge and skills needed to apply for aquaculture or agricultural opportunities in the future.”

Faculty and staff at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant were glad to serve as mentors and provide new experiences for Barton and Wolfolk through the Summer 500 program. They plan to continue to invest in Savannah’s future workforce by participating the program again next summer.

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