Greetings and I hope you all are well. 2020 has certainly been an interesting year. While it has been difficult on all of us, I am extremely proud of our faculty and staff for making sure we continue to conduct research and education in support of our coastal stakeholders.
Our team is working hard to help coastal communities adapt and respond to changing conditions. The National Sea Grant College program recently awarded funds to our fisheries extension specialists who will work with seafood processors to implement COVID-safety training programs for their employees. The funds will also support initiatives to market local seafood through the development of a seafood trail. Our coastal hazards specialists are providing landscape certification training to individuals looking to expand or establish landscape businesses thanks to funding from the UGA Small Business Development Center.
We’re also continuing to engage K-12 and college students through our education and fellowship programs. Our marine educators developed a suite of virtual programs this fall, and the UGA Aquarium has officially reopened for small group visits so that people can safely resume learning about native marine life and coastal habitats in person. We also welcomed a new cohort of more than 30 undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students who are participating in our research traineeship, State Fellowship, Knauss Fellowship and Marine Education Fellowship programs.
As you can see, we are trying hard to meet stakeholder needs and assist coastal communities. We appreciate your support and understanding and look forward to resuming some of the activities that we cannot do safely under current conditions.
Please stay safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Director of Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant