Water educators join UGA Extension
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension recently welcomed eight water educators to the organization. Formerly part of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the positions were transferred to UGA Extension by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
“The governor’s plan was to streamline program services so the Environmental Protection Division handles regulatory issues and the Soil and Water Conservation Commission handles sediment and soil erosion and dams,” said UGA Associate Dean for Extension Laura Perry Johnson. “We now have more resources in Extension to address water issues, there will be fewer duplications of efforts, and services will be enhanced at the local level. The more I learn about the experience these gentlemen have, the more excited I am about the skills and talents they bring to us.”
These new Georgia water educators and their bases of operation include: David Hall, Bleckley County; Andy Dyar, J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center, Watkinsville; John Loughridge, Gordon County; Dustin Rushing, Southeast District, Statesboro; Tony Black and Luke Crosson, Hooks-Hanner Environmental Resource Center, Terrell County.
Two additional positions have been advertised for educators who will be based on the UGA Griffin and UGA Tifton campuses. The UGA-Griffin educator will focus on urban water use, and the UGA-Tifton educator will focus on traditional row crop agriculture water use. The UGA-Tifton educator will also support the UGA Water Resource Team, a group of researchers, Extension specialists, social scientists, economists and program development specialists focused on improving water management in Georgia. The UGA Extension water educators will continue to support farmers, green industry representatives and homeowners by performing water audits, duties they bring with them from the commission. There is no fee for irrigation audits.